Friday, December 7, 2012

Neue Nationalgalerie

Neue Nationalgalerie

The New National Gallery, the famous "temple of light and glass" designed by Mies van der Rohe, houses the collection of 20th century European painting and sculpture. Ranging from early modern art to art of the 1960s, the collection includes works by Munch, Kirchner, Picasso, Klee, Feininger, Dix, Kokoschka, and many others. 

After 'Modern Times. The Collection 1900-1945', the second instalment in the showing of the National Gallery's collection of 20th-century art is on display since 11th November 2011: "Divided Heaven. 1945 - 1968. The Collection. Neue Nationalgalerie"

The collection

The New National Gallery is dedicated to collecting and exhibiting international art from the 20th century. The museum was founded in the 1960s, the result of a search for a permanent place to house modern art in the western part of the then divided city. After the Second World War, parts of the original collection were expanded with a series of principal acquisitions and provisionally placed on view as part of the 'Gallery of the Twentieth Century' in Charlottenburg and Tiergarten. 

It was against this backdrop that the architect Mies van der Rohe was commissioned to construct a permanent home for the collection of modern art at the Kulturforum opposite the Philharmonie. In 1968, the New National Gallery opened its doors and was soon to become celebrated around the world as a shining symbol of modern architecture. 

With his pavilion construction suffused with light, Mies van der Rohe had created an open universal space that is unique and which allows each exhibition held inside it to become an exciting event in itself. 

Modern Art Collection

Today, the New National Gallery forms one of a total of six pillars that together make up the National Gallery; with the other five being: the Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery) on the Museum Island Berlin, the Museum Berggruen and the Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg in Charlottenburg, the Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart - Berlin in Tiergarten and the Friedrichswerder Church at Schlossplatz. 

With its large and multifaceted collection of modern art, the New National Gallery ranks as one of the most important museums in Europe. Paintings such as 'Potsdamer Platz' by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner or the radical picture 'Who's Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue' by Barnett Newman have become hallmarks of the collection. An overall focus is placed on European and North American painting and sculpture from 1900 to the late 20th century and includes numerous key works by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, Paul Klee, Francis Bacon, Ernst Wilhelm Nay, Barnett Newman, Frank Stella, Sigmar Polke and Gerhard Richter. 

From a chronological perspective, the modern art collection on display in the New National Gallery leads on directly from the collection of the Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery), beginning with works by Ferdinand Hodler and Edvard Munch. Outstanding works by Pablo Picasso, George Braque and Juan Gris pay testament to the possibilities of Cubism.

The various new modes of expression created by expressionism all arose during an extraordinarily intense period and can be best glimpsed at in the many works by the 'Brücke' group of artists, which included Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Otto Mueller, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Erich Heckel and Emil Nolde. Kirchner's 'Potsdamer Platz', for instance, from 1914 is a painting which seems to both sum up and define its epoch and depicts the pulsating life at what was at the time the busiest intersection in Europe.      [ source ]

Here is the second part.... 

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