BERLIN.- Since November 1996 the Hamburger Bahnhof has housed the National Gallery's 'Museum für Gegenwart' or 'Museum of Now'. Parallel to temporary exhibitions, the museum also presents works from its own important collections in a serious of rotating exhibitions on the 10,000 square metres of space at its disposal.
On the ground floor of the main building, samples are on display of Fluxus, Vienna Actionism and happenings, all movements that played an important role in the radical changes in art in the 1960s. Also housed in the west wing are the body of works by Joseph Beuys, including sculptural pieces and works on film. This collection, unparalleled anywhere else in the world, is an impressive display of the extent to which Beuys' strove to broaden the concept of art. Parallel to this, key works from the extensive Sammlung Marx collection are on show in the Kleihueshalle on the ground floor, where, alongside Andy Warhol's famous portraits of stars and such influential celebrities as Elvis Presley or Mao Tse Tung, important works by Robert Rauschenberg and Cy Twombly are also on display. An entire room is also dedicated to works by Anselm Kiefer, whose art directly addresses German history and such themes as remembrance and memory.
The Rieckhallen, that opened in 2004, contain works from the Friedrich Christian Flick Collection on display in the Hamburger Bahnhof, a collection of around 2000 prize works of contemporary European and North American art that the museum presents in rotating exhibitions. In halls 1 and 2, minimalist and post-minimalist artworks are on display, including works by Donald Judd, Dan Flavin and John McCracken, as well as by Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman and Richard Serra. These works form a dialogue with those by more contemporary figures such as Heimo Zobernig, Manfred Pernice or Rachel Khedoori. In stark contrast to minimal art's clear forms and smooth surfaces are the sprawling structure of Dieter Roth's 'garden sculpture' (1968ff.) and the fragility of the carcasses in the works by Bruce Nauman and Nikolaus Lang in halls 3 and 4 of the building. In hall 5, the monumental sculpture 'Room with My Soul Left Out, Room That Does Not Care' (1984) by Bruce Nauman is on show and invites visitors to edge their way through it. In this piece, the artist aims to convey the experience of an extreme, existential sense of abandonment that he evokes in the form of an experimental set-up. Nauman's video works on view also deal with core questions on the perception and placement of self in relation to others, as well as the performative display of the body.