MoMA comes to Berlin
TWIG - For seven months, 200 of the world’s most famous works of modern art will be on display in Mies Van der Rohe’s Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, marking the first time that some of them have left their home at New York’s Museum of Modern Art to be shown in Europe. The German media are reporting that MoMania is already sweeping the capital.
The opening of the "MoMa in Berlin" exhibition today (February 20) is a major highlight of the city’s "American Season," an interdisciplinary festival reflecting the close cultural ties between Germany and the United States. Along with "The Glory of Baroque Dresden" exhibition opening in Jackson, Mississippi, next weekend, the "MoMA in Berlin" exhibition is the latest in a series of high-profile German-American art blockbusters.
In bringing these works to the German capital, organizers hope to shed light on the pivotal role Berlin played as the modern art movement was born back in the "Golden 1920s." In fact, it was at the former Nationalgalerie on the city’s famed Unter den Linden boulevard that Alfred H. Barr Jr., the legendary first director of the MoMA, first discovered the vibrant contemporary art scene, which later led him to devote and entire museum to 20th century art in New York. Barr’s visit to Germany - a pivotal moment in the emergence of the MoMA in New York, included visits to the Dessau Bauhaus as well as to private and public collections throughout the country.
Ever since then, the MoMA has been at the forefront of chronicling the most prominent movements in modern and contemporary art. Like no other museum in the world, it has amassed a quintessential collection of modern art which includes many of the most-loved works ever created.
Many of those works will be on show in Berlin. The 200 paintings in the exhibition are a veritable greatest hits list of 20th century art. Beginning with Cezanne, known as the father of the modern painters, the exhibition moves chronologically from his "The Bathers" (1885) - juxtaposed with Van Gogh’s "Starry Night" (1889) - to the lifelong rivalry between friends Pablo Picasso’s "Three musicians" and Henri Matisse’s "The Dance."
Later movements, like dadaism, surrealism and fantastic art, are represented by artists like Salvador Dalí, Magritte, photographer Man Ray, Jean Miró, mobile artist Alexander Calder, and sculptor Alberto Giacometti.
The MoMa’s unparalleled collection of American masters - including Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Helen Frankenthaler, Cy Twombly, and Robert Rauschenberg - will also be on display. Contemporary works and some of the most recent additions to the gallery’s formidable collection will round out the show with a special section entitled "Open End" that features the works of Gerhard Richter, Richard Artschwager and Philip Guston.
Alongside the opportunity to view the most sublime works of the 20th century in one setting, a further highlight is the chance to see some of Germany’s greatest artists - many of which found early appreciation abroad - under one roof. Among them are Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, Paul Klee, Max Ernst, and Berlin-native George Grosz.
The exhibition runs through September, supported by the
year-long American Season 2004, a series of theatrical and musical
performances, film, applied design, and cultural conferences.
MoMa in Berlin
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