In the Laboratory of Modernism

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Hölzel and his Circle

25 November 2017 – 18 March 2018, Museum für Neue Kunst, in the Augustinermuseum, Freiburg im Breisgau

The painter, art theoretician and pedagogue Adolf Hölzel (1853–1934) was a founding member of both the Munich Secession and the Vienna Secession. In 1905, he was appointed to the Royal Academy of Visual Arts (Königliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste) in Stuttgart, where a circle of progressive students soon formed around him; these included Willi Baumeister, Johannes Itten, Ida Kerkovius, Oskar Schlemmer and Hermann Stenner.

Hans-Dieter Fonz entitled his article on the opening of the exhibition, published in the Badische Zeitung on 25 November 2017, ‘Radically Avant Garde’. The idea and conception for the exhibition came from Ulrich Röthke of the Brandenburg Technical University in Cottbus (Brandenburgische Technische Universität Cottbus), who will shortly submit his doctoral thesis entitled ‘The Work of Adolf Hölzel Applied in Architectural Contexts: Wall-Painting and Glass-Painting’ (‘Die architekturbezogenen Arbeiten Adolf Hölzels: Wand- und Glasmalerei’). Hölzel came to glass-painting late in his career, and it constituted the crowning achievement of his artistic output. Inspired by the simple construction and colouristic intensity of medieval windows in Gothic cathedrals, he created gorgeous works of Expressionist colourfulness that were in keeping with his teaching on colour.

The Galerie Barbara Giesicke has an original window of c.1933 for sale:

Further information on the exhibition is available here:

Badische Zeitung



Foto: OEW - Ida Kerkovius: „Hirte“ (Ausschnitt), 1916