„C’est toute ma vie, “ (This is my whole life) thus Charlotte Salomon describes a collection of around 1300 gouaches, which she painted in an outburst of intense creativity between 1940 and 1942 in the south of France. This brightly coloured, pictorial autobiography takes us back to 1920s Berlin, where Charlotte grew up in a well-off Jewish middle-class family actively involved in the arts. We meet her step-mother, a celebrated singer, her father, a professor of medicine, her schoolmates and her fellow students at the Academy of Art; we even follow her and her grandparents on a cultural tour of Italy. The love of her life, her hopes and fears – Charlotte Salomon introduces us to her world with a lightness of touch reminiscent of Chagall. Switching between public and private, her autobiography also presents an unflinching account of the events of her time. Persecution damages her life beyond repair, but Charlotte’s main interest lies in the analysis of the destructive patterns of her seemingly intact family. This story in pictures holds us spellbound; we love and suffer with the protagonist. While her style is certainly influenced by the various expressionistic movements of her time, Charlotte Salomon’s „play with music“, with its creative combination of pictures and text, is a unique and very powerful work of art. Following shows in the United States and France, we are now introducing Salomon’s work to German audiences in a nationwide tour starting at the Städel in June.
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