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In its new exhibition "Hamburg Secessionists", the salon gallery "Die Möwe" focuses on the only artist group of Classical Modernism in Hamburg. Thanks to the good cooperation with the Eduard Bargheer Museum, the administrators of the estates of Dorothea Maetzel-Johannsen and Emil Maetzel, as well as private collections, the numerous works could be gathered for this exhibition.

Maetzel: Ballspieler
Maetzel: Ballspieler © Maetzel: Ballspieler, Salongalerie »Die Möwe«

Founded in 1919, the Hamburg Secession served as a platform for like-minded individuals until its forced dissolution in 1933 by the National Socialists, uniting artists from the fields of painting, sculpture, architecture, and literature. Its 33 founding members included Emil Maetzel and Dorothea Maetzel-Johannsen, Alma del Banco, Gretchen Wohlwill, and Otto Fischer-Trachau. Paintings, gouaches, prints and drawings by these artists, as well as by the renowned Secessionists Ivo Hauptmann and Eduard Bargheer, will be presented by "Die Möwe" in its rooms from June 2 to August 27, 2022.

The city owes its connection to the international avant-garde art scene and diverse impulses for cultural life to the events and initiatives of the Hamburg Secession. Exemplary for this is the work and activity of Emil Maetzel and his wife Dorothea Maetzel-Johannsen, who were among the leading personalities of the Hamburg Secession. The couple played a significant role in the establishment of artistic modernism in the Hanseatic city. Role models for both were the painters and graphic artists of the Brücke. The Jewish artist Alma del Banco was also one of the founding members of the Hamburg Secession.

Her involvement with the works of the artists Cézanne, Matisse, and Léger led her to develop a visual language all her own. She undertook numerous trips to southern Europe, including one to Italy in 1922 with her painter friend, the Secessionist Gretchen Wohlwill. The oil painting "Taormina", which bears the name of a hill town near Mount Etna, probably goes back to this trip. It shows the style characteristic of the artist in the years around 1920: "The tectonic composition of the picture, the echoes of cubist forms and the thin application of paint that barely covers the underdrawing mark the work as a typical work from this period." (Dr. Friederike Weimar, art historian)


Gretchen Wohlwill's studio was a meeting place for Secession artists and other artist friends in the 1920s and early 30s. After the National Socialists dismissed the artist, who came from a Jewish family, from her teaching position, she moved to the Elbe island of Finkenwerder, in the immediate vicinity of her lifelong painter friend and confidant Eduard Bargheer. His artistic work includes mainly mosaic-like, light watercolors, for which he is internationally known. Many of these paintings were created on the island of Ischia - his place of refuge during the Second World War.
Additional information
Opening hours of the exhibition: Tue to Sat from 12 to 18, and by appointment. 
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