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

Portrait of the artist
Käthe Kollwitz

Exhibition / -

12 September 2019 – 12 January 2020

See full opening hours

Room 90

Free

Organised in partnership with the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham

This show celebrates 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 explores 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), show 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), shown here in London for the first time.

This exhibition of Kollwitz's prints is part of a partnership tour with the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham. Discover more about the touring exhibition here.