Special Exhibition at the Käthe-Kollwitz-Museum Berlin
June 10 till September 9, 2018
2018 sees the 110th birthday and 25th death anniversary of the museum founder Hans Pels-Leusden. On this occasion, the Käthe-Kollwitz-Museum Berlin is dedicating an exhibition to its donator, which presents the gallerist and collector as an artist.
Born in 1908 in Lüdenscheid, Hans Pels-Leusden moved to Berlin in the early 1930s in order to become a visual artist. After successful beginnings with solo exhibitions, e.g. in the Gallery Nierendorf, and museum acquisitions in his Westphalian home, the young artist focused increasingly on writing art criticism during the Nazi era.
In 1940, he was drafted for military service and returned to Berlin in 1945. His studio and artistic work were destroyed by bombing. As of 1950, Pels-Leusden committed himself to antiquarian book trade which was soon expanded by an art trade. From the 1960s onward, his gallery at the Kurfürstendamm became an important cultural institution in the western part of Berlin.
Besides his gallery activities, Pels-Leusden constantly pursued his own artistic ambitions. From the 1970s onward, he regularly presented his works at exhibitions. At the time of his death in 1993, he left behind a vast artistic oeuvre which includes works on canvas and paper at the same time. Preceding exhibitions, which also took place in the gallery Pels-Leusden, presented current works of the artist in a mostly broad overview.
This year’s presentation attempts to trace the artistic desire of Hans Pels-Leusden and shows numerous works, which haven’t been exhibited yet. Apart from a few early works, which were saved, the exhibition presents a range of topics such as landscape, urban landscape and abstract structures, with which the artist dealt again and again. The selection focusses on Pels-Leusden’s studies on objectivity and abstraction.
Approximately 40 paintings and drawings are on display and, moreover, photos and documents about the life of the artist and gallerist.
In addition to the exhibition, a monograph about Hans Pels-Leusden will be published and presented on the occasion of the exhibition’s finissage on September 7, 2018 at 5 p.m.