1 Nov 2018 – 3 Feb 2019

Schirn Kunsthalle

Hesse, Germany


Travel Information

  • Dom/Römer


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The wilder­ness returns to art! And it does so at a time when the blank spaces on the world map have largely disap­peared and an “untouched natural state” virtu­ally only exists in the form of areas desig­nated as nature reserves.


The search for the last open spaces, the expe­di­tion as an artistic medium, and post-human visions of a world devoid of people char­ac­terize the works of many contem­po­rary artists along­side the rene­go­ti­a­tion of the rela­tion­ship between indi­vidual and beast. The SCHIRN is dedi­cating an exten­sive thematic exhi­bi­tion to this recur­ring fasci­na­tion and presents works of art from 1900 to the present. With impor­tant pieces by some 30 artists – from Henri Rousseau to the present day – it not only sheds light on the phenom­enon of the wilder­ness in terms of iconog­raphy, but also shows it as a prin­ciple and motor of artistic creative work.Artists have repeat­edly been drawn to that which is wild, untamed, uncul­ti­vated since the begin­ning of the aesthetic modern age. The “wilder­ness” has always also served as a projec­tion surface for anything that was different and foreign, for the longing for a primor­dial life beyond the bound­aries of civi­liza­tion. In today’s “Anthro­pocene,” the utopia of a natural state remote from culture and human influ­ence seems anachro­nistic. And yet the exam­i­na­tion of tradi­tional images and fictions of wilder­ness seems more alive than ever before.


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