The Classical : Modern I exhibition, 2006, largely presented concrete and constructive tendencies in the Mercedes-Benz Art Collection from Classical Modernism up to the post-war art period, while the second part of the series intends to introduce the complementary areas of the collection.
The exhibition shows post-war tendencies in art originating mainly from south Germany. About forty artists in the collection belong to these. Art history files artists from Max Ackerman to Herbert Zangs under terms such as ‘Lyrical Abstraction’, ‘Informel’, ‘Tachism’, the ‘Stuttgart’ and the ‘Karlsruhe school’, ‘Zero’ and ‘Zen 49’.
Willi Baumeister is both the nucleus of this category and the significant connection with representatives of classical modernism surrounding Hölzel from the beginning of the last century. In the years from 1946-55, Baumeister was a professor at the Kunstakademie Stuttgart. In 1947, he published his groundbreaking paper on art theory, Das Unbekannte in der Kunst (‘The Unknown in Art’).
The exhibition closes with a look at the painters of the Karlsruhe School: the very significant teacher HAP Grieshaber and his students Horst Antes, Walter Stöhrer and Dieter Krieg, supplemented by other artistic positions which are closely connected with Stuttgart (Rudolf Schoofs and his student Herbert Egl) or with Karlsruhe (Arthur Stoll, as a student of Antes).