Anita Rée is one of the most fascinating and enigmatic artist of the 1920s. In many respects she lived a life in between worlds: as an independent woman in an art world on the verge between tradition and Modernism, as a regional artist with international aspirations, as a native from Hamburg with a South American ancestry and as a person from a Jewish family brought up as a Protestant. The works of Anita Rée (1885–1933) also reflect the at times radical changes in modern society at the beginning of the 20th century. Yet their main focus lies on the search for one’s own identity that is still highly topical and existential.
In hauntingly intense paintings, Rée depicts both people of different origins and the self as a foreign being. Her intimate female nudes continue to touch us today. Portraits of society gentlemen, the southern landscape as a place of yearning, worldly figure paintings with religious overtones or lone animals in stark dunes mirror the wide variety of her motives. This first comprehensive exhibition on the artist features around 200 paintings, watercolours, drawings and designed objects, some of them unknown until now. The show presents a surprisingly multi-faceted oeuvre, ranging from Impressionistic plein-air studies, to Cubist Mediterranean landscapes all the way to New Objectivity portraits.