Max Pechstein – Dancers

on display from 7 February

After Max Pechstein returned from Paris, the nightlife in Berlin casts a spell on him. Inspired by the exciting world of vaudeville and theatre, he created his first compositions devoted to dance in 1909. In 1910, his preoccupation with the subject was even seen as the antithesis of working in the great outdoors. Pechstein notes: "Unfortunately, my Mori[t]zburg works are quite lacking in energy and [I] want to get going as soon as [I] have some means, [I] have two dance halls in mind [...]". Dancers is one of the paintings that Pechstein created in Berlin in autumn/winter 1910. By 1911, the work had already passed into the possession of the theatre critic and dramaturge Felix Hollaender, who succeeded Max Reinhardt as director of the Deutsches Theater Berlin. Privately owned since then, the Folkwang-Museumsverein was able to acquire the painting for the Museum Folkwang collection from the estate of Dr Walter and Liselotte Griese in December 2019. Here the new acquisition is placed in changing contexts, exhibited together with works by Edgar Degas, the artists’ group Die Brücke (The Bridge) and photographs of Pina Bausch’s dance theatre.

Hermann Max Pechstein
Dancers, 1910
Museum Folkwang, Essen
© Pechstein Hamburg/Tökendorf, Photo: Ketterer Kunst GmbH und Co. KG