Franz Marc

The present drawing is a poster draft Franz Marc designed for the large exhibition “Erster Deutscher Herbstsalon” in Berlin, which Herwath Walden organized with the artists Franz Marc, August Macke, Wassily Kandinsky, and Robert Delaunay together with the support of the patron and collector Bernhard Koehler;

The horse shies away from looking at the exhibition announcement. Comparing the size of the horse and the letters to the pair of trees on the right-hand side, the animal as well as the writing seem monumental. A broad rainbow and a large star create a supernatural reference, so a small work of inner monumentality and playful lightness emerges from just a few elements. The contrast between the concrete symbolism on the left and the half-blurred sequence of letters floating in space on the right is effective. In this most important modern exhibition before the First World War, Marc is represented with major works such as the “Turm der blauen Pferde”, the “Erste Tiere” and “Tierschicksale”.

The exhibition of the “Erster Deutscher Herbstsalon” was organized by the Galerie der Sturm in Berlin from September to the end of November / beginning of December 1913 and was intended to counterbalance the 1912 “Sonderbund Ausstellung”, which took place in Cologne, where mainly French impressionism was shown. The organizers of the exhibition wanted to make more recent European art movements such as Expressionism, Cubism and Futurism known. In addition to Marc, Macke, Delaunay and Kandinsky, such important artists as Fernand Leger, Paul Klee, Gino Severini, Natalia Gontscharowa, Piet Mondrian, Gabriele Münter and Alexej von Jawlensky were on show, to name just a few.

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