Max Beckmann | Max Beckmann in New York
Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 5th Ave, NYC
Oct 19 – Feb 20
Opening October 19, 2016, the exhibition “Max Beckmann in New York” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art will put a spotlight on the artist’s special connection with New York City. It will feature 14 paintings that Beckmann created while living in New York from 1949 to 1950, as well as 25 works, dating from 1920 to 1948, from New York collections. The exhibition assembles several groups of iconic works, including self-portraits; mythical, expressionist interiors; robust, colorful portraits of women and performers; landscapes; and triptychs.
During the late 1920s, Max Beckmann was at the pinnacle of his career in Germany—his work was presented by prestigious art dealers and he moved in a circle of influential writers, critics, publishers, and collectors. After the National Socialists denounced his work as “degenerate” and confiscated it from German museums in 1937, Beckmann immigrated to Holland. After the war Beckmann accepted a temporary teaching position in Saint Louis, Missouri. He made his move to America permanent in 1948, seeing his emigration as marking the end of his exile.
In early September 1949 Beckmann moved to New York City, which he described as “a prewar Berlin multiplied a hundredfold,” and began teaching at the Brooklyn Museum Art School. Though Beckmann was new to the city, his work was not. Before his arrival, it had been known in New York for more than two decades through the efforts of two art dealers from Berlin, J. B. Neumann and Curt Valentin.
In late December 1950, Beckmann set out from his apartment on the Upper West Side of New York to see his Self-Portrait in Blue Jacket (1950), which was on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in the exhibition American Painting Today. However, on the corner of 69th Street and Central Park West, the 66-year-old artist suffered a fatal heart attack and never made it to the Museum. The poignant circumstance of the artist’s death served as the inspiration for the exhibition.
The exhibit opens October 19th and runs through February 20th, 2017.