October 08, 2006

Greetings from Germany

Hello from the Cathedral City of Cologne where we arrived late Sunday afternoon. Little did we know it was Marathon Sunday here, and the streets were littered with race debris while the beer halls were full of runners celebrating their times and numbing their aches and pains! It was warm enough to sit outside and partake in the festivities and the walk back to the hotel under the full moon was very lovely indeed. The historic "Dom" is magnificent - it dominates the skyline and is a beacon to all who visit this beautiful city.

It has been an action-packed few days! It seems like eaons since we left New York, but it was only last Thursday evening that we flew to Zurich and then on to Frankfurt. After a classic German sausage and beer dinner on the Römer Platz, we departed Saturday afternoon and rode up to Hannover on the train . The point of the visit was not just nostalgia - we were there to attend the opening of an exhibition at the Sprengel Museum celebrating the work of Kurt Schwitters, the famous Dadaist and native son of Hannover, and his influence on his artist friends.

Kurt Schwitters (1887-1948) did not work in isolation. This exhibition is a testament to his collaborative abilities. Not only did he influence other artists, but he drew from his friends' creative ideas and integrated them into his own distinctive style. This exhibition presents for the first time a side-by-side comparison of some of Schwitter's masterpieces and the works of those artist he admired. Strongly represented here are Hans and Sophie Taeuber Arp, Hannah Höch, Paul Klee, El Lissitzky, László Moholy-Nagy, Theo van Doesburg and many others. The curators have followed his career from Dada Zurich, Berlin and Holland, to his Constructivist period, Bauhaus, Typography, Abstraction, "Cercle-Carré" (literally "Circle-Square") and finally his exile in England during the War. It is a superb exhibition and congratulations to the organizers Dr. Isabel Schultz and Dr. Karin Orchard.

Today we are continuing our Dada theme, with a visit to the Hans Arp Foundation in nearby Rolandseck. So, stay tuned, more reports are on the way!

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