In- and outsiders of the avant-garde
The exhibition traces the interrelations between so-called naïve artists and the »masters« of Classical Modernism. The term »naive«, or also »Sacred Heart painters«, was coined by the art historian Wilhelm Uhde. He was living in Paris at the time and wished to draw attention to a number of particular talents, including Henri Rousseau as a model, Séraphine Louis, André Bauchant, Camille Bombois, Louis Vivin, Adolph Dietrich, Maurice Utrillo and many more. Their careers did not correspond to the usual biographies of trained artists. Henri Rousseau was a customs official, Séraphine Louis was a shepherdess and cleaner, Adalbert Trillhaase was a merchant and only started painting late in life. The »Naives« only really became known in the late 1930s through a touring exhibition in France. That exhibition forms the point of departure of our exhibition project. The works are being shown for the first time in dialogue with works by famous artists such as Pablo Picasso, Fernand Léger, Otto Dix, Max Ernst, Marc Chagall or Paula Modersohn-Becker. The exhibition’s selection of almost 100 works offers a new reading of the development of modern art which regards the supposed outsiders as a self-evident component of Classical Modernism and thus contributes to the debate about modernism and the formation of a respective canon.
The exhibition is a collaborative undertaking with the Sprengel Museum in Hanover.