Bronzefiguren vor Gemälden
Ausstellungsansicht Ernst Barlach - Jorge Rando, Zehdenick - Foto: Heike Stockhaus

23.09.2017 - 14.01.2018

Ernst Barlach - Jorge RandoJorge Rando: Mystic of Modernity

The works of the German sculptor Ernst Barlach and the Spanish painter Jorge Rando enter into an astonishing dialogue.

Monastery Gallery, Zehdenick

The works of German sculptor Ernst Barlach and Spanish painter Jorge Rando enter into a startling dialogue, even though the two artists are separated by more than seven decades. "For me, painting," says Jorge Rando, "is a spiritual quest, because spirituality is in everything that surrounds us and in ourselves." More than 100 years ago, Ernst Barlach wrote, "When the artist makes the mystical so sensual that it becomes a familiar world, he has elevated: through the ordinary to the infinite." Both artists articulate in their work against the loss of space and time, against the alienation of man and cosmos in modern industrial society. Spirituality and mysticism mean neither for Barlach nor for Rando the turning away from the social reality, but describe the search for orientation and for values, which make a conception of the transformation of the reality at all still appear possible.

Ernst Barlach (1870-1938) is one of the most important artists of German Expressionism. His sculptural works, drawings and graphics are in collections and museums around the world. He distrusted the blind promises of prosperity of his time. By progress Ernst Barlach understood the way to a human future characterized by ethical and spiritual qualities. Thus it was initially peasants and beggars, vagabonds and seekers, simple, lonely, doubting and introspective figures with whom he countered the glorification of technology, rationalism and materialism of his time. They rebelled against the rapid acceleration of early modernity, whose dreams would culminate in World War I a few years later. For Barlach, there were no victors and no heroes after this war, only losers. Thus, in the decades to come, he never tired of admonishing the war and campaigning for peace. However, it is not only the mourning and miserable, but also the beautiful and hopeful figures, the singers, the musicians and dreamers, who want to rise above the state of the world. Without the artist being able to foresee the coming wars, let alone the consequences of globalization, the economic and ecological crises that threaten our present, Ernst Barlach's work still stands today as a powerful, admonishing, comforting and inescapable advocate for the transformation of our world.

The Spanish painter Jorge Rando (born 1941) is considered the most important representative of neo-expressionist painting in his country. His thoroughly idiosyncratic revitalization of Expressionism aims to make the spiritual, the spiritual force visible anew as an orientation in the world. In particular, his landscape paintings show the passion with which Rando stands up for the idea of creation and an ethos of creation derived from it. In the paintings entitled "Vertical Horizons", he connects the earth with the sky. His landscapes are cathedrals and, in their quiet majesty, show us what our real landscapes have long ceased to be today. It is the colors of the south, the transparent layering and bundling of light, and the sacred perspectives that give the impression that Jorge Rando, with his painting, wants to give back to people, to nature, to things, that uniqueness that has long been lost to materialistic thinking.

The exhibition "Ernst Barlach - Jorge Rando: Mystic of Modernity" a period from the beginning of the 20th century to the present day. The sculptures, paintings, and watercolors engage in an intriguing dialogue about the existential questions of humanity, even though the two artists are separated by more than seven decades.

More than any other artist of his time, Ernst Barlach used simple, universally understood images of humanity to speak out against the injustice and despair in the world. His artistic work was dedicated to the idea of overcoming reality and the hope for a better future. The painter Jorge Rando follows the same intention.

Both artists articulate the alienation of man and cosmos in modern industrial society. However, neither for Barlach nor for Rando do spirituality and mysticism mean turning away from social reality, but describe the search for orientation and values for a humane and peaceful world.

An exhibition of the Ernst Barlach Gesellschaft Hamburg in cooperation with the Kulturkirche Martin-Luther Emden and the Museum Jorge Rando Málaga.