10. April 2019 - 10. August 2019


Free Forms and Bold Colours

The German-Latvian artist Johann Walter-Kurau, who ran a painting school in Dresden from 1906 and in Berlin from 1917 to 1932, was especially popular with women on the course because he supported them on the difficult road to a professional career. Women still had to rely on private art lessons because, until the Weimar Republic was founded in 1919, they were not admitted to art academies. 

Views of nature by Walter Kurau’s students range from lofty perspectives across valleys and lakes to close-ups of tree clusters and flowering meadows. The plein-air situation explains the small format of the card, barely 25 x 30 cm, attached to the lid of a wooden paint box with drawing pins. Else Lohmann’s stylistic independence clearly grew between 1917 and 1921. There are landscapes broken up into geometric shapes under the influence of Expressionism, like when red roofs tilted into the plane dominate the work along with sunlit slopes. In her studio, her portraits in the style of New Objectivity acquired formats of up to 90 x 80 cm. Other women artists who visited his lessons were Minna Köhler-Roeber, Ilse Heller-Lazard, Elisabeth von Schulz, Bettina Encke von Arnim. There are also paintings by Käthe Loewenthal, Augusta von Zitzewitz,Else Hertzer, Martel Schwichtenberg, Grethe Jürgens.

Unlike in Germany, women in France were already able to study art at the state-run École des Beaux Arts from the late 19th century. They also continued to attend the many private institutes. Marie Vassilieff (1884-1957), who arrived in Paris from St Petersburg in 1905, attended first the Académie la Palette and then the Académie Matisse before founding her own Académie Russe/Vassilieff in 1910.

Apart from art influenced by Cubism and Constructivism, Vassilieff began after the First World War to produce what she called her “poupée portraits”, grotesque dolls and puppets, but also head and full-body sculptures of famous people, made of leather, metal, cloth and rags, buttons, glass beads, wire, feathers.

At the time African masks, “art nègre” and art from Oceania with strong facial expressions were all the rage in Europe, and Marie Vassilieff enthusiastically integrated these trends into her poupées. In 1922/23 the fashion designer Paul Poiret offered his gallery “Chez Martine” to Marie Vassilieff for a solo exhibition with paintings and poupée portraits. Featuring Poiret himself as a full-body figure, naked with a fig leaf and the artist Marie Laurencin on his arm, as well as many other dolls depicting Trotzky, Matisse, Alfred Flechtheim and Picasso, it was a huge success.

Marie Vassilieff asked Pierre Delbo to take photographs of her artistic objects; a selection can be seen in the exhibition.




Wednesday  10. April 2019|  19 h


Elisabeth Moortgat
Das Verborgene Museum



11. April 2019 - 11. August 22019


Thursday, Friday 15 - 19 h
Saturday, Sunday 12 - 16 h


Schlüterstrasse 70
10625 Berlin-Charlottenburg


S5, 7, 75, 9  Savignyplatz
U2 Ernst-Reuter-Platz,
Bus M49, X34


please refer Contact



+49 (0) 30 313 36 56



FLYER  to the Exhibition



Go back