'Markus Lüpertz: Threads of History' at Hirshhorn

Photo by Markus Lüpertz

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is celebrating the pioneering early works of Markus Lüpertz from May 24 through September 10, 2017. 

 

One of the most influential contemporary German artists, Lüpertz is internationally recognized as a leading figure in Neo-Expressionism, a movement that emerged as a major force in the late 1970s and 1980s.

 

Markus Lüpertz: Threads of History focuses on the early years of the artist’s mature practice, reflecting his unique reconsideration of painting through the lenses of Abstract Expressionism, Pop art, and, more broadly, German postwar culture. Lüpertz, like many artists who came of age in the shadow of World War II, grappled with how he should engage with this recent past and, in particular, what he should paint. The artworks from this seminal period reveal how Lüpertz deftly challenged the limits of painting as he struggled to reconcile the weight of history with his desire to be what he has described as “a painter without responsibilities.”

 

Featuring large-scale works—such as the 40-foot long Westwall (Siegfried Line), on view for the first time in the US—this exhibition brings more than thirty paintings to the National Mall in a striking exploration of one artist’s response to a uniquely charged cultural moment.