December 1, 2022


Adorn your Feelings

“Group Dynamics—Collectives of the Modernist Period” at Lenbachhaus, Munich

3 min read


Beijing, Buenos Aires, Bombay (today’s Mumbai), Casablanca, Khartoum, Kyoto, Lahore, Łódź, Nsukka, São Paulo, Tokyo: in the twentieth century, artists all more than the world banded jointly in collectives. The tendency of like-minded persons to get the job done in teams and aid every single other is universal yet the worries pursued by these teams, their aesthetic procedures, political objectives, and utopian visions, specific them selves in widely varied strategies dependent on the time and location. The exhibition “Group Dynamics—Collectives of the Modernist Period” examines picked illustrations to shed a mild on the emergence and evolution of collectives and their engagement with the societies and cultures close to them. The period less than consideration in the presentation—from around 1910 to the 1980s—spans international modernization movements and anticolonial struggles for independence. 

Teams are propelled by steadfast loyalties and irreconcilable ruptures. Their dynamic is unpredictable: collaboration, discussion, conviviality, rivalry, friendship, open-mindedness, inclusion, dissociation, weariness, controversy, love, polemics, and enthusiasm are characteristic attributes of the life of groups. They supply us with one particular feasible model for an knowing of artwork that is not grounded in the individual: art does not occur into remaining in a vacuum, it grows out of exchanges of suggestions and social interactions. 

At the dawn of the twentieth century, lots of persons loved unprecedented mobility: artists struck up associations with colleagues further than the bounds of their cities and international locations, teams sharpened their courses in solidarity with international developments—and, normally, in opposition to traditional art academies and adversaries in their speedy vicinity. The founding of new art faculties and collectives, the publication of programmatic writings or magazines were concomitants, but also engines of this phenomenon. 

The modern day period introduced sustained changes of social structure: the planet took on a much more cosmopolitical forged, though class distinctions became entrenched. The modernist period of time marks a late fruits of European colonial rule, but also its demise in the kind of struggles for liberation in quite a few colonized components of the entire world. In art and lifestyle, the strategy of modernism encompasses antithetical still reinforcing tendencies these kinds of as the belief in development and esotericism, a fetishistic embrace of technologies and mother nature cults. Many artists and teams framed their possess modernity as a radical system, a newfound solve also reflected in a lot of manifestos. The manifold resonances concerning the artists and performs gathered in the exhibition yield a panoramic portrayal of dynamic synergy and antagonism, a complex global globe in which artwork serves as a compass and a cause that sparks energetic and boisterous exchanges of concepts.

Collectives represented in the exhibition: Motion, Tokyo Artistas del Pueblo, Buenos Aires Bombay Progressive Artists‘ Team, Bombay (today‘s Mumbai) Casablanca University, Casablanca Crystalists, Khartoum Grupa “a.r.”, Łódź Grupo dos Cinco, São Paulo Khartoum School, Khartoum Kokuga Sosaku Kyokai, Kyoto Lahore Artwork Circle, Lahore Martín Fierro, Buenos Aires Mavo, Tokyo Nsukka College, Nsukka Wuming Huahui / No Title Group, Beijing.

Curatored by Karin Althaus, Susanne Böller, Sarah Louisa Henn, Dierk Höhne, Eva Huttenlauch, Matthias Mühling, Tanja Schomaker, Stephanie Weber.

At Lenbachhaus, Munich
right up until June 12, 2022


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