Gelmeroda

Artist:
Lyonel Charles Feininger (American, New York 1871–1956 New York)
Date:
1936
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
39 5/8 × 31 3/4 in. (100.6 × 80.6 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
George A. Hearn Fund, 1942
Accession Number:
42.158
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 900
This crystalline painting features one of Feininger’s favorite subjects—the Gothic church of Gelmeroda, located near Weimar, Germany. In his many images of the fourteenth-century structure, Feininger explored the building as a physical connector between the past and the present. Here, he adopts the angled fragmentation of form and space found in Cubism and Italian Futurism to give a sense of spiritual energy and transcendence. In 1937, one year after this work was completed, Nazi officials included Feininger’s art in the notorious Degenerate Art exhibition, prompting him to return permanently to the United States.
Inscription: Signed (lower right): Feininger
the artist, New York (1936–42; sold to MMA)

New York. Nierendorf Gallery. "Three Masters of the Bauhaus: Kandinsky, Klee, Feininger," December 18, 1937–March 1, 1938, no catalogue.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Artists for Victory: An Exhibition of Contemporary American Art," December 7, 1942–February 22, 1943, unnumbered cat. (p. 4; as "The Church"; awarded a Third Prize).

Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Lyonel Feininger," October 24, 1944–January 14, 1945, unnumbered cat. (p. 33; as "Gelmeroda XIII").

New York. Columbia University Journalism Department. January 24–July 31, 1949, no catalogue.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "20th Century Painters: A Special Exhibition of Oils, Water Colors and Drawings Selected from the Collections of American Art in the Metropolitan Museum," June 16–October 29, 1950, unnum. brochure (p. 6).

Los Angeles. Pan Pacific Auditorium. "National Construction Industries Home Show Exposition," June 14–24, 1951, no catalogue.

Seattle Art Museum. "Contemporary American Painting and Sculpture," February 4–April 5, 1953, unnum. brochure (as "The Church").

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "American Paintings, Drawings and Watercolors from the Museum's Collections," October 1–December 7, 1969, no catalogue.

Albany. New York State Senate. "Twelve Americans from the Metropolitan Museum of Art," May 5–June 20, 1980, unnumbered cat. (p. 11).

Canberra. Australian National Gallery. "20th Century Masters from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," March 1–April 27, 1986, unnumbered cat. (p. 58; as "Gelmeroda, no. 13").

Brisbane. Queensland Art Gallery. "20th Century Masters from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," May 7–July 1, 1986, unnumbered cat.

Staatliche Galerie Moritzburg Halle. "Lyonel Feininger. Gelmeroda: Ein Maler und sein Motiv," April 2–May 21, 1995, no. 13.

Von der Heydt-Museum Wuppertal. "Lyonel Feininger. Gelmeroda: Ein Maler und sein Motiv," June 4–July 16, 1995, no. 13.

Neue Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. "Lyonel Feininger von Gelmeroda nach Manhattan: Retrospektive der Gemälde," July 3–October 11, 1998, no. 105 (as "Gelmeroda XIII").

Haus der Kunst München. "Lyonel Feininger von Gelmeroda nach Manhattan: Retrospektive der Gemälde," November 1, 1998–January 24, 1999, no. 105.

Nagoya. Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art. "Lyonel Feininger Retrospective in Japan," October 17–December 23, 2008, no. 101 (as "Gelmeroda XIII").

Sendai. Miyagi Museum of Art. "Lyonel Feininger Retrospective in Japan," January 10–March 1, 2009, no. 101.

New York. Whitney Museum of American Art. "Lyonel Feininger: At the Edge of the World," June 30–October 16, 2011, unnumbered cat. (fig. 168; as "Gelmeroda XIII [Gelmeroda]").

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. "Lyonel Feininger: At the Edge of the World," January 20–May 13, 2012, unnumbered cat.

M[artha]. D[avidson]. "New Exhibitions of the Week. Directions in German Painting: Klee; Kandinsky; Feininger." Art News 36 (January 8, 1938), p. 14, discusses this painting on exhibit at the Nierendorf Gallery [Exh. New York 1937–38; see Ref. Barnett 2001].

"Works by 'Modernists'." New York Times (January 9, 1938), p. X10.

"Artists for Victory Score Victory in Metropolitan Exhibition." Art Digest 17 (December 15, 1942), pp. 6–7, ill.

Alfred M. Frankfurter. "The Artists for Victory Exhibition: The Paintings." Art News 41 (January 1–14, 1943), p. 12, ill. p. 8.

Alois Schardt in Lyonel Feininger/ Marsden Hartley. Ed. Dorothy C. Miller. Exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art, New York. New York, 1944, pp. 17, 47, ill. p. 33.

Henry Geldzahler. Twelve Americans from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., New York State Senate, Albany. New York, 1980, pp. 10–11, ill.

Terence Measham in 20th Century Masters from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Exh. cat., Australian National Gallery. Canberra, 1986, p. 58, ill. (color).

William S. Lieberman. 20th Century Art: Selections from the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Vol. 1, Painting: 1905–1945. New York, 1986, pp. 50–51, 63, ill. (color, overall and detail), calls it "Gelmeroda, Number 13".

Roland März in Lyonel Feininger von Gelmeroda nach Manhattan: Retrospektive der Gemälde. Ed. Roland März. Exh. cat., Neue Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. Berlin, 1998, p. 39.

Andreas Hüneke in Lyonel Feininger von Gelmeroda nach Manhattan: Retrospektive der Gemälde. Ed. Roland März. Exh. cat., Neue Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. Berlin, 1998, pp. 184–85, 366, no. 105, ill. (color).

Vivian Endicott Barnett in Mies in America. Ed. Phyllis Lambert. Exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art. New York, 2001, pp. 93, 219 n. 13.

Barbara Haskell in Barbara Haskell. Lyonel Feininger: At the Edge of the World. Exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art. New York, 2011, pp. 158, 196 n. 364, pp. 248, 254, fig. 168 (color).

Maurizio Scudiero in Lyonel Feininger (1871–1956). Ed. Manuel Fontán del Junco and Aida Capa. Exh. cat., Fundación Juan March. Madrid, 2017, p. 64, fig. 13 (color).