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Painting by Gabriele Münter 'Retrospective II', MAKING MODERNISM, in white font to upper right of cover.

Making Modernism

Paula Modersohn-Becker, Käthe Kollwitz, Gabriele Münter and Marianne Werefkin

Text by Dorothy Price
Text by Shulamith Behr
Text by Chantal Joffe
Text by Sarah Lea
By (author) Rhiannon Hope


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  • Includes insightful new texts by leading experts
  • Accompanies a major exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, Jungels-Winkler Galleries, 13 November 2022 – 12 February 2023
Full Description

Käthe Kollwitz, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Gabriele Münter and Marianne Werefkin are among the exceptional artists associated with the emergence of Expressionism in Germany in the early decades of the 20th century. Each challenged prevailing ideals of feminine identity at a time of great societal change. As women, they were expected to marry and raise a family; some chose to, some did not. As ambitious artists, they wanted to work.

As they rose to these challenges, their art further undermined conventions. Their portraits of children symbolise joy, hope and innocence but also melancholy, tension, curiosity, the passing of time and unfulfilled desire. Their radical depictions of the nude wrest the female body away from the male gaze towards a newfound role, expressive of powerful maternity and female subjectivity. These dramatic modernist compositions, with their fluid brushwork and bright hues, push at the boundaries of form, colour and spiritual meaning.

About the Author

Dorothy Price is Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art and Critical Race Art History at the Courtauld Institute of Art.

The painter Chantal Joffe RA is well known for her arresting portraits of women.

Shulamith Behr taught for many years at the Courtauld Institute of Art.

Sarah Lea is Curator at the Royal Academy of Arts.

Rhiannon Hope is Assistant Curator at the Royal Academy of Arts.

Look Inside
Royal Academy of Arts
25th Oct 2022
World excluding USA & Canada
270 mm x 230 mm
160 Pages
120 color
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