Paula Modersohn-Becker (1876–1907)

selected paintings

Paula Modersohn-Becker counts among the most important artists at the beginning of the 20th century, setting decisive impulses in the development of modern painting. The act of drawing is crucial in the development of her unique, modern pictorial expression. Before turning to painting, Modersohn-Becker produces life-size drawings of figures and nudes around 1898 that anticipate her later pictorial themes.
Paula Modersohn-Becker is born in Dresden in 1876. She attends a course at the school of drawing and painting of the »Verein der Berliner Künstlerinnen und Kunstfreundinnen« in Berlin (1896–98). In 1898 she moves to Worpswede. Four stays in Paris – 1900, 1903, 1905, 1906/07 – are of vital importance to her artistic evolution. Taking Cézanne, van Gogh and Gauguin as an example she develops a specific pictorial expression based on the radical simplification of form, noting in her diary in 1906: »Great style in form also demands a great style in colour.«

On the occasion of the publication of her catalogue raisonné of drawings and sketchbooks by Hirmer Verlag, we present a special range of her works on paper and a selection of paintings, thus illustrating how Modersohn-Becker successively works out her pictorial themes using the drawing pencil.

The catalogue raisonné of Paula Modersohn-Becker's drawings, edited on behalf of the Paula-Modersohn-Becker Foundation by Anne Röver-Kann and Wolfgang Werner, will be introduced on Saturday, September 9, at 12 noon.

Exhibition in Berlin: September 9 – October 28, 2023