Radical. Visionary. Nonconformist. 100 Years November Group

13 Oct 2018 – 10 Feb 2019

Die Möwe

Berlin, Germany


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Since the opening of the ‘Möwe’, artists of the November group have been a main topic of the gallery’s exhibition and collection activities. Our presentation ‘Radical. Visionary. Nonconformist.’ pays tribute to the foundation of this artists’ association, 100 years ago.


From 13 October 2018 to 9 February 2019, the ‘Möwe’ exhibits works of art, not only by the founding members Cesar Klein and Moritz Melzer, but also paintings by Hans BrassHerbert Behrens-HangelerErwin HahsGert Wollheim, and Richard Ziegler. The presentation is completed by the works of many other Novembrists, as Rudolf AuslegerGottfried GrafPaul Grunwaldtand Albert Mueller.

The November Group
After the disaster of the First World War, and under the November Revolution’s inspiring influence, the members of the 1918-founded November Group wanted to be ‘radical in rejecting previous ways of expression, and radical in using new ways of expression’. In addition, they wanted to take part, in a socially active way, in the creation of the future art in the young republic. Not only painters, but also sculptors, composers, architects, and art theorists devoted themselves to those aims. 
The group was inspired by a democratic and liberal idea: Its members wanted to unite the art and the masses, and they were open to all contemporary stylish trends, as Expressionism, Cubism, Futurism, Dadaism, Neorealism, and Abstraction. Furthermore, they cultivated contacts with progressive artists’ groups in Germany and other European countries. The diversity of stylistic trends corresponds to a diversity in the subjects of their artistic work, ranging from the shocking experiences during the world war, via living conditions in large cities, up to an individual view of the contemporary human being.
In the years between 1919 and 1932, the November Group’s exhibitions presented more than 470 artists of the German and European avant-garde. Its participation in the popular Großen Berliner Kunstausstellung was, in particular, an essential contribution to the acceptance of modern art. When the National Socialists came to power, they slandered the artists’ association as ‘Red November Group’ and excluded it from the index of associations. Works of art by many Novembrists were defamed as ‘degenerate’ and removed from German museums. After 1945, the artists were taking different paths. Some of them were continuing their artistic work of the 1920s, others were looking for totally new contents and artistic forms.

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