From 1800 landscape painting experienced an impressive heyday. Within this genre, artists paid increasing attention to the motif of clouds. These strange, elusive formations consisting of water, air and light appear as conveyors of different emotions and messages. Bushy clouds in a sunny sky contribute significantly to the positive atmosphere of a landscape and seem to be an almost indispensible feature in idyllic depictions of nature. A sky traversed by dark rain and thunder clouds, on the other hand, is perceived as threatening, while a band of clouds bathed in the glow of the red evening light sets a melancholy mood. Bizarre cloud formations, in turn, can be interpreted as enigmatic signs, as mysterious messages and warnings of imminent danger. A sense of foreboding is also conveyed by masses of clouds that appear out of control, occasioned either by natural disasters or by man as a result of technical intervention, such as exhaust fumes and atomic explosions.
The exhibition seeks to shed light on these different aspects of cloud depictions with a great variety of select examples of European and American painting and photography from 1800 to today. The presentation features works by Caspar David Friedrich, Carl Gustav Carus, William Turner, Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley, Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh, John Constable, Ferdinand Hodler, Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Edvard Munch, Emil Nolde, René Magritte, Ansel Adams, Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer, Paul Wolff, Olivier Masmonteil, Dietrich Wegner, Studio ++ to name but the most internationally famous representatives.