press release

People have always been fascinated by masks in all eras and cultures. When placed upon the face, a mask changes its wearer into someone or something new while simultaneously offering protection and connecting the individual with the outer world.

Especially in the visual arts of modernism, in the movements of Dada, Surrealism and Expressionism, there was great interest in masks. Artists such as Hannah Höch, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Meret Oppenheim and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff took up the theme repeatedly. After the art of modernism, it is the art of our present era that focusses with remarkable frequency on the mask and its paradoxical possibilities of revelation and concealment, of disguise and (digital) self-optimization, thereby treating themes of particular importance in a society which generates new faces non-stop in both the real and virtual realms.

This exhibition of international modern and contemporary art turns its attention to the masked individual as well as to the performative act of the individual wearing a mask in its social and political context. With high-quality loans and some new works produced for it specifically, the exhibition inquires into how artists integrate and transform characteristics and issues associated with masks in their own creative production.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a substantial catalogue available from Wienand publishers with texts by Stephan Berg, Barbara J. Scheuermann and Richard Weihe.

Curator: Dr. Barbara J. Scheuermann