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“Die Mauer: vorher, nachher, Ost und West”

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November 9, 2024 marks the 35th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. To mark the occasion, from November 7th, 2024 to March 2nd, 2025 the Stiftung KUNSTFORUM der Berliner Volksbank gGmbH and the Stiftung Brandenburger Tor, the cultural foundation of Berliner Sparkasse, are joining forces to explore the topic of the division of Berlin and the view of the Wall from East and West in art. The exhibition Die Mauer: vorher, nachher, Ost und West (The Wall: before, after, East and West) examines artistic positions from the second half of the 1980s to the early 1990s, focussing on the period of upheaval around 1989/90. How did artists from East and West Germany depict and process the Wall in their works? What presence and significance does it have in the artworks of the time?

The exhibition Market Makers, which runs from 5 to 7 October 2023 at Atelier Knecht/Wendelin at Leipziger Straße 63 in Berlin, illuminates the intricate relationship between art, finance and culture and seeks to explore the economic dynamics behind it.
Artworks from the Kunstsammlung der Berliner Volksbank are combined with artworks complemented by NFTs (non-fungible tokens), referencing value creation, economic mechanisms, and networked interactions.

The exhibition seeks to go beyond the traditional notion of art by exploring exchanges within artworks and delving into the myths surrounding both historical and contemporary markets. It aims to shed light on the complexities of current tensions between cryptocurrencies, decentralised finance (DeFi), banks and traditional financial mechanisms.

Market Makers addresses the inherent discrepancy within existing art criticism that capital relations are not fully acknowledged in art, but the meaning of art as well as its production plays a central role.

The Kunstsammlung der Berliner Volksbank plays a central role in this exhibition, because with a focus on art from Berlin and the region of Brandenburg, the collection particularly emphasizes the artistic movements of the 1980s to 1990s. The Kunstsammlung der Berliner Volksbank holds a position as one of the pioneering collections that actively sought to collect, promote and provide a certain accessibility for these artists and works to be perceived in a broader market.

The exhibition will include workshops and educational programs to sustainably promote discussions on this topic.

A comprehensive retrospective of the Berlin painter Carsten Kaufhold (1967 – 2022) will be shown at Berlin’s Schloss Britz from 02.06.2023 to 03.09.2023. After studying at the Hochschule der Künste in West Berlin, Kaufhold was initially active as a musician. From 2002 onwards, he devoted himself primarily to painting and found his subject in the cityscape. In 2017, he received the Neukölln Art Prize.
Kaufhold portrayed his home city of Berlin in brightly lit well structured compositions, whereby the focus of his work was not on the capital’s well known sights. Rather, the painter preferred to direct his gaze to the marginalised and off-the-beaten-track areas: typical Berlin street alignments and corners, commercial courtyards, firewalls and peripheral areas. It is above all these quiet urban places, often bathed in the bright glow of the sun, to which the artist wants to direct the viewer. The exhibition brings together around 50 paintings and drawings that take into account all of the painter’s major creative phases.

The exhibition from 23.10.2022 till 26.03.2023 at the Barlach Kunstmuseum Wedel is dedicated to the so-called “Neuen Wilden”, the young generation of German artists who revived figurative painting in the early 1980s. Expression instead of intellect, pictoriality and narrative instead of minimalism – in the works of the “Neuen Wilden” one can sense a departure into the spheres of individual feeling and self-expression.
The original leitmotif of the Kunstsammlung der Berliner Volksbank has always been “Pictures of people – pictures for people”. As the main lender of this exhibition, it presents numerous positions of the “Neuen Wilden”, which form an ideal fund for the works of a generation of artists whose success story has meanwhile become an art-historical myth.

Among others, works by Elvira Bach, Luciano CasteIli, Christa Dichgans, Hartwig Ebersbach, Rainer Fetting, FRANEK, Dieter Hacker, Martin Heinig, Thomas Hornemann, Karl-Horst Hödicke, Brian Kelly, Bernd Koberling, Markus Lüpertz, Helmut Middendorf, A.R. Penck, Barbara Quandt, Salomé and Bernd Zimmer are represented.

