Tübke and Italy
Tübke and Italy
07/03 — 16/06/2024
The Leipzig painter and draughtsman Werner Tübke (1929-2004) is one of the most prominent artistic personalities of the GDR. Since taking over the holdings of the Tübke Foundation in 2022, the MdbK has preserved almost the entire estate of the artist and is committed to the scholarly study of his oeuvre. The MdbK is taking the 20th anniversary of Werner Tübke's death as an opportunity to shed new light on his work. From the 1970s onwards, Tübke made several trips to Italy, which was inaccessible to many of his compatriots at the time. Intensive experiences in places such as Venice, Milan, Florence, Rome, Capri and Sicily have since been reflected in his works in a variety of ways. Italy also marked a turning point in his own career: a solo exhibition at Emilio Bertonati's gallery in Milan in 1971 led to his international breakthrough as an artist.
Against the background of the idealising image of Italy in the European art tradition and the contrasting, decidedly political position of an Italian contemporary such as Renato Guttuso, Tübke's own multi-layered image of Italy is revealed. The juxtaposition with high-ranking works by Jacopo Pontormo and Agnolo Bronzino (Uffizi, Florence) emphasises Tübke's elective affinity with the eccentric Florentine Mannerists of the 16th century. In his numerous self-portraits, the painter consciously plays with the conventions of Italian models in the sense of a programmatic self-staging. The ambivalence of Tübke's experience of Italy is particularly evident in his Sicilian society portraits, whose sometimes morbid vocabulary betrays distance and conjures up dark memories of the south. Tübke's reception of Italy thus proves to be a strategy of an individualistic view of art that oscillates between classical aesthetics and a subversive desire for contradiction.
In addition to Tübke's own holdings, the exhibition will show paintings, prints and hand drawings from lenders in Germany and abroad. It has been organised in collaboration with the Institute of Art History at Leipzig University.
Sponsors: Peter und Irene Ludwig Stiftung, KYTHERA Kultur-Stiftung, VNG Stiftung, Tübke Stiftung Leipzig
Opening: 06.03.2024, 20h