Renée Sintenis exhibition - The mother of the Berlinale bear

Renée Sintenis exhibition - The mother of the Berlinale bear

Whether golden, silver or glass: the Berlinale Bear is a coveted trophy in the film industry. The template was created by Renée Sintenis in the 1930s. An exhibition in Regensburg shows that it would be a mistake to reduce her work to the famous sculpture.

“The prominent Berlin bear, which everyone knows: She designed it in a younger form as early as 1932, because it looks a little clumsier, more clumsy. And this version is already being awarded at the Berlin Film Festival, at the Berlinale - but then, from 1956, it will be replaced by the more adult version. "

It is still awarded to this day - and of course also shown here in the Regensburg exhibition as a central work in the middle of the tour. Directors like Ingmar Bergman, Michelangelo Antonioni or Fatih Akin already held it in his hands. After the bear in her beloved Berlin, the artist Sintenis is at the height of her successful career: “This gives her numerous orders. This bear will be created in two larger formats and will then be installed on the highways, for example. ”

To reduce Sintenis' work only to this sculpture would be a mistake - this is also made clear by the extensive overview with 111 works in six large rooms. She created works in different genres: first of all animals in sculpture and graphics. Wild horses and shy deer, which appear alive in the best works, have human features and recall pictures of Franz Marc and his concept of animals:

"She has this innocent, this unspoiled. And she always glorifies her youth as this idyll and this innocent. And then she will surely use this animal world to retreat to this world again. "

Which would address the second important issue: nudes, especially of idealized boys and youths, with animals in their arms or a flute in their hands. Similar in execution are the commissioned work of the goddess Daphne and some female nudes. The figures of athletes and dancers, on the other hand, are much more dynamic and raw: a boxer, a runner or a soccer player, for example, for whom Sintenis received the bronze medal at the 1928 Olympic Art Competition. These works are closely related to their gallery owner and most important sponsor:

“Alfred Flechtheim is a sports fan, he visits events and sporting events. And he also encourages his house artists, as he calls them, to create works - and Renée Sintenis uses this fashion theme. ”& Nbsp; & Nbsp;

Because the artist has been pursuing her career right from the start with calculus, determination and self-confidence. After breaking with her father, who wanted to make her his legal assistant, she quickly found a connection to the local art scene through her husband, the Berlin secessionist Emil Rudolf Weiß. Met Georg Kolbe, Joachim Ringelnatz and & nbsp; Hans Siemsen and became the prototype of the emancipated woman in the Weimar Republic. Alexandra Demberger:

“She was one of the first sculptors in the early 20th century to become economically independent through her profession. And on the other hand, the special thing about Renée Sintenis is that it also had a media impact due to its fascinating appearance. She was very tall, 1 meter 80, then got the fashionable short haircut, the Bubi head, and in the 20s became the epitome of the new woman. ”

In public, however, it never acted as a mouthpiece for women. In art as in private life she acted apolitically, which is why she remained relatively undisturbed during the Nazi regime and withdrew.

The exhibition categorizes all of this with photos and detailed wall texts. And it also makes it clear that Sintenis' work, which is excellent in terms of craftsmanship anyway, is more than just adornment or escapism. They show a deep empathy and passion and, as in the portraits or masks that are the secret stars of the exhibition beyond the bear, also a melancholy and vulnerability.