Fruit in the Arts
July 17 to September 25, 2016
In form, surface feel, colour and smell, fruit are extremely attractive and speak to all our senses. Thus it seems hardly surprising that the Bible portrays paradise as a flowering garden with innumerable fruit trees. To this day, the apple eaten by Adam and Eve has remained a symbol both for sin and knowledge. The rich variety of fruit in nature is matched by its portrayal in the arts. Since time immemorial, artists have portrayed fruit as symbols of life and vitality, but also for transience and decay. The Museum Sinclair-Haus exhibits the collection of Prof. Dr. Rainer Wild, unique in its kind worldwide, which focuses on the motif of fruit in 20th- and 21st-century art.
“Do you know the land where the lemon-trees grow,
In darkened leaves the gold-oranges glow,
A soft wind blows from the pure blue sky,
The myrtle stands mute, and the bay-tree high?
Do you know it well?
It’s there I’d be gone,
To be there with you, oh, my beloved one!”
Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre
Prof. Dr. Rainer Wild, a scientist, entrepreneur and initiator of a foundation, first became interested in the substances contained in fruit and their pharmacological properties while still a student, and dedicated his diploma and doctoral theses to these subjects. This interest in fruit is also reflected in his impressive collection of art, which he has assembled with a stringent thematic focus over a period of more than 40 years.
The original holdings of the collection were expressionist works by Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Max Pechstein, Emil Nolde and Alexej von Jawlensky. These were soon complemented by artists such as Rainer Fetting, a member of the renowned artist group known as “Neue Wilde” during the 1980s. Over the years, sculptural works by contemporary artists – which allow the fruit to be experienced within space, due to their three-dimensional perspective – have become more prominent within the collection. On the whole, the broad range of artists in whose work fruit played and plays an important, or even the main role, makes the exhibition both surprising and compelling.
The exhibition draws upon the cornucopia of this constantly growing collection with its almost 300 paintings, watercolours, drawings, films and sculptures. The Museum Sinclair-Haus presents works by such artists as Joseph Beuys, Giorgio de Chirico, Lucian Freud, Juliane Gottwald, Jörg Immendorff, Alexej von Jawlensky, Paul Klee, Karin Kneffel, Alicja Kwade, Antje Majewski, Gabriele Münter, Emil Nolde, Pablo Picasso, Man Ray, Oskar Schlemmer, Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei.