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Emil Schumacher - Retrospective
6. February to 19. April 1998
Emil Schumacher is one of the most important artistic personalities to have shaped the art of the post-war period. As a painter he was at the centre of the new departures in art from the early 1950s onwards, belonging to a group of artists such as Ernst Wilhelm Nay or Willi Baumeister who pursued new paths of artistic expression within abstract painting. Schumacher, who was born in 1912 in Hagen/Westphalia, began his career in the 1930s with figurative painting in the direction of Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity). However, the Second World War prevented him, as it did almost all artists of this generation, from pursuing his creative development. After the war Schumacher played a decisive role in the renewal of art in Germany. It was he who established the abstract style of art informel in Germany and was thus involved in forming an international movement. Art informel was characterized by a gestural style of painting unrestricted by notions of form. In 1947 Schumacher was one of the founders of the influential German artists’ group »Junger Westen« (Young West).

This exhibition, which the Hamburg Kunsthalle has organized in collaboration with the Galerie National du Jeu de Paume in Paris and the Haus der Kunst in Munich, presents works from every stage of Schumacher’s artistic career and as such also honours the artist on his 85th birthday. At the centre of the exhibition are two large-format paintings which Schumacher created for the third documenta in Kassel in 1964. Using these works as an index, one can see how vigorously Emil Schumacher has continued to develop his painting right up to the present day.

In the Galerie der Gegenwart in Hamburg the exhibition will be shown on the building’s top floor which has natural light from skylights. Consisting of approximately 60 of Schumacher’s paintings, this will be the very first special exhibition in the new museum.

The works come from private collections and European museums. The bilingual (German/French) catalogue of the exhibition will contain illustrations of all the works on show and, besides a preface by Peter Handke, texts by Monika Wagner, Ortrud Westheider and the French art critic Marcelin Pleynet.
Hamburger Kunsthalle Glockengießerwall 20095 Hamburg
Telephone 040 - 428 131 200 Facsimile 040 - 428 54 34 09