October 29, 2017 to February 4, 2018Begins in 37 days.

The fine arts were seen in the GDR as supporting the state. Yet artists had their own ideas, defining roles for themselves that far exceeded this function. This exhibition is about the personality of the artist in the GDR, on a spectrum between providing a role model and retreating into seclusion, between operating within a prescribed collective and pursuing creative individuality. 
 

How did artists turn a critical gaze on themselves, reflect their own way of seeing things, and practice their official mission to educate the public?
Artists illustrated such thoughts in self- and group portraits, role projections, and studio scenes – ever since the Renaissance, these genres have played an important part in artistic self-styling.

Seeking access to the creative individual, Behind the Mask: Artists in the GDR focuses on the works themselves. The artworks cannot be reduced to ideological ascriptions.

Through this exhibition, the Museum Barberini has begun to investigate its collection of art from the GDR, which still plays a marginal role in German art history. Building on in-house holdings, the show brings together more than 100 works by about 80 artists from private collections, galleries and museums, like the Nationalgalerie in Berlin, the state art collections in Dresden, and the art museum MdBK in Leipzig. The exhibits by artists such as Wolfgang Mattheuer (1927–2004), Evelyn Richter (*1930), A. R. Penck (1939–2017) and Trak Wendisch (*1958) include paintings, photography, prints, drawings, collage and sculpture.

Tickets

Trak Wendisch: Tightrope Walker, 1984, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Neue Nationalgalerie, Photo: bpk / Nationalgalerie, SMB / Jörg P. Anders, © VG BILD-KUNST, Bonn 2017

Trak Wendisch: Tightrope Walker, 1984, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Neue Nationalgalerie, Photo: bpk / Nationalgalerie, SMB / Jörg P. Anders, © VG BILD-KUNST, Bonn 2017

The fine arts were seen in the GDR as supporting the state. Yet artists had their own ideas, defining roles for themselves that far exceeded this function. This exhibition is about the personality of the artist in the GDR, on a spectrum between providing a role model and retreating into seclusion, between operating within a prescribed collective and pursuing creative individuality. 
 

How did artists turn a critical gaze on themselves, reflect their own way of seeing things, and practice their official mission to educate the public?
Artists illustrated such thoughts in self- and group portraits, role projections, and studio scenes – ever since the Renaissance, these genres have played an important part in artistic self-styling.

Seeking access to the creative individual, Behind the Mask: Artists in the GDR focuses on the works themselves. The artworks cannot be reduced to ideological ascriptions.

The fine arts were seen in the GDR as supporting the state. Yet artists had their own ideas, defining roles for themselves that far exceeded this function. This exhibition is about the personality of the artist in the GDR, on a spectrum between providing a role model and retreating into seclusion, between operating within a prescribed collective and pursuing creative individuality. 
 

How did artists turn a critical gaze on themselves, reflect their own way of seeing things, and practice their official mission to educate the public?
Artists illustrated such thoughts in self- and group portraits, role projections, and studio scenes – ever since the Renaissance, these genres have played an important part in artistic self-styling.

Seeking access to the creative individual, Behind the Mask: Artists in the GDR focuses on the works themselves. The artworks cannot be reduced to ideological ascriptions.

Trak Wendisch: Tightrope Walker, 1984, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Neue Nationalgalerie, Photo: bpk / Nationalgalerie, SMB / Jörg P. Anders, © VG BILD-KUNST, Bonn 2017

Trak Wendisch: Tightrope Walker, 1984, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Neue Nationalgalerie, Photo: bpk / Nationalgalerie, SMB / Jörg P. Anders, © VG BILD-KUNST, Bonn 2017

Through this exhibition, the Museum Barberini has begun to investigate its collection of art from the GDR, which still plays a marginal role in German art history. Building on in-house holdings, the show brings together more than 100 works by about 80 artists from private collections, galleries and museums, like the Nationalgalerie in Berlin, the state art collections in Dresden, and the art museum MdBK in Leipzig. The exhibits by artists such as Wolfgang Mattheuer (1927–2004), Evelyn Richter (*1930), A. R. Penck (1939–2017) and Trak Wendisch (*1958) include paintings, photography, prints, drawings, collage and sculpture.

Tickets