Max Ackermann - pastels - pure painting and drawings - meditations

06.04. - 04.05.2019

Familiar with the Impressionists' painting, which was even more deeply rooted in the depiction of nature than that of the Expressionists, he continuously developed a pictorial language that allowed him to use forms and colors freely. An important anchor point here was the pictorial theory of Adolf Hölzel, whom he met in 1912 at the Stuttgart Academy, where he completed the studies he had begun in Weimar. He loosely joined the circle around Hölzel and was on friendly terms with him until his death. Parallel to his nature studies, he was already producing abstracting sheets, which he initially saw only as compositional exercises. After the end of the First World War he focused, like many artist colleagues, on the misery of his immediate surroundings. Socially critical and neo-objective sheets with accusatory content were created. He himself wrote: "After the World War I, I could no longer draw beautiful things." As before, he produced formal sketches that today seem like abstract elements. The exploration between form, line and color intensified. In 1930, he founded a "Seminar for Absolute Painting" in Stuttgart, where he taught courses on " Theory of Harmony for Pictorial Design" and "Through clear composition from the real to the superreal," among others. The ostracism by the Nazis brought him into exile in Lake Constance, the saving shore of Switzerland in sight. The world that had come out of joint no longer seemed worthy of depiction to him, and his abstracting formal language solidified. Ackermann loved classical music. Beethoven and Stravinsky often accompanied him in the studio. He did not work according to the music, it inspired him and this resonates in picture titles such as "Hymns to Joy“.

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