By bringing this exhibition of work by Constantin Meunier (1831–1905) to the nGbK in cooperation with the Bochum Mining Museum and art historians from Berlin’s Technical and Free Universities, the working group sought to foster debate about realism on fine art. The catalogue focuses in particular on Meunier’s late work, the portrayals of workers the artist met in the Belgian mining region of Borinage. The plates are mainly charcoal and chalk drawings and oil paintings of miners, industrial landscapes, slag heaps, smelting works, and pithead frames. The central issue in Meunier’s oeuvre is the heroization of the worker, its sociopolitical relevance, and the artist’s partisanship and corruptibility. What happens when workers are given status attributes usually reserved for the ruling class? The catalogue deals critically with various interpretations and attempts to situate the artist in political terms.
Work group: AG Ausstellungsübernahmen