Julius von Bismarck
May 30 – Aug 25, 2019
Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany

People have always been fascinated by masks in all erasand cultures. When placed upon the face, a mask changesits wearer into someone or something new while simultaneouslyoffering protection and connecting the individualwith the outer world.

Especially in the visual arts of modernism, in the movementsof Dada, Surrealism and Expressionism, there wasgreat interest in masks. Artists such as Hannah Höch,Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Meret Oppenheim and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff took up the theme repeatedly. After the art ofmodernism, it is the art of our present era that focusseswith remarkable frequency on the mask and its paradoxicalpossibilities of revelation and concealment, of disguiseand (digital) self-optimization, thereby treating themes ofparticular importance in a society which generates newfaces non-stop in both the real and virtual realms.

This exhibition of international modern and contemporaryart turns its attention to the masked individual as well asto the performative act of the individual wearing a mask inits social and political context. With high-quality loans andsome new works produced for it specifically, the exhibitioncovering more than 850 square meters inquires into howartists integrate and transform characteristics and issuesassociated with masks in their own creative production.

Ed Atkins, Kader Attia, Julius von Bismarck, Thorsten Brinkmann, Miriam Cahn, Claude Cahun, Heinrich Campendonk, Edson Chagas, Eli Cortiñas, Max Ernst, Theo Eshetu, Gauri Gill, Werner Gilles, Martine Gutierrez, Stef Heidhues, Hannah Höch, Daniel Knorr, Zanele Muholi,  Meret Oppenheim, ORLAN, Pablo Picasso, Signe Pierce & Alli Coates, Sigmar Polke, Ulrike Rosenbach, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Lavinia Schulz, Cindy Sherman, Wiebke Siem, John Stezaker, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Rosemarie Trockel, Alexej von Jawlensky, Gillian Wearing