Renowned Art
Max Beckmann Gallery     Prints.     Full biography.
Max Beckmann (1884-1950)
Max Beckmann was born in Leipzig and settled in Berlin in 1904. His first solo show came in 1912. Beckmann taught art in Frankfurt am Main from 1915, but was dismissed from his post by the Nazi Party in 1933. His art was condemned as Entartete Kunst (degenerate art) by the Nazis in 1937. Many of his works represent scenes from everyday life. They often show grotesque, mutilated bodies, and are seen as commenting on the wrong-doings of the German government in the 1920s and 1930s.
Tuxedo
Paris Society
Olive and Brown
Fallen Candles
Beginning
Blind Man's Buff
Prodigal Son

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Blind Man's Buff    
Date:    1945    
Medium:    Oil on canvas    
Dimensions:    81 1/4 x 173 in. (206.38 x 439.42 cm) 73 1/2 x 40 in. (186.69 x 101.6 cm) (panel, left) 81 1/2 x 41 1/8 in. (207.01 x 104.46 cm) (panel, center) 73 7/8 x 41 3/4 in. (187.64 x 106.05 cm) (panel, right)    

"Blindman's Buff" is the most important of the five triptychs created by Max Beckmann while exiled in Holland between 1937-1947 - an exile necessitated by the Nazi's inclusion of ten of his works in their exhibition of "degenerate art" in 1937. Like much of his art, "Blindman's Buff" is allusive and symbolic, inviting explication yet resisting explicit interpretation. Yet, the artist's use of the three-paneled format that was traditional to Medieval and Renaissance altarpieces evokes religious associations. Beckmann also drew upon classical sources, calling the figures at center "the gods" and the animal-headed man the "minotaur." Throughout the triptych, figures engage in sensual pleasures in a place where time, represented by a clock without XII or I, has no beginning or end. In sharp contrast on each wing are the blindfolded man and kneeling woman who, like prayerful donors in a Renaissance altarpiece, turn their backs to the confusion behind them.


The Minneapolis Institute of Arts
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