Der Blaue Reiter Centenary Conference

People involved in this project

Principal investigator:

School Humanities
Department Historical Studies (History of Art)
Dates 25 – 26 November 2011
Websites Transnational Modernisms Research Cluster
Der Blaue Reiter - Call for papers
Funder British Academy
Collaborator(s) Dr Chris Short (UWIC), Dr Marko Daniel (Tate)
Contact person Dr Dot Rowe

More about this project

This conference celebrates the centenary of the first exhibition of Der Blaue Reiter. This occasion presents a perfect opportunity to review and extend existing scholarship in the field of German Expressionist studies and is a collaborative project between The University of Bristol, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff and Tate Modern.

The formation of what is commonly, though erroneously, referred to as the German Expressionist ‘artists’ group’ Der Blaue Reiter, was signalled on 18 December 1911 at the Galerie Thannhauser in Munich via an exhibition enigmatically entitled ‘The First Exhibition of the Editors of the Blaue Reiter’. This was the first of what turned out to be only two exhibitions held by an emergent group of avant-garde artists organised by Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc. The title of the first exhibition pointed towards what was to be one of the artists’ most significant group achievements, the production of the almanac Der Blaue Reiter, published in Munich in 1912 by avant-garde supporter and publisher, Reinhard Piper.

Der Blaue Reiter was a global project encompassing a variety of art forms and essays on an international scale, including work as diverse as Japanese art, Russian folk art, children’s drawings, Bavarian glass painting and artworks by contemporary European artists, musicians and writers. Such diverse content suggests a number of related research questions that remain important to scholars, but that have not been previously addressed together. The conference will seek to establish the divergent as well as related patterns of intention, outcome and influence presented under the name Der Blaue Reiter and explore its legacies for today.