An exhibition entitled “Travelling the World. Art from Germany”, of artworks from the ifa collection 1949 to the present, opens at two galleries in Bulgaria’s city of Plovdiv on October 11 and continues until December 8 2019.
The exhibition will be shown at the Kapana Gallery and the 2019 Exhibition Hall in Gladstone Street.
The exhibition traces diverse phenomena that emerged in German art from the second half of the 20th century up to the present. For example, one can see how video and video sculpture gain importance in terms of technical development and in terms of historical of reception.
While photography developed into an autonomous art form as early as the 1950s, it still remained associated with other art practices, thereby maintaining a permanent link between art and social and political subjects.
From the 1970s, in parallel with social developments, the role of artist gained in significance. Thus, works by Ulrike Rosenbach, Rebecca Horn, Katharina Fritsch, Rosemarie Trockel and others, document feminist subjects in art and the growing acceptance and importance of women artists in the art world. Close bonds between curators and artists, who often belonged to the same generation are a major facet of the exhibition, resulting in an impressive focus on works by artists affiliated with the Fluxus movement.
While the art history of East Germany was previously regarded as a special case in a separate framework, this exhibition opens new possibilities of examining four decades of parallel developments in art in the two Germanys. This suggests that art history does not merely follow the exigencies of political history.
By comparing and contrasting between artworks and artists, we find parallels between Gerhard Alten-bourg, Bernhard Schultze and the drawings of Joseph Beuys, between Hermann Glöckner and Hans Uhlmann, Arno Fischer and Chargesheimer,Christian Borchert, Sibylle Bergemann and Barbara Klemm, between Manfred Butzmann and Klaus Staeck, or—in the younger generation, between Julian Röder and Wolfgang Tillmans. The special quality of the exhibition is found in the works on paper, from Hannah Höch to Norbert Kricke; from Sigmar Polke to Jorinda Voigt.
The exhibition includes different media: painting, drawing, photography and sculpture, which are viewed together as one whole. The exhibition is for the most part arranged chronologically, and in this framework of this chronology the works are presented in a way which contrast and compares the various expressions or East-West encounters. The curators paid special attention to particular themes, e.g. post-war art between Realism and Abstraction, Pop Art, Fluxus, social photography, Bechers and their school.
Presented at the exhibition are some 300 works, by about 100 artists, which include: Dieter Appelt, Willi Baumeister, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Sibylle Bergemann, Joseph Beuys, Arno Fischer, Katharina Fritsch, Else (Twin) Gabriel, Hermann Glöckner, Andreas Gursky, Matthias Hoch, Hannah Höch, Candida Höfer, Rebecca Horn, Barbara Klemm, Norbert Kricke, Reinhard Mucha, Nam June Paik, Helga Paris, Otto Piene, Julian Röder, Dieter Roth, Thomas Ruff, Reiner Ruthenbeck, Karin Sander, Michael Schmdtt, Bernhard Schultze, Emil Schumacher, Thomas Schütte, Otto Steinert, Thomas Struth, Katharina Sieverding, Wolfgang Tillmans, Günther Uecker, Wolf Vostell, Corinne Wasmuht, Wols, Ulrich Wüst.
The art collection of the ifa also incorporates parts of the collection of the East German Centre for Art Exhibitions, as the two institutions merged in 1991.
The exhibition is organised by the Plovdiv 2019 Foundation and the Institute for International Relations of Germany – ifa in partnership with the Goethe-Institut Bulgaria.
(Photo: © Sibylle Bergemann)