The exhibition at the Dieselkraftwerk Cottbus (Brandenburgisches Landesmuseum für moderne Kunst) will show works by 18 female artists from the GDR from 18 December 2022 to 19 February 2023 with 20 loans from the Kunstsammlung der Berliner Volksbank.

In the 1980s, many female artists in the GDR drew attention to themselves by expressing changed perspectives of art in critical observations of social conditions. The questioning of state policies as well as the offensively formulated attitude towards the autonomy of the artist subject and her work were expressed. Women artists focused on the female body, often their own. They developed playful and at the same time pointed pictorial reflections of female identities and their self-staging.

Tina Bara, Annemirl Bauer, Ellen Fuhr, Angela Hampel, Ingrid Hartmetz, Sabine Herrmann, Uta Hünniger, Christa Jeitner, Helga Paris, Núria Quevedo, Christine Schlegel, Cornelia Schleime, Gabriele Stötzer, Erika Stürmer-Alex, Ulla Walter, Karla Woisnitza, Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt and Doris Ziegler are the artists on show.

After stops in Aschaffenburg and Erfurt, the Kunsthalle Rostock is showing the exhibition “Wolfgang Mattheuer und Markus Matthias Krüger. Unter blauen Himmeln”. The show focuses on the landscape painting of the two artists.
Committed to the Romantic tradition as much as to critical realism, Mattheuer (1927 – 2004) created an extensive body of work in landscape painting. He is one of the “fathers” of the Leipzig School. In the exhibition, he meets the atmospheric landscapes of the Leipzig painter Markus Matthias Krüger (*1981), whose magical realism questions the ideal landscape image.

From 31.07. till 06.11.2022 the exhibition “Wolfgang Mattheuer und Markus Matthias Krüger. Unter blauen Himmeln” will be shown in the Angermuseum Erfurt after the first presentation in Aschaffenburg. More than a generation apart, both Wolfgang Mattheuer as a representative of the early “Leipzig School” and Markus Matthias Krüger are exponents of a style of painting rooted in Romanticism. Atmospheric images and motifs of longing characterize the art of the two painters whose landscape paintings are the subject of the exhibition.

From 26.3. to 10.7.2022 the Kunsthalle Jesuitenkirche – Museen der Stadt Aschaffenburg is showing the exhibition “Wolfgang Mattheuer und Markus Matthias Krüger. Unter blauen Himmeln.” Among the so-called “fathers of the Leipzig School”, Mattheuer represented the role of the critic, as a keen observer of a landscape that has been changing due to urban sprawl, particularly since the 1970s. Markus Matthias Krüger also stages a mostly deceptive idyll in the manner of the old masters with an almost brilliant, “quiet” pictorial aesthetic. The exhibition is a contribution to the Aschaffenburg and at the same time Lower Franconian culture days on the subject of [art] [culture] [climate] from 30.6. until 10.7.2022. Wolfgang Mattheuer’s painting “Sonnenstrasse II” from 1990 was loaned to this exhibition from the Kunstsammlung der Berliner Volksbank.

This year marks the 100th birthday of the artist and cultural politician “Willi Sitte (1921 – 2013). He is one of the nationally and internationally most know artists of the GDR. He is also considered the most controversial representative of cultural politics of this former state. The retrospective at Kunstmuseum Moritzburg in Halle (Saale) deals with the complete works of Sitte, created between the late 1930s and 2005. For the first time since 1989/90 and without any influencing cultural politics, it provides a comprehensive overview of the development of Sittes work and the cultural system of GDR. The paintings “Ober” from 1951, “Frau mit Spiegel”, 1955, and “Selbstbildnis” from 1989 were loaned to the exhibition by Kunstsammlung der Berliner Volksbank.

The special-exhibition in Potsdam Museum concentrates on the last decades of the work of this famous East-German artist. Bernhard Heisigs (1925-2011) paintings switch between figurativ-expressive and a kind of magic realism. Heisigs allegoric works persuade with their acutual content up to today. As protagonist of the art-movement Leipziger Schule Heisig has great impact and influence on younger artist-generations. Kunstsammlung der Berliner Volksbank lends the paintings „Selbstbildnis mit erhobener Hand“ 1973, „Der Eroberer“, 1995, and „Filmfestival III“, 1995.