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Work by Anton Kolig: Das Vergehen

Masterpieces

Permanent Collection

Achenbach, Andri, Appel, Bischof, Carus, Corinth, Egger, Eisenschitz, Feuerbach, Friedrich, Frohner, Gurlitt, Heckel, Hofer, Hoffmann, Hörmann, Kirchner, Klimt, Kokoschka, Kolig, Kurzweil, Lang, Lenbach, Liebermann, Loos, Makart, Masson, Modersohn-Becker, Mueller, Münther, Nolde, Pechstein, Prachensky, Rebell, Reiter, Romako, Schiele, Schindler, Schmidt-Rottluff, Schuch, Schumacher, Staudacher, Thelott, Thoma, Thöny, Trübner, Werefkin.

An overview of classic works from the Lentos Collection is displayed for the first time in the south wing of the museum - an art-historical promenade through the museum's manifold holdings from the 19th and 20th century.

A journey into the depot of a rich historical collection ranging between the major styles and generations of classic artists, revealing all that painting and graphic arts were capable of in their abundance from 1820 to immediately after World War II in Central Europe. Fascinating comparisons, many new discoveries and a most recently acquired late work by Anton Kolig, donated by the Association of Friends of the Lentos Art Museum, in the Who's Who of names and in the confrontation with almost a hundred masterpieces of classical art history.

51 paintings and 24 outstanding drawings and graphic works reveal the historical emphases and acquisitions of the collection founded by Wolfgang Gurlitt in 1947 and continued under his direction until 1953 as the Collection of the New Gallery of the City of Linz.

Landscape, genre and portrait painting of the 19th century is represented with masterpieces from German Romanticism (Caspar David Friedrich, Carl Gustav Carus), from the Austrian Biedermeier (Johann Baptist Reiter and Friedrich Loos), from German and Austrian Historicism (Hans Markart, Anton Romako, Anselm Feuerbach, Franz von Lenbach) and Austrian Mood Impressionism (Emil J. Schinder and Theodor von Hörmann).

Another prominent feature of the collection are outstanding works from Viennese and Berliner Secessionism. In addition to artworks by Lovis Corinth, Wilhelm Trübner and Gustav Klimt, an exquisite selection of paintings, drawings, watercolors and print graphic works (Erich Heckel, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Max Pechstein, Otto Mueller, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff and Emil Nolde) is presented in the newly designed "Brücke" Cabinet, which has been set up to mark the 100th anniversary of the artists association.

Austrian Expressionism is represented with groups of works by Egon Schiele, Oskar Kokschka, Anton Kolig, Gustav Thöny, Jean Egger and Willy Eisenschitz. Current anniversaries determine the Work in Focus: "Linz Landscape" by Oskar Kokoschka and the "Portrait of Mayor Dr. Ernst Koref" by Max Weiler, both commissioned by the Linz city government fifty years ago.

The tour through the history of style concludes with a bridge to the special exhibition "The Spirit of Pop" composed of paintings from Abstract Expressionism by Karel Appel, Peter Bischof, Emil Schumacher, André Masson, Adolf Frohner, Markus Prachensky sowie Hans Staudacher , which are especially distinguished by the characteristically expressive-abstract language of color and form and spontaneous, vehement modes of painting.

A special highlight of the presentation is the large format portrait of the Viennese building contractor family Scheger, created in 1842, which is an important work of plein air painting by Johan Baptist Reiter, who was born in Linz. This significant family portrait from the Austrian Biedermeier era is on loan from the Nordico City Museum, illustrating once again the synergies between these two city museums.
Another highlight of the new presentation are two important paintings by Gustav Klimt, which are on loan to Lentos from a private collection for the duration of the exhibition.

A quotation from Caspar David Friedrich which still held true far into the 20th century:
"the painter should not just paint what he sees before him, but also what he sees inside himself"
has been made the overall motto for a presentation that attempts to treat the art of the 19th century, using examples from Austria and Germany, so that it no longer appears to be a "confused image whose history must be rewritten every ten years" (Max Friedländer), as a "tragic matter" (Richard Hamann) or as a "tangle" of contradictions (Ludwig Justi).
The "powerful disunity" of painting of the 19th century, the necessary break with the closed standards and styles, the oscillation between idealism and realism, contributed much to the liberation of art in the 20th century from today's perspective.

Elisabeth Nowak-Thaller

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Photo: © maschekS.