Drawn from Nature, Carved in Wood
For Gallery Weekend Berlin, Moeller Fine Art is pleased to announce two complementary exhibitions: “Lyonel Feininger: Drawn from Nature, Carved in Wood” and “T. Lux Feininger: Sixty Years of Painting” to run 27 April – 13 July, with an opening reception 26 April, 6 – 9pm. Gallery Weekend hours are 11am – 7pm, 27 – 28 April. Together, the exhibitions explore the work of father and son Lyonel and T. Lux Feininger in various media, tracing their development over nearly a century.
The rapid sketch from life, or “nature study,” as Lyonel Feininger (1871-1956) called it, was the starting point for most of the artist’s work, which he later refined in his studio. Motifs, initially captured in nature studies, recur in Lyonel Feininger’s œuvre with extraordinary frequency, as T. Lux (1910-2011), his youngest son, wrote: “[they] consisted of the re-casting and re-drawing of a given composition, abandoning it and then taking it up again a day or a year or twenty-five years after, in any and all of the media.”
Lyonel Feininger freely translated such motifs; nature studies led to woodcuts and drawings, and woodcuts, in turn, even inspired paintings. Moeller Fine Art’s exhibition brings together more than 50 woodcuts from the artist’s personal collection, as well as related nature studies created between 1911 and 1920. Highlights include a rare painting, Chapel in the Woods, 1943, in which Feininger effectively recreates a woodblock print in oil on canvas. Lyonel Feininger also transposed such visual motifs into three dimensions, as in City at the Edge of the World, a group of 68 carved and painted figures and houses which were kept by the artist’s family, as well as in model trains he designed in 1913/14 and intended for mass production. These works feature many of the same elements found in his paintings and drawings, liberally reinterpreted in other media.
The work of T. Lux Feininger shows a fluidity similar to that of his father, yet expressed in his own inimitable visual language. T. Lux took up painting in 1929, while studying at the Bauhaus in Dessau with Josef Albers, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, and Oskar Schlemmer. His paintings of the 1930s, such as Ship in the Gulf of Siam, 1931, often depict maritime subjects, not unlike those favored by his father. Later paintings of the 1970s and 1980s, such as Mentone, 1976, however, are characterized by a stencil-like surface on which graphic planes of color are layered. The 16 paintings in Moeller Fine Art’s exhibition, ranging from 1931 to 1991, display the variety and unmistakable treatment of form which T. Lux Feininger employed in his work.
The exhibitions of Lyonel and T. Lux Feininger are a collaboration between Moeller Fine Art New York – Berlin and The Lyonel Feininger Project LLC.