Hanna Bekker vom Rath. A Rebel for Modern Art. (Berlin) Ends 16 June 2024 Paris, Königstein, Berlin. Louise Rösler (1907-1993) (Frankfurt) Ends August 24 and Americans in Paris: Artists Working in Postwar France 1946-1962 (NYC) Ends July 20 2024

“Opening day at Paul’s June 1950 exhibition in the Frankfurter Kunstkabinett” L-R: Godo Remshardt (art critic), Hanna Bekker, Paul Fontaine, 2 unidentified persons, Virginia Fontaine. Virginia Fontaine photo album. Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin

Happy early summer, everyone. If you are in Berlin: 

Stop by the Brücke Museum for a comprehensive exhibition on Hanna Bekker‘s life and art, especially her influence supporting the artists of pre and postwar Germany, such as Alexej von Jawlensky, Ernest Wilhelm Nay, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Ida Kerkovius and many more. Over 100 pieces are exhibited, including an early Fontaine.

Paul Fontaine. Rhythm in Black and White, 1947. Oil on Board, 13.8 x 10 in. (35.1 x 25.4 cm). Collection Estate of Hanna Bekker vom Rath.
The exhibition has received rave reviews, and here is an in-depth English version from Studio International. If you are a German speaker, here are more reviews: Die Welt and Der Handelsblatt.

Hanna exhibited a solo show of Paul Fontaine in 1948, soon after she opened the Frankfurter Kunstkabinett. She continued representing Fontaine in seven more exhibitions until he emigrated to Guadalajara in 1970.

If you can be in Frankfurt, the Museum Giersch (exhibit closes August 24) is exhibiting another underrepresented artist, Louise Rösler (1907-1993). Paul Fontaine exhibited with her at the Frankfurter Kunstkabinett in 1953, along with Alexander Calder. This is the first major retrospective of her work.

“The exhibition illustrates the artist’s significance and shows her rich oeuvre in chronological and thematic order: it includes paintings, collages, coloured pencil and felt-tip pen works, watercolours, gouaches, pastels and prints. Louise Rösler’s unwavering, passionate determination to be an artist is impressive – as is the heterogeneous profusion of her works, which are striking in their individuality and independence.” 

(Museum Giersch)

And if you are in New York City:

Do not miss NYU’s Grey Museum exhibition Americans in Paris: Artists Working in Postwar France 1946-1962

One artist in the exhibition, Shinkichi Tajiri,  frequented the Fontaine home in Frankfurt. Although the Fontaines went to Paris often(Paul exhibited at the Salon de Realite’ Nouvelles, Museum of Modern Art in 1949), they were not introduced to Tajiri’s work until his Wuppertal, Germany show in 1951. Just a month after the exhibition, the artist K.O. Götz asked if the Fontaine’s would host Tajiri so he might prepare for his upcoming exhibit at the Zimmergalerie Franck in Frankfurt. According to Virginia Fontaine’s diaries, “the Paris boys” (Tajiri came with poet Hill Hazelip) drove up in a motorcycle, ‘smoked” contraband in their room, but worked hard preparing for the show. They stayed five days.  Tajiri was 27.  The Fontaine 1951 guestbook has a whimsical drawing by Tajiri on page 43

Paul Fontaine was fond of Tajiri’s work, and they exhibited together at the pharmaceutical manufacturing offices of Bayer in Leverkusen in 1961 as part of the “Organon 61” show.  Enjoy the summer! We will be in New York from June 4-7, Hamburg from 8-12, and Berlin from 13-16. If you are there, and have time to catch up, we would love to see you.

[Shinkishi] Tajiri Sculptor, Paris April 30, 1951 (sic). Hill Hazelip-poet, “American Existentialist leader in Paris, so he says!” Virginia Fontaine photo album. Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin