Portfolio Naples April 2017 - Page 49

I the EARTH WORLD THE PURSUIT OF ABSTRACTION A RARE TAPESTRY BY ERNST LUDWIG KIRCHNER If suffering can be transformed into creativity . . . I want to try it. Ernst Ludwig Kirchner 1880 –1938 Kirchner’s massive, 7x16-ft theater curtain from the 1920s, installed at The Wolfsonian to reveal both the later overpainting for a 1931 performance and the orig- inal composition of a Dionysian/cosmic fantasy scene, which remains visible as a mirror image on the reverse. Theater curtain, 1920 (reverse) and 1931 (obverse) Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (German, 1880–1838) Davos Frauenkirch, Switzerland Tempera on canvas 7 x 16 feet (2.1 x 4.9 meters) The Wolfsonian–Florida International University, Miami Beach, Florida, The Mitchell Wolfson, Jr. Collection e Wolfsonian–Florida International university examines cultural responses to spiritual crises of the modern age in e Pursuit of Abstraction, an exhibition of works by early twen- tieth-century artists searching for meaning beyond the bound- aries of scientific reasoning and rationality. Drawn from the museum’s permanent collection, e Jeri L. Wolfson Collec- tion, and e Mitchell Wolfson, Jr. Collection of Decorative and Propaganda Arts Promised Gift, the exhibition features paintings, prints, sculpture, and decorative art. Featured artists include Mabel Alvarez, Wenzel Hablik, victor Karl Hammer, Gertrude Hermes, Agnes Pelton, Henry van de velde, and Ida O’Keeffe, younger sister of Georgia O’Keeffe. Focusing on works produced between 1900 and 1950, the exhibition takes a close look at North American and Euro- pean artists that turned to abstract thought, feeling, and form as counterpoints to the concrete realities and alienation of PORTFOLIO MAGAZINE 47