Beyond Frontiers: A new show of art in germany
A new show, Kunstraum Deutschland — Artspace Germany, co-hosted by the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen and the Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan, hopes to change a few historical associations to do with the state of art in the European country.
“Germany used to be known for an inward-looking rather than an open-minded attitude to art,” observs a note released by the hosts. “To this extent, Artspace Germany is the precise opposite of an art exhibition perceived territorially or in terms of national culture. On the contrary, the exhibition looks at artists who work in Germany, but are of many different nationalities.”
Indeed, German visual art has a long and distinguished tradition, from the Baroque and Neo-classicism movements of the 17th to 19th centuries, to the revival of romanticism in the works of Caspar David Friedrich, and the Nazarenes, aiming to restore spiritual art, in reaction against the education system.
The second half of the 19th century witnessed a number of emergent styles, paving the path for progressive groups in the 20th century, notably in the satirical and grotesque styles, apart from the landmark Dada group led by Max Ernst. While performance artist, sculptor and theorist Joseph Beuys is perhaps the biggest name to know of from the post-World War II era, among the likes of Anselm Kiefer, Sigmar Polke and Paul Klee, this new exhibition will look at the growing cross-cultural forms finding root in today’s Germany. The relation between social, political and artistic movements remains at the fore of the agenda.
“As in the period between 1918 and 1933, when the arts flourished in Germany as foreign artists moved in, here the artists are enlivening an artistic discussion that could not possibly be so active and productive without outside influence,” says the note about the show. Expectedly, the chosen artists, whose works are on display, represent similarly distinguished figures in the art world who now live within the German borders.
In a definite sense, the show forms a part of initiatives to facilitate artistic exchanges. Expect to engage in discourses on globalisation, cultural idiosyncrasies and larger attempts at unification, between various contemporary art scenes.
At Lalit Kala Akademi, Greams Road. Inauguration on March 27, 6 pm by CS Krishna Setty. Meet the curator Dr Ursula Zeller with Abhay Sardesai, on March 28, 6 pm.