• Cover of the exhibition catalogue for “Entartete Kunst” (Degenerate Art), 1937. Otto Freundlich, Großer Kopf (Large Head), 1912.

    “Otto Freundlich: Cosmic Communism”

    Museum Ludwig
    February 18–May 14, 2017

    Curated by Julia Friedrich

    A monumental archaic head thrusts forward on the cover of the brochure that accompanied the Nazis’ infamous 1937 “Degenerate Art” exhibition. The bust—which looks to the sky, chin firm as if determined to fight—is Großer Kopf (Large Head), 1912, by Otto Freundlich, who died in a concentration camp in 1943. It has been difficult, however, especially for those who do not speak German, to understand Freundlich’s active role in the early-twentieth-century avant-garde. Museum Ludwig aims to change that with a retrospective, accompanied by the artist’s first fully illustrated catalogue in English. “Cosmic Communism” will do justice to Freundlich’s involvement in movements including Expressionism, Cubism, Dada, Constructivism, and 1930s abstraction, exploring his work in diverse media—from massive figural bronzes and black-and-white prints to sumptuously luminous abstract painting, mosaic, and glass—and elucidating the relation between his art and utopian politics. Travels to the Kunstmuseum Basel, June 10–Sept. 10.