Realism Leipzig School - Tübke - Mattheuer - Ziegler

20.11.2022 - 04.02.2023

Last Things & Early Acts - Tübke, Mattheuer, Ziegler - Three Masters from Leipzig

There is a common credo in the imagery of the great Leipzig figurative painters - when evaluating a work, neither fashions, rankings nor ideological intentions count, but artistic quality alone! This principle was valid in the GDR, where the Leipzigers defended themselves against the ideologization of their painting. And this principle still holds true today, at least among the best, who elude the commercial pressure of fashions just as they used to elude the dictates of politics. Only in this way did the Leipzig painters achieve the independence for which they are praised today. At the same time, the special bond between outstanding artists at the Academy of Visual Arts (HGB) remained singular in recent German art history. Its great achievement, the formation of an internationally respected school of painters between 1960 and 2015, succeeded through a genealogy of masters who passed this credo on - from one generation to the next. It is a stroke of luck of this exhibition that with Werner Tübke, Wolfgang Mattheuer and Doris Ziegler central actors of this "Leipzig art miracle" (Eduard Beaucamp) from different generations and artistic milieus are gathered. The attraction of the gallery presentation is also enhanced by the fact that Hedwig and Johann Döbele, who have been committed to East German art for decades, are offering rarities from all creative phases. On view is a contrasting interplay of everyday subjects (including Wolfgang Mattheuer: "Ein diesiger Tag", 1984, "Gartenstillleben", 1991), studies of great historical images (including Werner Tübke's portrait of a woman from his mural "Arbeiterklasse und Intelligenz", 1970) as well as allegorical representations (including Doris Ziegler: "Holzvogel", 1990 or "In den Booten II", 2021). There are reminiscences of great pictorial careers - such as Wolfgang Mattheuer's "Liebespaar" ("Lovers"), 1996, represented in the exhibition, which follows on from his famous "Schwebendes Liebespaar" ("Floating Lovers") from 1970 - as well as impressive impressions of artists' journeys, which initially took the Leipzigers to the Baltic Sea, and later above all to the Mediterranean. In this way, the works shown by the trio of painters illustrate the unity of the Leipzig School as well as the diversity of the works created by this group. Werner Tübke (along with Bernhard Heisig) was undoubtedly the preceptor of the establishment of Leipzig painting, which initially drew programmatically from the fund of Italian and German art history. Wolfgang Mattheuer became famous, equally in painting and graphic art, through the differentiation of Leipzig art into pictorial languages that were close to everyday life and critical of the times, which he promoted. Doris Ziegler, on the other hand, with her "inspired objectivity" (Paul Kaiser), contributed to the success story of the Leipzig Art Academy and became the most important female painter of the Leipzig School.

Dr. Paul Kaiser

Link to the opening speech of Dr. Martin Stather

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Exhibition views

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