FIRST GALLERY: GENESIS OF A CAREER (1871-1906):
The exhibition presents Feininger’s early drawings, made during his first sojourn in Paris, as well as numerous examples
of his cartoons from German and American newspapers and magazines and some of the original drawings for these publications. This focus on Feininger’s initial
vocation as an illustrator and cartoonist, particularly his comic strips created for the Chicago Sunday Tribune – Kin-der-Kids and Wee Willie Winkie’s World –
reveals the work of an artist whose distinctive compositions, juxtapositions, use of scale and wry sense of humour have led him to be considered one of the fathers
of modern comic art. His graphic production also reveals many styles and subjects that would recur in Feininger’s art throughout his career.
The first gallery will present a chronology of the artist’s life through documents borrowed from members of the artist’s family, some of whom now live in Canada. It will serve as a prelude to further explorations of the Feininger family’s shared passion for music and photography, a pursuit he shared with two of his sons, Andreas and T. Lux.
SECOND GALLERY: FEININGER THE EXPRESSIONIST (1907-1918):
SETTLING IN AN UNSETTLED WORLD – PARIS, BERLIN
This section will include a large number of miniature hand-sculpted and painted toys called “The City at the Edge of the World.” The artist initially began making them for his children, but then continued to create them throughout his life.
THIRD GALLERY: THE BAUHAUS (1919-1933): A SEARCH FOR HARMONY – WEIMAR, DESSAU, BERLIN
The years spent at the Bauhaus, in its various locations in Weimar, Dessau and Berlin, define the third section of the exhibition.
Feininger’s tenure at the Bauhaus also piqued his interest in photography, a passion he shared with two sons, Andreas and T. Lux, who established reputations in their own right.2 Photography, particularly images shot at night and in damp weather, enabled Lyonel Feininger to extend his painterly interest in what he called “the magical and veiled world.” The architectural subjects and a romantic fascination with light in his photographs reinforce the mystical sensibility of his paintings. Paintings, nevertheless, remained the mainstay of the artist’s production. His crystalline seascapes and monumental architectural images earned Feininger renown across Germany.
FOURTH GALLERY: AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD (1934-1956): BERLIN, DEEP AND MANHATTAN
In addition to chronicling the last period of Feininger’s life, when World War II forced him and his family to move to the United States, the final section of the exhibition will include music in order to emphasize Feininger’s truly multidisciplinary approach. The fugues composed by the artist, as well as music by Bach, which profoundly influenced his aesthetic approach, will be heard in a gallery devoted to the artist’s iconic “Gelmeroda” series, as well as the artist’s final works, which he produced after his return to Manhattan.
FIFTH GALLERY: ANDREAS FEININGER
In conjunction with the Lyonel Feininger retrospective, some seventy photographs by Andreas Feininger (1906-1999), a major figure in the history of photography, will be exhibited for the first time in this restrospective. They constitute a recent gift from the artist’s family through the Wysse E. Feininger Bequest. These images are displayed in an innovative fashion to demonstrate the influence of the photographer’s formative years at the Bauhaus, when he lived in Dessau in his father’s “teacher’s house”.