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Multicoloured abstract painting

Beate Wassermann, City plan of Ragusa, 2003 Photo: Albin Dahlström/Moderna Museet

Beate Wassermann

Balancing Acts

25.9 2021 – 20.2 2022

Malmö

Opens in 3 days

“Balancing Acts” is the first exhibition in Scandinavia of the German artist Beate Wassermann (1947–2018). With works spanning four decades, the exhibition lets us discover the many facets of Beate Wassermann’s unique painting.

Beate Wassermann was born two years after the end of the Second World War. Growing up in post-war Germany had a strong impact on her. Beate Wassermann studied at the Art Academy, first in Berlin, then in Hamburg. She lived and worked in Hamburg-Altona and periodically Italy. Her powerful, mainly abstract paintings were inspired by everyday life and the profane as well as the sacred – two spheres that she never considered contradictory.

Beate Wassermann developed a profoundly singular style of painting. In her works, often in large formats, she condensed what she saw around her into signs or symbol-like shapes. Her painterly practice explores the role of artist, human being, woman and mother – as in the early self-portrait “Madonna von Altona” from 1979, where the highly pregnant artist is standing in a beam of light, with paint brushes in her hair like a crown of thorns, wearing pointed, elegant shoes. Her paintings are highly physical, always with proportions that relate to her own body.

Beate Wassermann perceived colours and shapes as animated energies. The image was her mental and directly physical field of dialogue. From the mid-1990s, when she began creating glass windows for churches and other public, monumental buildings, her paintings reached new levels of freedom and gradually lightened from within. Balancing different aspects of life, shapes and colours, light and darkness, the near and the distant, is central to Beate Wassermann’s oeuvre.

Beate Wassermann’s work has been shown in Germany and other countries in Europe. “Balancing Acts” is the artist’s first retrospective exhibition, offering an insight into how her images sprang from earlier pictures, and how themes were modified and resumed throughout her career. Wassermann saw herself as a collector, finding forms and structures in everyday life that felt familiar on a deeper level. Painting was an ongoing contemplation to her. She perceived her images as likenesses of experiences and the paintings became answers to her own questions.

With this exhibition Moderna Museet Malmö contributes yet again to highlighting exciting and important women artists who have been overlooked in a historically male-dominated art world.  In 2021, one hundred years after Sweden introduced universal voting rights, we are proud to present this multifaceted artist.

Curator Iris Müller-Westermann

The exhibition is located in the Turbine Hall

Map of  Moderna Museet Malmö, the Turbinehall marked
Map of Moderna Museet Malmö

Images

Painting in yellow with blue forms
Beate Wassermann, Constellation IV, 1996 Photo: Albin Dahlström/Moderna Museet
Multicoloured abstract painting
Beate Wassermann, City plan of Ragusa, 2003 Photo: Albin Dahlström/Moderna Museet

Calendar events

Exterior at night of Moderna Museet Malmö.
  • Guided tour
  • In Swedish

Malmö Gallery weekend

Exterior at night of Moderna Museet Malmö.
  • Workshop
  • In Swedish

Malmö Gallery weekend

More about this exhibition