Forthcoming exhibitions

Vita Duplex

24 March – 5 August 2018


Sean Scully was born in Dublin in 1945 and grew up in London. One of the leading contemporary artists, he contends that art results from the conflict between body and soul, impulse and reflection, structure and emotion, superficiality and depth.


Vita Duplex, the exhibition staged at Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, shows some one hundred works by the artist and offers a comprehensive overview of his oeuvre and his mental universe. Scully’s passionate abstract paintings perfectly reflect his poetical and philosophical approach to such subjects as metaphysics, melancholia, passion, human nature, the sorrow caused by loss, or our ability to perceive tensions, resist and overcome them and finally reconcile after conflicts.


Paintings created between the 1960s/70s and today illustrate the way Scully has reinterpreted abstract art: according to him, it is a medium and not merely a formal confrontation of the artist with colours, forms, surfaces, structures, light, rhythm and the human body — and certainly not a reflection on the history of abstract art itself. Scully’s clearly structured repertoire renders the landscapes he discovered, his frames of mind, his experiences and his day-to-day life, as well as the books he read and what he experienced with his body. 


In 2019, the exhibition will move to the LWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur in Münster.




Sean Scully: Arles - Nacht - Vincent (Detail), 2015
© Sean Scully, Courtesy of the artist

To see, to think, to dream

French drawings from the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe

September 29, 2018 through January 13, 2019



To see, to think, to dream – this is what you are inspired to do visiting the exhibition that presents for the first time some 160 drawings by French artists selected from the Kunsthalle’s Kupferstichkabinett. With works by such masters as Claude Lorrain (c. 1600–1682), Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732–1806) and Edgar Degas (1834–1917), the exhibition offers an excellent and multifaceted overview of French art from the 17th to the early 20th century. It boasts drawings made not only by famous painters, but also by architects, sculptors and illustrators.



While the chalk portrait of Henry III, King of France, created by Jean Decourt stands out for its meticulous execution, the drawings by 17th-century artists such as Charles Le Brun and Claude Lorrain are sketches for historical paintings. Works by Antoine Watteau, François Boucher and Jean-Honoré Fragonard reflect the revival of drawing in the rococo period, and are expressive examples of a virtuoso and experimental approach to this art form. The free composition of works by Théodore Géricault and Eugène Delacroix illustrates how these artists were “thinking on paper”, while drawings by Camille Corot, Théodore Rousseau and Jean-François Millet demonstrate the taste for landscape art in the 19th century.


And finally, the subjectivity in the highly original works by Edgar Degas and Paul Cézanne announces the symbolism of Odilon Redon and Paul Gauguin which brings dreams and the unconscious to the fore.

Hans Baldung Grien

Great exhibition under the patronage of the State of Baden-Württenberg

30 November 2019 – 8 March 2020


Hans Baldung Grien (1484/85 – 1545) is one of the most original artists of the 16th century: he not only gave very personal interpretations of traditional themes, but also broke fresh ground, going down in art history for his imposing retables and intimate devotional images, sensual nudes and erotic allegories, as well as portraits, pictures of witches and representations of humanistic beliefs. A contemporary of profound social changes, Baldung rendered the world around him in highly personal, fascinating works — richly coloured paintings, virtuoso designs and powerful wood engravings — many of which stand out for their eccentricity.


The great exhibition held at Kunsthalle Karlsruhe under the patronage of the State of Baden-Württemberg pays homage to this major artist of the Renaissance. The first Baldung retrospective in sixty years (the last one having also been held at the Kunsthalle in 1959), this exhibition will take the latest scientific discoveries into account and open new perspectives on the artist, offering a comprehensive overview with works from the museum's collection being supplemented by a number of works on loan from various international institutions.

Hans Baldung Grien: Adam and Eva, 1531
© Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza Madrid