Sarah Schumann

Exhibition "Female Artists International 1877-1977"

Berlin 1977

Sarah Schumann

Exhibition "Female Artists International 1877-1977", Berlin 1977

Sarah Schumann

Wirkliche Welt

Exhibition VAN HAM

Cologne 2019

Sarah Schumann - Wirkliche Welt

Exhibition VAN HAM, Cologne 2019

Sarah Schumann

1933 - 2019

The painter and draughtswoman is considered one of the most important exponents of post-war Modernism, and engages with the themes of “Schrecken und Schönheit“ (horror and beauty) in her figurative works.

Her early work was inspired by Surrealism and her later work is characterized by mysterious landscape paintings and portraits with a memorable visual language. The early so-called photographic “Schock-Collagen” (shock collages) from the 1950s already reflect her childhood in the Second World War and the experiences of her youth in the post war era. Her poetic images capture the gaze of human existence and its surroundings. Her international journeys in Europe, Russia, Africa and India are also considered in the choice of motifs for her artworks.

Sarah Schumann was born in 1933 in Berlin. From 1960 to 1963 she lived and worked in London, where she immersed herself in the art scene. Later she moved to the Italian Piedmont. In 1968, she returned to Berlin, where she experienced the socio-political upheavals of the time and in 1972 she joined the feminist group Brot + Rosen (Bread + Roses). During this period, she painted heroic depictions of women from her immediate surroundings.

In addition, from 1974 to 1977 Schumann was the co-organiser and curator of the important exhibition “Künstlerinnen international 1877-1977” (Female Artists International 1877-1977). This legendary exhibition, which was beleaguered by protests, presented important female artists of the 20th century for the first time in Germany, among them Paula Modersohn-Becker, Frida Kahlo, Eva Hesse, Maria Lassnig, Mary Bauermeister, Ulrike Rosenbach and Diane Arbus. In the accompanying catalogue, Schumann wrote a text about Meret Oppenheim, which was based on an interview conducted in Paris. In 1977 she received a scholarship to the Villa Massimo in Rome.

Sarah Schumanns life and work was honored by Harun Farocki and Michaela Melián in videos and installations. She was immortalised by her partner Silvia Bovenschen (1946 – 2017) in the literary double portrait “Sarahs Gesetz“(Sarah’s Law). The Städel Museum in Frankfurt / Main included Sarah Schumann in the oral history project “Café Deutschland” (Café Germany) which dealt with the 70 most important protagonists of the first art scene in the early years of the FRG. Works by Sarah Schumann are to be found in German and international private collections, and in the Berlinische Galerie, Museum Morsbroich in Leverkusen, and in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 2019, Sarah Schumann passed away in Berlin.

Since 2018 VAN HAM Art Estate has been looking after Sarah Schumann's oeuvre, which includes paintings, collages, drawings and graphics. Her personal archive has been in the German Art Archive in the Germanische Nationalmuseum Nürnberg (GNM) since 2019.