lithograph self portrait of the artist of the artist looking sideways out at the viewer

Past exhibition

12 September 2019 – 12 January 2020

Organised in partnership with the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham

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This show celebrated the humanity and enduring impact of one of the most influential 20th-century printmakers, Käthe Kollwitz (1867–1945).

Notable for the emotional power of her drawing, printmaking and sculpture, the display explored the printed works of the socially minded German artist through self-portraits and images of the poor and dispossessed.

Kollwitz lived an intensely examined life, which is expressed in her numerous self-portraits, diaries and correspondence. At the core was her work as an artist and a mastery of graphic art. This quickly established her reputation in Germany, and then further afield, as her influence spread internationally after the First World War.

Further information

Establishing herself in an art world dominated by men, Kollwitz developed a vision centred on women and the working class. Her two great series concerned with social injustice, Ein Weberaufstand (A Weavers' Revolt) and Bauernkrie (Peasants' War), showed an ever-present awareness of death, especially a mother's grief, and finally the theme of war and remembrance powerfully depicted in her magnificent woodcut series Krieg (War), were shown here in London for the first time.

This exhibition of Kollwitz's prints was part of a partnership tour with the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham.