“Second modernity” sculptors
25. April 2018 – 07. October 2018
Sprengel Museum HannoverSprengel Museum Hannover
Being presented are Günter Haese (Kiel 1924 – 2016 near Hannover) and Hans Uhlmann (Berlin 1900 – 1975 Berlin), two sculptors whose work has been unjustifiably forgotten despite its great prominence in post-war West Germany.
Both artists had international careers – Haese even launched his with an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York – and were represented at the large exhibitions of documenta and the biennales in Venice and Saõ Paolo, Brazil. Because of the Second World War, they belonged to a generation that found its way to the visual arts relatively late in life. A serviceman in the Second World War and initially self-taught, Haese started studying under Bruno Goller and Ewald Mataré at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 1950. Uhlmann, an engineer by training, was imprisoned for 18 months by the Gestapo for distributing leaflets in 1933 and produced his first wire sculptures in prison. In 1950 he was awarded a teaching post at Berlin’s University of the Arts and subsequently became one of the best-known sculptors for works in public spaces. Haese held his first solo exhibition in Ulm in 1964, which resulted in the agreement for a solo exhibition at MoMA the same year.
The initial material for both sculptors was wire, which they used for generating volume. Uhlmann shaped heads while in prison, while Haese turned to brass from the Sixties onwards, combining the wire with mobile parts of dismantled clocks and thus developing kinetic sculptures. In Uhlmann’s case, this simple material gave way to more solid materials such as stainless steel, and he adopted techniques like forging and soldering and produced structurally conceived sculptures and drawings. Haese discovered movement as an element that led in his wire sculptures to more complex works by allowing them to interact with light and time.
In this duo exhibition, the work of the two artists will be juxtaposed with selected drawings and sculptures. This approach highlights the similarities in their interests in sculpture as well as the differences in their approaches, techniques and dispositions. Drawing on the extensive and high-quality collection of post-1945 art of the Sprengel Museum Hannover, the exhibition incorporating new loans from the estates of both artists provides an opportunity to re-discover these outstanding sculptors.
Curator: Dr Carina Plath

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