9.12.10

Modern Art from Germany




A third lecture from the educational cycle Shape and Meaning, The German Contribution to the Visual Arts was delivered at the Post-Graduate Government College of Women in Rawalpindi today.
The lecture took place after a warm welcoming that included several bunches of flowers. Prof. Mamoona from the Fine Arts Department and Dr. Ditt from the German embassy opened the event with important remarks about the nature and importance of the present series of conferences that aims to refresh the local area by broadening the public's awareness of art as a means of education.



Event brochure

Architect and historian Mariano Akerman introduced the audience to German Modern Art. He talked about similiarities and differences between traditional art and modern art. Talking to a group of 180 students and teachers he dealt with the visual imagery of Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer to explore afterwards the idea of freedom in the work of more than twenty German Modern Artists such as Philipp Otto Runge, Caspar David Friedrich, Karl Eduard Biermann, Max Liebermann, Lesser Ury, Max Laueger, Ephraim Moses Lilien, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Ludwig Meidner, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Max Beckmann, Franz Marc, Otto Dix, George Grosz, Kurt Schwitters, Meret Oppenheim, Max Ernst, Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Karl Schwesig, John Heartfield [Helmut Herzfeld], Käthe Kollwitz, Hans Hartung, and Anselm Kiefer.



Karl Edouard Biermann, Borsig Engineering Work in Berlin (Borsig's Maschinenbau-Anstalt zu Berlin), oil, 1847. Stadtmuseum Berlin

The subject matter of the lecture is not particularly easy to communicate but most of the participants seem to have enjoyed the lecture. Some unexpected lack of electricity did not prevent Akerman to keep on talking about the difficulties of being an artist in Germany before, during and after the two world wars.



John Heartfield, And Yet It Moves, photomontage, 1943


Käthe Kollwitz, Seed corn must not be ground, 1942


Andreas Paul Weber, March into the Grave, 1932

As a matter of fact the sudden lack of electricity became then a wonderful opportunity to explore four quotations of words writen respectively by Goethe, Oppenheim, Fenton, and Paul Celan, and which are included in the brochures received by all participants:


I belong to those who from darkness to light aspire. Goethe.[1]


Nobody will give you freedom. You have to take it. Meret Oppenheim.[2]


It is not what they built. It is what they knocked down.
It is not the houses. It is the space between the houses.
It is not the streets that exist. It is the streets that no longer exist
. [...] It is not what you have forgotten, what you must forget.
What you must go on forgetting all your life.

[...] The workers are dismantling the houses of the dead. [...]
It is not what he wants to know.
It is what he wants not to know.
It is not what they say.
It is what they do not say.
James Fenton, A German Requiem, 1981.[3]


Black milk of dawn we drink it at sunset we drink it at noon and in the morning we drink it at night / we drink and we drink it [...] / Your golden hair Margarete / Your ashen hair Shulamith.
Paul Celan, Todesfuge (Death Fugue), 1947-48.[4]

Captions to images: 1. Philipp Otto Runge, Self-Portrait, 1810; 2. Franz Marc, Deer in Flower Garden, oil, 1913; 3. Abstract painting by Hans Hartung; 4. Anselm Kiefer, Margarete (Dein goldenes Haar, Margarethe), mixed media, 1981.


Mariano Akerman, Black Milk, watercolor, 2001-3

Remarks by Prof. Aalia Sohail Khan: "I congratulate you for delivering a lecture on a very serious theme in a very lively and interesting manner. The same topic could have been approached in many other ways, but the way you synthesised the subject matter with earnestness and message made all the difference. History is not just a record of events, and your lecture brought out the determining, shaping power of events on painting which is not just dabbing in colour. You speak with conviction and earnestness; this is the vital element in your personality as a speaker, because the energy is transferred and holds the attention of the listeners. To cover so much in so little time is another remarkable feat. The use of slides illustrated the theme and made ideas more clear."


Akerman, Gold and Ashes, ink and watercolor, 2001

The words of Naima Muzaffar: "The lecture was highly educative. It revealed artistic sensitivity from part of the lecturer, who helped us to understand how German art evolved into what it is today. The presentation made me feel empathy towards the pain of the German nation as it suffered in the hands of a tyrant. Concepts were explained clearly. As he delivered the lecture, Mr. Akerman's style was above all moving."


Shape and Meaning: The German Contribution to the Visual Arts - Five Educational Lectures by Mariano Akerman, German Embassy Islamabad, 3.1.2011, Education & Culture


Deutsche Kunst - Form und Bedeutung. Eine Vorlesungsreihe von Mariano Akerman, Botschaft der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Islamabad, 3.1.2011, Kulturelle Beziehungen (Andreas Dauth).

Selected masterpieces at the German Art Gallery

42 comments:

Aniga Arshi said...

Respected Sir, Asslam-o-Alaikum. It was a pleasure to attend your lecture. The most touching part was when you dealt with the concept "human being." This is what it really matters instead of being put into any category, as you explained. Your language was most impressive and I really felt a lot what you pointed out today. Personally I love Friedrich's picture with the two men contemplating the moon and the half-rooted tree: a symbold of the meaning and value of being alive. Thank you. A.A., Fine Arts Department

Fareha Azhar said...

