An exhibition in collaboration with the Kunststiftung DZ BANK
13 September ‒ 10 December 2023

Opening as part of Berlin Art Week, the exhibition casts its SchlagLicht (spotlight) on a direct exchange between the genres of painting, graphic arts, sculpture, photography and video while revealing shared, thought-provoking impulses.

Works by artists in the Kunstsammlung der Berliner Volksbank ‒ a collection emphasising figurative art from the 1980s and 1990s created in Berlin and East Germany ‒ are juxtaposed with contemporary art from the DZ BANK’s collection that focuses on photographic forms of expression from 1945 to the present.

A painting by Clemens Gröszer from 1987 enters into dialogue with a photograph by artist Loredana Nemes from 2009. Whereas the calm gaze of the woman in Gröszer’s portrait seems to look away from the viewer at something in the distance, the male gaze Nemes captures in her photograph taken at a teahouse in Berlin-Neukölln disappears behind an window pane’s ornamental-patterned privacy film. The two portraits address notions of nearness and distance in equal measure. This is conveyed in the different ways they disengage from the viewer and by the political resonances they evoke, leaving the viewer to fill in the blanks.

Clemens Gröszer, Porträt M. W. III, 1987, Mixed media on hardboard, 44 x 42 cm, Kunstsammlung der Berliner Volksbank K 268, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023, photo: Peter Adamik
Loredana Nemes, Beker, Neukölln, 2009 (from the series: beyond), 56 x 50,2 cm, DZ BANK Kunstsammlung, © Loredana Nemes

Various art historical genres resurface in the exhibition: portraits, figural works, landscapes, architectural representations, etc. They are subjects connecting artists that go beyond generation and genre. The diversity of artistic approaches clearly illustrates that exploration of the human condition (Conditio humana) happens in each individual’s here and now, and is subject to artistic discourse as well as constant change and expansion of perspectives.

In the exhibition, a dialogue between the diverse media and materials unfolds alongside thematic emphases that include gender, society, urban spaces, and abstraction. In the true sense of the word, Rainer Fetting’s watercolours “collide” with Richard Hamilton’s painterly photographs as Rolf Lindemann’s intimate oil paintings do with Alexandra Baumgartner’s Surrealist-inspired photocollages; photographer Arno Fischer’s iconic photograph Marlene Dietrich, Moscow (1964) enters into dialogue with a bronze sculpture by René Graetz; the digitally produced “dreidimensionale Fotografien” (three-dimensional photographs), as Beate Gütschow calls her works, correspond with Wolfgang Leber’s oil painting; and Stefanie Seufert’s folded Towers, made into objects from photograms, are based on concepts of abstract and non-objective painting, as can be found in Reinhard Grimm’s canvases.

The exhibition includes works by:
Horst Antes (*1936), Alexandra Baumgartner (*1973), Manfred Butzmann (*1942), Frank Darius (*1963), Christa Dichgans (1940-2018), Rainer Fetting (*1949), Arno Fischer (1927-2011), Günther Förg (1952-2013), Nan Goldin (*1953), René Graetz (1908-1974), Reinhardt Grimm (*1958), Clemens Gröszer (1951-2014), Beate Gütschow (*1970), Richard Hamilton (1922-2011), Angela Hampel (*1956), Richard Heß (1937-2017), Sven Johne (*1976), Veronika Kellndorfer (*1962), Konrad Knebel (*1932), Hans Laabs (1915-2004), Wolfgang Leber (*1936), Via Lewandowsky (*1963), Rolf Lindemann (1933-2017), Lilly Lulay (*1985), Silke Miche (*1970), Herta Müller (*1955), Loredana Nemes (*1972), Christina Renker (*1941), Adrian Sauer (*1976), Michael Schmidt (1945-2014), Stefanie Seufert (*1969), Hans Martin Sewcz (*1955), Maria Sewcz (*1960), Andrzej Steinbach (*1983), Christian Thoelke (*1973), Wolfgang Tillmans (*1968), Ulay (1943-2020), VALIE EXPORT (*1940) und Peter Weibel (1944-2023).

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