Wildfire ExpressionismWoodcuts from the Joseph Hierling Collection

20 March – 6 June 2022

In the spring of 2022, Museum Schloss Moyland will celebrate a world premiere: Two of the world’s three largest collections of German Expressionist woodcuts will be united – partially and temporarily – in Moyland. These three largest are the Museum Schloss Moyland collection, the Rifkind Collection in Los Angeles, and the Joseph Hierling Collection, from which a selection of 135 prints, partly coloured, will now be on display. Altogether, this collection comprises more than 1,000 works by 130 artists, well-known names and those yet to be discovered, including numerous women, such as Jacoba van Heemskerk and Maria Uhden, as well as Wassily Kandinsky, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Wilhelm Morgner, and Adolf de Haer.

The woodcut was largely responsible for the widespread dissemination and popularity of Expressionism after the First World War and in the culture of the 1920s. It shaped the image of Expressionism and became its medium of artistic expression par excellence: Its outstanding features include sharply cut black-and-white images, with jaggedness, a tendency towards deformation, and a penchant for the immediate and the primitive in its use of artistic means.

The works reveal a great stylistic and thematic variety: portrait, nude, humans and nature, city life, village, industry, vaudeville, social criticism, paths to abstraction. Different stylistic approaches encourage comparative viewing and questions as to what actually constitutes the Expressionist woodcut.