Documenta

Documenta 2

11 Jul - 11 Oct 1959

documenta II
11 July - 11 October 1959
Kassel

Based on the success of the first show, the second documenta in 1959 was already made an institution: it was now organized by a limited liability company and the conceptual realization spread among a larger number of art historians. These experts now focused on the post-War period, programmatically subtitling the exhibition "Art after 1945". 1945 was conceived not only as a political caesura. On the basis of a selection of pre-War artworks, intended to serve as the yardstick for contemporary art, Werner Haftmann endeavored to underscore his thesis of "abstraction as world language" such as he had first put forward in his book "20th Century Painting", published in 1954.

The intention was to prove the continuity of the intrinsic trend from "art that depicts the visible to art that renders the invisible visible" and at the same time to present abstraction as the valid diction of post-War art.

At the same time, in his exhibition design Arnold Bode homed in on this idea, placing individual pictures along the central axis of the Museum. Ernst Wilhelm Nay's "Freiburger Bild“ of 1956 dominated the main hall of the Fridericianum, illustrating another innovation in post-War art: the formats of painting had exploded and, following in the Americans' wake, had become wall-filling manifestations of a new, international notion of painting.

American art was likewise showcased in a broad, representative sweep – thanks to the assistance of the New York Museum of Modern Art, which had sent a package of 97 works – mainly Abstract Expressionism and variants thereof – to Kassel. This act of transatlantic support not only attested to the international nature of the documenta, but also underlined the increasing dominance of American art in the post-War period. The core of the avant-garde movement had shifted from Europe to the United States. One particular artwork – Robert Rauschenberg's controversial painting "Bed" dating from 1955 – did not go on public show and remained in its crate: Rauschenberg was one of the youngest generation of US artists who had severed their links with Abstract Expressionism and thus did not support Haftmann's proposal that said movement was valid worldwide.

A new aspect of the d2 concept was that it featured not only paintings, but also sculpture and prints. For the first time, the grounds of the Orangerie in the Karlsaue meadows were included in the sculpture display. Bode staged the sculptures in front of the backdrop of the Orangerie's set-piece architecture, surrounding it with an open structure consisting of whitewashed brick walls, thus ensuring the sculptures an intimacy and scale, without losing sight of the spectacular visual effect of the ruins of the Orangerie. The formal idiom of the sculptures – based on the impossibility of asserting that, after the horrors of World War II, it was still possible to present images of an intact human – were thus placed in an exciting dialogue with the architecture, damaged so severely during the War.


