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26 August 2015

Women of the Berlin art scene around the magazine Der Sturm in the early 20th century

Correction and annotation on 1 October: The exhibiton is open from 31 October 2015 until 7 February 2016. (The wrong date 20 October is already corrected in the following text.) The 'Storm Women'-digitorial with art and culture historical background information (via images, text, sound, video) with references to lifestyle, applied arts... is published as introduction into the exhibition online (released today in German and English):

From 31 October 2015 until 7 February 2016, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt presents works by female artists of the art scene around the German weekly culture and art magazine 'Der Sturm' (published from 1910 to 1932, Berlin) under the title 'STORM WOMEN. Women Artists of the Avant-Garde in Berlin 1910-1932'.

Der Sturm (could be translated as 'The Storm') released articles by artists (like architect, designer Adolf Loos) who derived their art from new thoughts on society and such as publisher Herwarth Walden proclaimed in an folder 1910, only statements by personalities who have own thoughts and opinions; except any journalistic texts or feuilletons. Alongside to the magazine, Herwarth Walden established the Sturm Gallery in 1912, but also other side-branches like the Sturm Stage, Sturm Academy or Sturm Books. Especially the magazine and gallery are in the main focus of the Schirn exhibition where around 300 artworks (Cubism, Futurism, Expressionism, Constructivism, New Objectivity) by women who were published or exhibited in the years between 1910 and 1932 will provide an insight into the avant-garde art scene in Berlin in the early 20th century. Around 1/5 of the Sturm artists were female - what was a high amount in these times when women's ability to produce art was in question - because of their gender.

Fashion professionals know the name Sonia Delaunay (1885−1979) mainly from textile design. At Schirn, Delaunay's geometrical, abstract paintings, costume and stage designs will be presented. Less known is Lavinia Schulz (1896−1924) whose work - like every other of the selected 18 Sturm Women - will be shown in an own room. Lavinia Schulz' body mask suits for her dance-performances called 'Maskentänze' are probably the most avant-garde items seen by Fashionoffice in the press preview. Schulz studied at the Sturm Academy and performed later at the Sturm Stage. According to an article on Wikipedia, the work of actress and mask-dancer Lavinia Schulz was almost forgotten over the years until the late 1980ies when around 20 full-body-masks were found at the attic of the MKG Hamburg (Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe). Lavinia Schulz focused her performance art on the new experience of the own body and self and was developed on the Sturm theatre stage.

fig.: Lavinia Schulz 'Toboggan Frau' ca 1924; Sackleinen, Pappmaché, Draht, Schnallen, Leder. Höhe 63cm (Maske), Breite 42cm (Maske), L. 145 cm (Anzug). Photo: (C) Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg.

Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt will release a bi-lingual (German/English) 'Dgitorial' - an introduction into the exhibition with information about the art and culture historical context, one month before the opening of 'STORM WOMEN. Women Artists of the Avant-Garde in Berlin 1910-1932'.

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