Dawn of a New Day
Moeller Fine Art Berlin is pleased to announce “Lyonel Feininger: Dawn of a New Day.” The exhibition will show for the first time 29 drawings and watercolors which Lyonel Feininger (1871 - 1956) executed for murals at Marine Transportation Building and the Masterpieces of Art Building at the 1939/1940 New York World’s Fair. These extraordinary works in an large-scale format represent in many ways the culmination of the artist’s œuvre and for the first time give an insight into an unexplored area of Feininger’s work. The drawings and watercolors will be on view from February 14 to April 14.
After having lived nearly 50 years in Germany, Lyonel Feininger returned to his native New York in 1937. Though in Germany he was revered as a Master of the Bauhaus, fame did not follow him to his homeland. In the United States, he was regarded as “a German painter” and the public mostly neglected his work. It was only in 1938 with the commission to design murals for the Marine Transportation Building at the 1939/40 New York World’s Fair that this started to change. These designs were not only his first significant source of income since his return to the USA, but they also provided him with the impetus to overcome his initial creative crisis.
The 21 drawings and watercolors Feininger designed for the Marine Transportation Building can be regarded as the peak of the artist’s love for all things maritime. This fascination started in the 1880s when the steam vessels and sailing boats on the Hudson River captivated his adolescent imagination and continued through the following decades during his countless visits to the Baltic Sea. The eight drawings and watercolors executed in 1939 for the courtyard of the Masterpieces of Art Building at the New York World’s Fair explore motifs found in his German œuvre, including Pomeranian seasides and Thuringian villages. His friend, the art historian Alois J. Schardt, wrote about the works of this period: “Feininger’s form has reached its greatest concentration, his color and technique are reduced to the utmost simplicity. His energies are devoted to the creation of space in which the universal forces, absolute and free, manifest the reality of their ordered being.“
Since the gallery opened in 1972, Moeller Fine Art has been closely linked to the name of Lyonel Feininger, and is the primary gallery for collectors and institutions seeking to purchase and sell works by the artist. Achim Moeller represents the Lyonel Feininger Family Trusts and is Managing Principal of The Lyonel Feininger Project LLC, providing research and expertise concerning works attributed to the artist. Achim Moeller is preparing the three-volume Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings by Lyonel Feininger.