Battle of the Sexes

Franz von Stuck to Frida Kahlo

24 November 2016 to 19 March 2017

The exhibition “Battle of the Sexes: Franz von Stuck to Frida Kahlo” shed light on the artistic investigation of gender roles from the mid-nineteenth century to the end of World War II. The traditional definition of male and female as active/passive, rational/emotional, culture/nature was heavily debated in modern art: many artists presented their viewers with overstated gender characteristics and cemented stereotypical role models in their works. Others challenged established clichés and endeavoured to subvert them with strategies such as irony, exaggeration, masquerade and blending. Featuring a selection of some 150 works of painting, sculpture, graphic art, photography and film, the large-scale exhibition project aimed to single out the especially concise artistic positions and open up a dialogue between them.

The show drew from the Städel Museum holdings which – with paintings by Max Liebermann, Edvard Munch and Franz von Stuck, sculptures by Auguste Rodin and photographs by Frank Eugene, Man Ray and others – include important works on the subject. With the additional aid of important loans, the presentation placed works by well-known names in art history – for example Gustave Moreau, Édouard Manet, Gustav Klimt, Otto Dix, Meret Oppenheim or Frida Kahlo – side by side with discoveries that expand the canon with the strong outlooks of such artists as Leonor Fini, Jeanne Mammen, Rudolf Jettmar or Gustav Adolf Mossa. Against the background of the intense discussion on the topic and the constantly evolving roles of woman and man, the project offered insights into the complexity of gender issues and shed light on the art historical dimension of a highly relevant socio-politic subject.

CURATORS: Felicity Korn (Assistant Curator of Modern Art, Städel Museum), Dr. Felix Krämer (Head of Modern Art, Städel Museum)
SPONSORED BY: Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain
WITH ADDITIONAL SUPPORT FROM: Georg und Franziska Speyer’schen Hochschulstiftung
MEDIA PARTNERS: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Verkehrsgesellschaft Frankfurt am Main, Cicero – Magazin für politische Kultur

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