Romanticism and the Present
December 16, 2012 to February 24, 2013
“We are dreaming of journeys through outer space: is outer space not in us? We do not know the depths of our mind – Inwards is where the mysterious path leads. In us, or nowhere, is eternity with its worlds, the past and the present.” – Novalis
Monumental mountain summits, infinitely wide oceans, magical nights under a full moon – all of these belong to the Romantic period’s repertoire of imagery, deeply embedded in our visual memory. In response to the rationality of the age of Enlightenment, landscapes became mirrors of the soul. Fairy-tales, dreams, and journeys to unbeknown worlds unlocked new spheres of human experience. Romanticism meant the discovery of the sensual and the emotional, of beauty and the sublime.
The wish to find something transcendent in a fully illuminated world, something mysterious in a functional world, something giving a sense of purpose amongst the banalities of everyday life, was – to adapt Novalis – the romanticist mainspring. This romanticist spirit lives on even nowadays, not as a style but as an attitude – or is even being rediscovered once again today. The great French author and art critic, Charles Baudelaire realised as early as 1846: “Anyone talking about Romanticism is talking about modern art, i.e. the intimacy, the spirituality, the colour and the search for the infinite - expressed through all of the means available to art.”
The exhibition In Light of the Infinite introduces 13 international artists that relate their work to images of the Romantic period.
Hiroyuki Masuyama and Kris Martin cite and ironicise the towering picture worlds of the romanticist painter Caspar David Friederich. Elger Esser’s thinned out landscape photography, Darren Almond’s magical shots of the chalk cliffs on Rügen, José María Mellado’s puissant panoramas, and the impressing installation of an iceberg from Greenland by Mariele Neudecker, reflect the engagement with landscape as a projection surface for our memory. Videos by Marina Abramoviç and Bill Viola, as well as the photographs of American photographer Alec Sooth, make the human being disappear entirely in the vast space of nature. Photographers Susanna Majuri and Christoph Brech open up fragile fairy-tale worlds. Melanie Wiora reflects the permeable border between human and external world, and a large outdoor installation by Nils-Udo makes viewers direct their gaze upwards – to the infinity of romanticist longings.
An exhibition in the context of the project “Impulse Romanticism” by the Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain.
Tue–Fri 2–7 pm
Sat, Sun, public Holidays 1 pm–6 pm
Closed Mondays, 24 and 31 December
Please note the following before your visit:
6 €, reduced admission* 4 €
with Culture Pass 1 €
Free admission on Wednesdays
*Reduced admission available for students and those in vocational training up to the age of 27, unemployed persons and persons with severe disabilities.
Free admission for children and teenagers up to the age of 18,
holders of a Frankfurt Pass, Bad Homburg Pass, Museumsufercard or ICOMcard