Le grand geste! Informel and Abstract Expressionism, 1946–1964

Museum Kunstpalast
Ehrenhof 4-5
April 10–August 10, 2010

Curated by Kay Heymer

With the ascent of American action painting and its subsequent ideologically charged promotion through international exhibitions, large-scale gestural abstraction became the lingua franca of the postwar vanguard. Although European manifestations of this tendency—art autre, tachism, and art informel, e.g.— remain underexamined relative to their American counterpart, several recent shows have sought to redress this imbalance. With some 120 works by fifty artists, “Le grande geste!” extends the endeavor, emphasizing the years 1946 to 1964, when European artists were digging out of World War II, many by “speaking” the international language of gestural abstraction. Focusing on Paris, Düsseldorf, and New York, this exhibition sets the period’s French and German art on more equal footing with American AbEx, promising, in turn, to shed new light on each.