Franz Marc: Colourful Greetings to Paul Klee

Illustrated correspondence between Franz Marc and Paul Klee

12 March – 29 May 2023

In 2022 the Franz Marc Museum acquired twelve illustrated postcards by Franz Marc to Paul Klee that are now to be exhibited for the first time.

The exchange in words and pictures, in which the partners of the two artists – Maria Marc and Lily Klee – also participated, provides an intimate view of the relationship between Marc and Klee during this most intense and lively phase of their friendship in 1913.

Besides those sent to Else Lasker-Schüler, Franz Marc’s illustrated postcards to Paul Klee are the most beautiful and artistically multifaceted collection of cards that he embellished with watercolours and collages. As with the poet, a postcard correspondence also evolved between Franz Marc and Paul and Lily Klee with exquisite pictures supplementing the cards’ mundane, everyday messages in a tongue-in-cheek way, associating them with lesser and more important events in the two painters’ artistic lives.

Franz Marc and Paul Klee’s illustrated cards reveal the difference between their artistic personalities. The deliberately unsophisticated drawings on Klee’s cards, reduced to the essential, contrast with the harmony and perfection in Marc’s miniature ‘paintings’. This dichotomy will be highlighted in the exhibition with paintings and works on paper by both artists.

The exhibition also places the cards within the wider context of the fashion for postcards that evolved at the time. The small works of art by Klee and Marc are juxtaposed with the flood of industrially produced picture postcards that were very popular at the beginning of the twentieth century as a means to exchange short messages and sent in large numbers.

fig.: Franz Marc, Red and Blue Horse (postcard from Maria Marc to Lily Klee, 18 April 1913),Franz Marc Museum ©

August and Elisabeth Macke. The Painter and the Manageress

11 June – 17 September 2023

The exhibition August and Elisabeth Macke. The Painter and the Manageress, conceived by the Landesmuseum Münster, sheds light on the relationship between the painter and his wife. Elisabeth Macke’s importance in August Macke’s life – and after his death – goes far beyond the traditional role of an artist’s wife. Elisabeth was not only her husband’s preferred model, inspirational muse, congenial conversation partner and socially competent companion. She was the centre of his life. She established a sound framework for his art, both family-wise and materially, and through her ability to understand and support him as an artist.

Together with August Macke she kept in contact with the circle of people who were important to him, with artist friends and colleagues, with gallery owners and publishers, with writers and patrons.

This is shown in the exhibition through archival documents, letters, notes and photographs from the rich holdings of the Westfälisches Landesmuseum. In addition, through important paintings and works on paper, it provides an overview of August Macke’s artistic development and, as such, defines chapters drawing on the couple’s common interests and exchanges.

fig.: August Macke, The Artist’s Wife with Hat, 1909, Münster, LWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur, Westfälisches Landesmuseum, © LWL – MkuK – ARTOTHEK

Norbert Kricke. Drawing and Sculpture

1 October 2023 – March 2024

“I want to capture movement. I seek to give form to the entity of space and time.” (Norbert Kricke, 1954)

The work of the German sculptor Norbert Kricke is closely linked to the collection at the Franz Marc Museum, to whose creation the gallery owners Etta and Otto Stangl made a decisive contribution. Norbert Kricke belonged to the generation of German post-war artists – representatives of abstract art who were given a forum at the Galerie Stangl in Munich where they founded the group ZEN 49 in 1949. Norbert Kricke came into contact with artists in this circle in 1952 and was acquainted with Hans Hartung, Pierre Soulages, Fritz Winter, K.R.H. Sonderborg, Emil Schumacher, Ernst Wilhelm Nay, Willi Baumeister and Rupprecht Geiger, among others.

Accompanied by an exhibition of sculptures and drawings by the artist, the Raumplastik (spatial sculpture) Große F.II, 1980 (956 x 493 x 356 cm) by Norbert Kricke (1922–84) is to be installed in the park at the Franz Marc Museum in autumn 2023.

The steel sculpture, more than nine metres high, marks an imaginary space on the ground and in the air through the expansive lines it traces that change direction at right angles. It makes space palpable and, as the eye follows the sculptural lines, allows time to pass and be perceived.

The exhibition shows Kricke’s sculptures in dialogue with works of post-war abstraction, as well as selected works by Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee. In this way the continuity and innovation in Norbert Kricke’s work is made visible within the context of the collection at the Franz Marc Museum.

fig.: Norbert Kricke, Raumplastik Blau-Weiß-Rot-Gelb (Spatial Sculpture Blue White Red Yellow), 1954 © The Norbert Kricke Estate