Ludwig Meidner: Ecstatic Expressionism

Ahmanson Building, Level 2
December 4, 2011–April 15, 2012

German Expressionist Ludwig Meidner was a gifted and prolific portraitist whose prints and drawings portrayed the world of artists and writers in the cafés of Berlin. The poet Theodor Daubler once insisted that a Meidner portrait is never caricature but rather "an eruption of spiritual characteristics." After once repudiating religion, he returned to his Jewish faith with a fervor conveyed in his renderings of writhing prophets and sibyls who clench their fists and gesticulate in religious ecstasy. Fusing visionary aspirations with an interest in the subconscious, Meidner evoked what some have seen as a "psychological apocalypse." He was also well known for vivacious ink drawings that convey the surging energy and fleeting impressions of the urban streets, two of which are on view in the installation.

Image: Ludwig Meidner, Wannsee Train Station,1913, Robert Gore Rifkind Center for German Expressionist Studies, M.82.287.86.