This exhibition at the Hamburger Kunsthalle presented works by Ferdinand Hodler, Aleksandr Dejneka and Neo Rauch together for the first time. Its main focus is on the utopia of the “New Man” and its failure in the 20th century. The works by Hodler, Dejneka and Rauch represent three stages at which one can recognize this utopia.
The exhibition demonstrated how Aleksandr Dejneka oriented his imagery, along with the body language and modelling of his portrayed individuals to Hodler’s eurhythmically-oriented figures. Ferdinand Hodler’s reform-minded approaches to redesigning life in harmony with nature are both transformed and radicalized in Dejnek’s paintings. Neo Rauch’s concept of the “New Man” took form after communism collapsed. He consciously revives Dejneka’s heroes of industrialisation, but portrays them in frozen poses. Like Dejneka before him, Neo Rauch’s works offer elucidating motifs and a contemporary pictorial language which portrays the transition of one societal form to another.
The exhibition presented over 100 paintings and illustrations from Russia, Switzerland, Austria and Germany. In this arrangement, audiences had the opportunity to directly compare these three related artists and their visions of the “New Man” for the first time. A large number of representative works by each artist was included in the exhibition as well.
Curators: Hubert Gaßner, Markus Bertsch, Daniel Koep
Artists: Ferdinand Hodler (CH), Aleksandr Dejneka (RU), Neo Rauch