Frans Masereel and his work for the press

18 September to 27 November 2016

Opening: 16 September 2016, 5 pm


Frans Masereel (1889-1972) was a Belgian graphic artist, painter and the most important anti-war artist of the past century. He was known for his woodcuts and denounced in his works social injustice, despotism and war. For Masereel, artistic creation was less a matter of dealing with oneself than dealing with the state of the society.


The exhibition "Frans Masereel and his work for the press" shows an important part of Masereels oeuvre. Since 1913 he published his prints and drawings in various magazines and newspapers, for example in France, Switzerland and Belgium. Nearly 100 of these pictures are on display in the exhibition. In addition, various aspects of printing technology are presented, especially the woodcut, Masereels preferred technique, but also the production of newspapers and magazines in the early 20th century. Machines like the Linotype or the high-speed press can be experienced in the collection of the museum.


Frans Masereels work was largely determined by the historical and social events of the early 20th century. He was 24 years old when the First World War broke out, and 56 when the Second World War ended. Most of his major works originate from this period. With this in mind, it’s hardly surprising that his works adress mainly social injustice and war. He was always driven by the question how an artist can find adequate ways to show the horrors of war. For this he developed a distinctive visual language to depict the social maladies of his time in a satirical and unambiguous way.


The exhibition was conceptualized and realized by the German Newspaper Museum in Wadgassen (Saarland) in cooperation with the Frans Masereel Stiftung Saarbrücken.


An accompanying catalogue is available in the shop of the museum.