–  Clemens Sels Museum Neuss


Helmut Hahn in dialogue with Max Ernst, Elisabeth Kadow and Otto Steinert

Leitmotiv der Ausstellung bestehend aus einer schwarz-weiß Fotografie einer kargen Landschaft von Helmut Hahn (links) und Kupferstich einer roter Felsenlandschaft vor blauem Himmel mit großem Mond von Max Ernst (rechts)

Along the biography of Helmut Hahn (1928-2017), the exhibition presents a selection of his different work phases and artistic means of expression, including watercolours, decalcomanias, photographs, prints, paintings, object boxes, petit-point embroideries, wall hangings, and drawings. To demonstrate the individual stages of his career and the accompanying development of his style, Hahn’s works are compared with those of his teachers. This dialogue with exhibits by Otto Coester, Elisabeth and Gerhard Kadow, Otto Steinert, and Rolf Sackenheim, not only allows viewers to trace their influences on Hahn’s work, but also the artist’s conscious distancing from the working methods of his teachers. Hahn’s life and work were also inspired and significantly influenced by various model artists: His encounter with Max Ernst in 1957 and his friendship with the artist René Laubiès, which lasted for many years, deserve special mention. On the basis of important loans from public collections and the museum’s own inventory, the exhibition with over 100 exhibits illustrates the stringent stylistic development and autonomy of Helmut Hahn’s oeuvre. Juxtaposing his work with photographs by Otto Steinert, textile works by Elisabeth Kadow, or paintings and prints by Max Ernst reveals both interesting parallels and significant differences. Time and again, nature appears as a central leitmotif in the work of Helmut Hahn – an artist who is still a worthwhile discovery for many art connoisseurs today.

Helmut Hahn, Max Ernst playing petanque III

Huismes, September 1957, barite cardboard, high gloss vintage

© Max Ernst Museum Brühl des LVR

Helmut Hahn, Mykonos

1958, silver bromide gelatine, vintage print

Museum Folkwang, Essen

© Fotografischer Nachlass Helmut Hahn

Max Ernst, Vue de ma fenêtre

1960, copperplate engraving, coloured aquatint

Clemens Sels Museum Neuss

© VG Bild-Kunst Bonn, 2021

Elisabeth Kadow, Petit-Point (Red-Blue)

1948, fabric and embroidery on linen

Museum Abteiberg Mönchengladbach

Helmut Hahn, Untitled

1958, egg tempera

Kreismuseum Zons, Dormagen

Otto Steinert, Renvoyés dos à dos

1948/49, silver gelatine print

© Fotografische Sammlung Museum Folkwang, Essen

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