Artistic Director:
Arnold Bode

Artists:
René Acht
Henri-Georges Adam
Hans Aeschbacher
Afro (Afro Basaldella)
Gerhard Altenbourg
Karel Appel
Mordecai Ardon
Kenneth Armitage
Hans Arp
Francis Bacon
Vojin Bakić
Eduard Bargheer
Heinz Battke
Eugen Batz
Willi Baumeister
Jean Bazaine
William Baziotes
André Beaudin
Gustav Kurt Beck
Max Beckmann
Hans Bellmer
Anna-Eva Bergman
Hubert Berke
Gaston Bertrand
Max Bill
Renato Birolli
Julius Bissier
Roger Bissière
André Bloc
Norman Bluhm
Umberto Boccioni
Walter Bodmer
Anne Bonnet
Constantin Brâncuşi
Georges Braque
Theo Braun
Victor Brauner
James Brooks
Peter Brüning
Carl Buchheister
Alberto Burri
Jan Burssens
Reg Butler
Alexander Calder
Alexander Camaro
Massimo Campigli
Giuseppe Capogrossi
Carmelo Cappello
Bruno Cassinari
Sergio de Castro
César (César Baldaccini)
Lynn Chadwick
Marc Chagall
Bernard Childs
Eduardo Chillida
Giorgio de Chirico
Emil Cimiotti
Antoni Clavé
Henry Cliffe
Otto Coester
Pietro Consagra
Constant (Constant Nieuwenhuys)
Corneille (Corneille van Beverloo)
Antonio Corpora
Pierre Courtin
Harold B. Cousins
Modest Cuixart
Karl Fred Dahmen
Alan Davie
Jean Degottex
J. C. Delahaye
Robert Delaunay
Paul Delvaux
André Derain
Jean Deyrolle
Eugène Dodeigne
Piero Dorazio
Gianni Dova
Jean Dubuffet
Bernard Dufour
Theo Eble
Max Ernst
Maurice Estève
Merlyn Oliver Evans
Joseph Fassbender
Jean Fautrier
Pericle Fazzini
Franz Fedier
Luis Feito
Herbert Ferber
Lucio Fontana
Nino Franchina
Sam Francis
Helen Frankenthaler
Othon Friesz
Naum Gabo
Winfried Gaul
Rupprecht Geiger
Claude Georges
Jacques Germain
Alberto Giacometti
Émile Gilioli
Werner Gilles
Roger-Edgar Gillet
Michael Goldberg
Bruno Goller
Julio González
Arshile Gorky
Adolph Gottlieb
Karl Otto Götz
Otto Greis
HAP Grieshaber
Juan Gris
Marcel Gromaire
Philip Guston
Terry Haass
Roel D'Haese
Étienne Hajdú
Otto Herbert Hajek
Simon Hantaï
Fritz Harnest
Grace Hartigan
Hans Hartung
Karl Hartung
Rudolf Hausner
Stanley William Hayter
Bernhard Heiliger
Werner Heldt
Barbara Hepworth
Auguste Herbin
Peter Herkenrath
Ernst Hermanns
Anton Heyboer
Roger Hilton
Gerhard Hoehme
Rudolf Hoflehner
Hans Hofmann
Yûichi Inoue
Rolf Iseli
Robert Jacobsen
Franz M. Jansen
Guido Jendritzko
Asger Jorn
Wassily Kandinsky
Tadeusz Kantor
Zoltán Kemény
Eugène-Nestor de Kermadec
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Heinrich Kirchner
Paul Klee
Franz Kline
Fritz Koenig
Max Kohler
Oskar Kokoschka
Willem de Kooning
Norbert Kricke
Rudolf Kügler
Wifredo Lam
Octave Landuyt
André Lanskoy
Peter Lanyon
Berto Lardera
Ibram Lassaw
Ger Lataster
Henri Laurens
Jan Lebenstein
Le Corbusier
Fernand Léger
Heinz Leinfellner
Jean Le Moal
Osvaldo Licini
Walter Linck
Jacques Lipchitz
Morice Lipsi
Seymour Lipton
Lucebert (L. G. Swansweijk)
Jean Lurçat
Alberto Magnelli
René Magritte
Kasimir Malewitsch
Alfred Manessier
Giacomo Manzù
Franz Marc
Conrad Marca-Relli
Gerhard Marcks
Adam Marczyński
André Marfaing
Marino Marini
Albert Marquet
André Masson
Umberto Mastroianni
Ewald Mataré
Georges Mathieu
Henri Matisse
Roberto Matta
Bernard Meadows
Brigitte Matschinsky-Denninghoff
Georg Meistermann
Marc Mendelson
Ludwig Merwart
Hans Mettel
Henri Michaux
Leone Minassian
Luciano Minguzzi
Mirko (Mirko Basaldella)
Joan Miró
Joan Mitchell
Piet Mondrian
Henry Moore
Giorgio Morandi
Mattia Moreni
Ennio Morlotti
Richard Mortensen
Robert Motherwell
Max von Mühlenen
Robert Müller
Willi Müller-Hufschmid
Edo Murtić
Zoran Mušič
Ernst Wilhelm Nay
Eva Renée Nele
Endre Nemes
Rolf Nesch
Barnett Newman
Ben Nicholson
Isamu Noguchi
Sidney Nolan
Emil Nolde
Richard Oelze
Christian d'Orgeix
Fayga Ostrower
Eduardo Paolozzi
Victor Pasmore
Alicia Penalba
Achille Perilli
Antoine Pevsner
Jean Piaubert
Pablo Picasso
Édouard Pignon
Arthur Luiz Piza
Hans Platschek
Serge Poliakoff
Jackson Pollock
Arnaldo Pomodoro
Giò Pomodoro
Peter Potworowski
Richard Pousette-Dart
Mario Prassinos
Robert Rauschenberg
Paul Rebeyrolle
Germaine Richier
Fritz Riedl
Jean-Paul Riopelle
Günter Ferdinand Ris
Otto Ritschl
Kurt Roesch
Gerburg Rohde
Hans Rompel
Theodore Roszak
Mark Rothko
Georges Rouault
Rolf Sackenheim
Giuseppe Santomaso
Antonio Saura
Emilio Scanavino
Karl Schaper
Edwin Scharff
Oskar Schlemmer
Gérard Ernest Schneider
Nicolas Schöffer
Bernard Schultze
Emil Schumacher
Kurt Schwitters
Toti Scialoja
William Scott
André Dunoyer Segonzac
Gustav Seitz
Jaroslaw Serpan
Michel Seuphor
Ben Shahn
Josef Sima
Gustave Singier
Mario Sironi
David Smith
K.R.H. Sonderborg
Pierre Soulages
Luigi Spazzapan
Ferdinand Springer
Toni Stadler
Nicolas de Staël
François Stahly
Theodoros Stamos
Clyfford Still
Gabrijel Stupica
Kumi Sugai
Graham Sutherland
Arpad Szenès
Shinkichi Tajiri
Pierre Tal-Coat
Rufino Tamayo
Yves Tanguy
Dorothea Tanning
Antoni Tàpies
Yūkei Tejima
Fred Thieler
Mark Tobey
Bradley Walker Tomlin
Hann Trier
Heinz Trökes
Drago Tršar
Giulio Turcato
Ann Twardowicz
Jack Tworkov
Raoul Ubac
Hans Uhlmann
Louis Van Lint
Victor Vasarely
Emilio Vedova
Geer van Velde
Alberto Viani
Maria Elena Vieira da Silva
Jacques Villon
Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart
Gerhard Wendland
Hans Werdehausen
Theodor Werner
Gerhard Wind
Fritz Winter
Karl Anton Wolf
Wols
Fritz Wotruba
Woty
Bryan Wynter
Taihô Yamazaki
Ossip Zadkine
Mac Zimmermann
Unica Zürn


