Patrick Legant is an independent art advisor in London for 19th and 20th Century art as well as specializing in German & Austrian Expressionism. This essay is based upon the show Max Beckmann in New York at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (October 19, 2016–February 20, 2017.) Subscribers to AMMpro may read the entire work. All subscriptions begin with a free month, so feel free to register to read and cancel as you see fit.
Today there appears to be yearning for turning inwards, fearing a loss of identity. There is a rise of nationalism and anger toward the outside world. Those voices are becoming louder and louder in the Western world. And it is in that light that a German artist, who died in New York in 1950 on his way to see an exhibition of contemporary art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, should remind us how powerful, inspiring and important it is to be a citizen of the world.
Max Beckmann (1884-1950), one of the most significant and influential artists of the last century, a German citizen who used to live and teach in Frankfurt and Berlin, spent time in his beloved Paris and eventually escaped Nazi Germany in 1937, the day before Hitler opened the infamous exhibition of so-called “degenerate art.”
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