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Back to body and life

The exhibition on the works of Expressionist artist Max Pechstein of Zwickau thrilled the public. By virtue of their almost uncanny topicality, his pictures exerted a very special appeal. Because our company supports the Tübingen Art Museum, our employees got the opportunity to take a guided tour provided by Curator Dr. Nicole Fritz.

The art works are full of a thirst for life. With most of them originating in the 1920s, they capture motion, dance, exuberance, and moments of joy and bliss on the canvas. This was the era of a new awakening, with many people no longer searching for happiness in eternity but rather in an earthly paradise, in the here and now. Reflection on bodiliness and nature as a means of finding contentment played a crucial role here. Among artists the trend was a return to ‘body and life,’ to put it in the words of Friedrich Nietzsche. 

Of course, it is no coincidence that the Tübingen Art Museum has placed a focus on the works of Max Pechstein (1889-1955) now, at the advent of the 2020s. The paintings give the beholder glimpses of the expectations, needs and fears people harbored back then. It is almost as if they knew that the exuberance was soon to end. In a letter addressed to a friend in 1929, Pechstein expresses his distaste for the “political goings-on” that he sees as exerting a corrupt influence on youth, only to express a wish to go skiing a few lines later. This all makes a peculiarly modern impression. 

“It is great that Erbe maintains this form of cooperation with the Tübingen Art Museum and that they offered us a professional tour of the exhibition,” Franz Geiselhart, an employee from Prototyping who took part in the employee tour on February 4th, says with enthusiasm. “I might not have come if it hadn’t been for this opportunity. In that case I definitely would have missed out on something,” Geiselhart adds. 

In the 2020s, human beings are once again concerned with the present and the future, looking for paths to happiness like they did one hundred years ago. There are many indications that today’s world is unique and hard to compare with other ages, but if you take a look at Pechstein’s works you do sometimes get the impression that our present concerns are not necessarily all that new.