The lecture was well organized and clarified to me many aspects concerning German art throughout the centuries.

Afsah Basit said...

The lecturer's knowledge and his collection of German art images? Marvellous.

Mariam Iftikhar said...

The images showed to us today were very interesting. The lecture provided us with valuable information and a lot of knowledge.

Maryam Zehra said...

Your discussion regarding artists and artworks in the context of war very moving and is highly appreciated.

Sana Hasnat said...

A very nice way of teaching, with most interesting, unforgettable ideas. Thank you.

Mobasra Arif said...

Your lecture was AWESOME. I like the German paintings and you way of teaching is very good. Great work. Keep it up. God bless you.

Hifza Sajad said...

Very well expressed.

Mahnoor Ayab said...

The lecture left me deeply impressed. Mr Akerman expressed very well the feelings of artists who were confronted by war. Extremely interesting lecture.

Sabigha Bazmi said...

I enjoyed the lecture. Impressive, both the lecture and the lecturer. I think I love Deutsche Kunst.

Sania Imtiaz said...

The lecture gave me new elements and the lecturer imparted his knowledge effectively.

Sayeda Irshad said...

I am thankful.

Kiran Shankat said...

The material and the knowledge of the lecturer are really impressive.

Marryam Sajid said...

A very good lecture. Very useful.

Uzma Arshad said...

Impressive. Thanks a lot.

Akifa Imtiaz said...

An interesting and informative session. I am glad that I came today and got insight about German art and the correlation that exists between fine arts and literature. Wonderful

Aiman Aftab said...

The pictures were fabulous. The lecturer's way of teaching is very effective. I was amazed all the time. And today I've learnt a lot too.

Sehewana Crystle said...

I like the topic. It is very sensitive material. Especially in Kollwitz's drawing where a mother attempts to protect her children from war. Thank you so much.

Kiran Fatima said...

Today I've recieved a lot of motivaton thanks to your lecture. I like the way you present the History of Art. You have clarified to us many artistic movements along the lecture. It was a honour listening to you. Thank you.

Momina Ishfaq said...

Yours was a fantastic lecture that clarified differences and similarities between modern and traditional art. It was a nice delivered lecture which helped us to swallow the harsh realities of German history. Thanks a lot.

Zara Khan said...

Your presence was overwhelming. Today we've learnt a great deal about German art and its historical background.

Noor us Saba said...

Besides giving aesthetic pleasure, the German pictures are a great source of information on the historical background of the artist and his time. Today's lecture has really provoked me to ponder over the objective and purpose of art in our lives.

Sara Waheed said...

The lecture was well prepared and it reflects your integrity and vast knowledge of the history of art.

Ayesha Ali said...

The lecture gave me valuable information about Germany and its culture. Mariano Akerman is a very dedicated person. Interesting, effective, impressive.

Kanza Rashid said...

A most brilliant opportunity to learn. I am really thankful.

Saira Tariq and Fizza Farukh said...

The essence of art is not only aesthetic but didactic as well. This is what the lecture has clarified to us today.

Khansa Abbassi said...

The lecturer is kind and keen. His lecture made my day.

Almira Hussain said...

A very informative lecture. I really like it. Thank you so much :)

O.T. said...

A very inspiring experience. Some of the paintings are amazing. German artists were able to portray tragedy. At times their work pierces one's hart.

Saima Riaz said...

Today we've studied a lot of important things while contemplating German art. Thanks for your lecture.

Warda Bilal said...

In about one hundred and twenty minutes Mr. Akerman went through the whole scenario of German art, from tradition to innovation. The images he presented were compelling and he did that in a clear way. I feel really honoured to have attended his lecture.

Nimi Nimoroni said...

I think that there is something we can learn from tragedy.

Anonymous said...

The topic was very interesting. The material shown was relevant. Mr. Akerman covered all the important movements in German art and also the way in which things going around the artist affect his work.

Tuba Yusaf said...

Fantastic. The lecture was easy to understand and I enjoyed it.

Ambreen Asif said...

It is very good for us to learn about art history coming from other regions.

Mahwish Sarwar said...

The lecture was arranged so that one can easily follow its development.

Jaweria Malik said...

Awesome.

Sundas Khurshid, Ayesha Ishtiaq, and Anum Hanif said...

It was such a pleasure to have your lecture... We have really learnt a lot about the History of German Art.

Maryam Rehmat said...

A very compact, precise conference on German Art, which I followed with full attention.

Sanq Yousat said...

I have a positive impression after the lecture. It was presented in a clear and friendly way.

Mamoona Khan said...

What they all said was very true. Thanks

Yuka Nakasone said...

Es fantástico. Comprendo muy bien de que amas el país donde vives y su gente. A seguir con tus trabajos maravillosos por la humanidad. Y sobre todo, sigue inspirando la gente.