 

Tags: Gerhard Altenbourg, Karel Appel, Hans Arp, Francis Bacon, Afro Basaldella, Willi Baumeister, Max Beckmann, Hans Bellmer, Max Bill, Julius Bissier, Umberto Boccioni, Arnold Bode, Constantin Brancusi, Georges Braque, Victor Brauner, Peter Brüning, Alberto Burri, Alexander Calder, César, Lynn Chadwick, Marc Chagall, Eduardo Chillida, Giorgio de Chirico, Le Corbusier, Corneille, Karl Fred Dahmen, Robert Delaunay, Paul Delvaux, André Dérain, Piero Dorazio, Jean Dubuffet, Max Ernst, Jean Fautrier, Lucio Fontana, Sam Francis, Helen Frankenthaler, Naum Gabo, Rupprecht Geiger, Alberto Giacometti, Julio González, Arshile Gorky, Adolph Gottlieb, K.O. Götz, HAP Grieshaber, Juan Gris, Philip Guston, Otto Herbert Hajek, Simon Hantaï, Hans Hartung, Bernhard Heiliger, Barbara Hepworth, Auguste Herbin, Gerhard Hoehme, Hans Hofmann, Asger Jorn, Wassily Kandinsky, Tadeusz Kantor, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Paul Klee, Franz Kline, Oskar Kokoschka, Willem de Kooning, Norbert Kricke, Wifredo Lam, Henri Laurens, Fernand Léger, Jacques Lipchitz, René Magritte, Franz Marc, Gerhard Marcks, Marino Marini, Albert Marquet, André Masson, Ewald Mataré, Georges Mathieu, Henri Matisse, Roberto Matta, Georg Meistermann, Henri Michaux, Joan Miró, Joan Mitchell, Piet Mondrian, Henry Moore, TV Moore, Giorgio Morandi, Robert Motherwell, Zoran Music, Ernst Wilhelm Nay, Rolf Nesch, Barnett Newman, Ben Nicholson, Isamu Noguchi, Sidney Nolan, Emil Nolde, Eduardo Paolozzi, Antoine Pevsner, Pablo Picasso, Arthur Luiz Piza, Serge Poliakoff, Jackson Pollock, Richard Pousette-Dart, Robert Rauschenberg, Paul Rebeyrolle, Germaine Richier, Jean-Paul Riopelle, Otto Ritschl, Mark Rothko, Georges Rouault, Antonio Saura, Oskar Schlemmer, Nicolas Schöffer, Bernard Schultze, Emil Schumacher, Kurt Schwitters, David Smith, K.R.H. Sonderborg, Tàpies, Antoni Tàpies, Fred Thieler, Victor Vasarely, Emilio Vedova, Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart, Fritz Winter, Wols