Die weite Ebene nach Westen, bis zum Horizont
7.5. – 21.8.2022
Zentrum für Aktuelle Kunst, Gallery Ground Floor
The exhibition shows in an extensive retrospective the largely unknown work of the painter and drawer Horst de Marées. More than 80 works were collected from the artist’s estate and private collections.
Horst de Marées (born in Weimar in 1886, died in Otterndorf on the Elbe in 1988) was confronted throughout his life with ideological obstacles and geographical barriers that he sought to overcome. He repeatedly found himself caught between individual goals and cultural-political restrictions. His goal, however, was freedom, on a national, ideological and, not least, artistic level. Coming from a well-known family of artists – he was the great-nephew of the painter Hans von Marées – his work as a painter and drawer, as heterogeneous as it was complex, not only reflects the confrontations with the artistic discourses and developments of the 20th century. Equally characteristic is the permanent resistance to subjecting his work to any politically instrumentalized art doctrine.
In 1937, a mural in the Folkwang Museum in Essen was branded “degenerate” by the National Socialists. After World War II, he was always distanced from the artistic trends of his time in East and later in West Germany, without being independent of them. At first, Horst de Marées could do little with the ideals of artistic abstraction that were dogmatically postulated in post-war West Germany.
Until the end and almost blind, the artist painted and drew extremely productively on paper, with charcoal, tempera and oil. Thus thousands of works were created, which deal primarily with the relationship between man and nature, far from civilization. His work ranges from an academic figurative style of painting to a strong colorful flatness to complete abstraction.
The exhibition is complemented by never-before-seen fragments of historical stuccowork and architectural decoration from the collection of the Spandau district.