The first UK show of this powerful artist’s work for about 25 years, this exhibition of Käthe Kollwitz reminds us why she was so respected during her lifetime and of her importance today. As my studio-mate raved about the prints I pushed this up to the top of my list of things to see.
A trained artist married to a doctor working in a poor district, she witnessed much deprivation and suffering which she communicated through her work. Her mastery of printmaking is remarkable, using whichever particular technique: etching, lithography or woodcut to achieve the result required.
This print, Woman With Dead Child (1903), used herself and her son, Peter, as the models. I find this heartbreaking because of its prescience: he died early in the First World War.
The subtlety and variation of mark-making in Unemployment (1909) below is remarkable
Here are a couple of prints from her Peasant’s War series: Charge,
and The Prisoners.
I’m going over my time limit again but had to include this exquisite crayon & brush lithograph from 1903, Female Nude from Behind on a Green Cloth.