August Macke and the Rhenish Expressionists

from the collection of the Kunstmuseum Bonn,
Coordination: Stephan Köhler

Poster for the first
venue, the Utsunomiya
City museum of Art

pamphlet with a
painting by August
Macke from 1914

Introduction of other
artists from the Group
Rhenish Expressionists

Utsunomiya City Museum of Art: November 3rd until December 15th 1999
Fukuyama City Museum of Art: January 14th 2000 until March 12th 2000


From the Foreword of the catalogue

In the early years of the twentieth century, German art, like that of France and Italy, went
through a period of cataclysmic upheaval. As Fauvism and Cubism were emerging in
Paris, new art movements in Germany led to the formation of groups like Die Brücke in
Dresden, Die Neue Künstlervereinigung and Der Blaue Reiter in Munich, and Der Sturm
in Berlin. The dealer and publisher Herwarth Walden spread the news of the art
movement known as Expressionism throughout the country. August Macke was an
important member of Der Blaue Reiter, and later became the leader of another group, the
Rhenish Expressionists in Bonn.

Macke was born in Meschede in the state of Westphalia in 1887. While attending art
school in Düsseldorf, he made a trip to Paris, where he was greatly moved by
impressionist painting. He continued to discover the new theories and approaches of
artists like Cézanne, Matisse, Delaunay, and the Italian Futurists. He absorbed these
influences in his own way and developed and original style that differed from that of
Klee and Kandinsky. His use of color was especially in its capacity for expressing the
abundance of life. Unfortunately, Macke was killed in 1914 on the front lines of World
War I when he was only 27 years old.

This exhibition, “August Macke and the Rhenish Expressionists,” is the first overview of
the work of August Macke, Heinrich Campendonk and the Rhenish Expressionists to be
shown in Japan. It consists of 116 works which represent an aspect of German
Expressionism that depends more on color than on spirituality. This valuable group of
paintings is an important part of the permanent collection of the Kunstmuseum Bonn, and
it is only through the generosity of the Bonn museum that we are able to present this

Throughout the preparations for this exhibition, we were assisted in every possible way
by Dr. Dieter Ronte, director of the Kunstmuseum Bonn, Dr. Christoph Schreier,
assistant director, Dr. Volker Adolphs, the curator in charge, and Mrs. Barbara Weber
and other members of the museum staff. Special thanks go to Mr. Stephan Köhler,
(Jointadventures Art Projects), who served as coordinator. The Embassy of the Federal
Republic of Germany, Tokyo and the Consulate Osaka-Kobe kindly granted their patronage.
Special assistance was given by Lufthansa Cargo and the Kao Corporation. We would
like to express our true appreciation to all these individuals and organizations.

Arata Tani, Director of the Utsunomiya Museum of Art
Masaaki Nakano, Director of the Fukuyama Museum of Art

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© 1999 Joint Adventures Art Projects
For further information:
Stephan Köhler
Fax +81-52-955 0121, Tel. +81-575-34 8335