Sculpture is the essence of things, the essence of nature, that which is eternally human.

(Wilhelm Lehmbruck)

Since the 1960s, the Staatsgalerie has been able to present numerous works by Wilhelm Lehmbruck which are on permanent loan to the museum. After the acquisition of three sculptures and sixty-nine works on paper, the Staatsgalerie’s holdings of this important sculptor are second only to those of the Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum in Duisburg.

Taking this spectacular acquisition as its starting point, the exhibition explores the artist’s creative practice and the relationship between form and material. Lehmbruck broke down sculptures like Pensive Woman or Ascending Youth, recycling the isolated fragments in a wide range of different materials. Because of the small number of casts made during the artist’s lifetime, this is the first exhibition to approach Lehmbruck’s oeuvre from this angle.

There are a great many drawings and other graphic works by you that are distinguished by strikingly primitive, sketchy lines whose breath one almost seems to feel, lines of an Eve-like primeval purity.

(Hans Bethge at the grave of Wilhelm Lehmbruck)

Complementing the exhibition "Wilhelm Lehmbruck. Variation and Perfection" in the Barth wing of the museum, the Graphik Kabinett is presenting works on paper by the artist. Etchings are of particular importance here and show how Lehmbruck used the steel needle in a sketch-like manner to translate his visual ideas with great sympathy and immediacy. As in his sculptures, the human figure was always at the heart of his work. Sensitive and expressive in equal measure, his figures display the myriad facets of human emotions.