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Divided/Undivided: Art in Germany 1945 to 2010 on view at Galerie Neue Meister in Dresden
Stefan Plenkers, Spiegelbilder, 1984. Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Galerie Neue Maeister. VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2012.
DRESDEN.- Divided | Undivided is the second major special exhibition of the Galerie Neue Meister of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden since the re-opening of the Albertinum in 2010. Works in the show primarily originate from their own holdings. On an area of nearly 1.200 square meters, German-German art from the post-war period to the present is being presented with close to 120 works. Here, paintings encounter works from the sculpture collection, photographs and video installations and form a productive and stimulating dialogue.

The tour starts, on the one hand, with the programmatic painting “Death of Dresden” by Wilhelm Lachnit, in which he depicted the devastating destruction of Dresden in February 1945. On the other hand, an expressive yet abstract early work by Karl Otto Gtz stands for a new beginning after the end of the Second World War.

Torn between pathetic feelings and sober recording, more and more a panorama opens of the German post-war period, where parallels in the developments in East and West can be observed just as increasing differences.

In the divided Germany, these differences developed in the course of the Cold War into an opposing image vocabulary: While in the West an abstract vocabulary prevailed, in the East realistic depiction dominated. In the time before and around 1989, both image vocabulary, which had existed until then, not only lost their special status but increasingly influenced each other. This time of change can very well be seen in the small “Monument for a separated Germany” (1986) by A. R. Penck as well as in the wall-filling photograph “Germany becomes more German” (1992) by Katharina Sieverding. The tour ends with works by the younger artist generation coming from all parts of Germany (and beyond).

Not only are there changes on the gallery’s first floor. Visitors now encounter new paintings from the holdings of the Galerie Neue Meister in the permanent exhibition on the second floor as well. Moreover, a room is only being devoted to works by Sigmar Polke. The images offer pithy insight into his oeuvre.

The gallery’s director, Prof. Dr. Ulrich Bischoff, continues his exhibition concept developed in 2009 for the re-opening of the Albertinum. He shows that the museum is a dynamic space and, herewith, makes an important contribution for 20th and 21st century art.

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Divided/Undivided: Art in Germany 1945 to 2010 on view at Galerie Neue Meister in Dresden

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