Art of Two Germanys / Cold War Cultures/Kunst und Kalter Krieg / Deutsche Positionen 1945-1989

Publication: The Art Bulletin
Author: Gough, Maria
Date published: June 1, 2011

Art of Two Cermanys / Cold War Cultures

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles. January 25. 2009 -April 19, 2009

Kunst und Kalter Krieg / Deutsche Positionen 1945-1989

Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg. May 23, 2009-September 6, 2009; Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin, October 3, 2009-January 10, 2010


Art of Tuo Germanys / Cold War Cultures

Exh. cat New York: Harry N. Abranis; Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum ol Art, 2009. 460 pp.; 330 color ills., 200 b/w. $75.00

The Cold War is hot again, not so much on the geopolitical front - though the July 2010 spy swap bel ween Washington and Moscow might suggest otherwise - but rather in terms of cultural production. Over the past two decades, funky new museums dedicated to presenting the documents and detritus of tire Cold War have been sprouting up almost everywhere, it seems, often in formerly top-secret but now abandoned militan sites, some of them located hundreds of feel underground. Offering phantasmagorias of retro kitsch - socialist and capitalist alike - these museums are testimony to our enduring fascination with the material residues of our recent past. But the competition for the future that dominated cultural relations between East and West in the postwar period has also recently come into its own as a field of curatorial and scholarly inquiry. In 200S, for example, the Victoria and .Alben Museum in London produced an extremely well-researched and engaging survey on the design front Cold War Modern: Design 19451970. which then traveled to the Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea in Rovereto, Italy, and the National Museum of Lithuania in Vilnius. Other notable exhibitions have tackled the ramifications of Cold War geopolitics for aesthetic production within the West, such as Be-Bomb: The Transatlantic War of Images and All Thai Jazz. i946-1956 (2007), curated by Serge Guiibaut, the pioneering theorist of Cold War aesthetics, and coproduced by die Miiseu d'An Contemporain de Barcelona and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofìa in Madrid, two of the most dynamic and innovative players active on the museological stage today.

For the latest contribution to this developing field we turn to Art of 'Two Germanys/ Cold War Cultures (Kunst und Kalter Krieg/ Deutsche Positionen 1945-1989), which was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in Cooperation with Kulturprojekte Berlin, a nonprofit organization devoted to the promotion of die arts in Berlin and beyond. Its cocurators were Stephanie Barron, Los Angeles County Museum of Art's senior curator of modern art. internationally renowned for three decades of major exhibitions focusing on the intertwining of aesthetics and politics, particularly in Germany, and Eckhart Gillen, an art historian and curator al die Kulttirpiojekie Berlin who has devoted his scholarly career since the 1970s to the study of East German art - one of the few West Germans to have done so - producing in the process more than a dozen monographs, catalogs, and document collections on die subject. The well-illustrated accompanying exhibition catalog - coedited by Barron and Sabine Eckmann, the director and chief curator of the Kemper Art Museum at Washington University in St. Louis - comprises informative essays by more than a dozen major scholars, short notes on clusters of objects, checklist, bibliography, and chronology of historical and artistic events.

Under preparation for some five years, Art of Two Germany's began its lour in Los Angeles in January 2009 and then ? raveled to the Germanise lies Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg in [he summet and the Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin in the fall, where its opening on October 3 coincided with the national public holiday Tag der Deutschen Einheit, celebrating the anniversary of German reunification. In all three cities the exhibition offered visitors a sprawling binational survey of postwar German art from 194:5 through 1989, bringing together more than three hundred objects in a broad range of media (painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, artist's books, film, video, and installation) by some one hundred and twenty artists. Its chief objective was revisionist: to show German aesthetic production in all its diversity on both sides of the Iron Curtain and. thereby, to dismantle the commonplace reduction of postwar an in the Federal Republic of Germany io Neo-Expressionism. and posftvar an in ihe German Democratic Republic to a Socialisi Realism dictated by Moscow. In short, ibis was an effort to think about these !wo Cold War cultures outside the Cold War box. As such, die exhibition seemed concerned less with the ways in which the rhetoric of dial war was manifest in a given work of art or material artifact (as had been the Victoria and .Albert show), and more with transcending ihe binaiy grip ol that rhetoric altogether by confounding visitors' expectations as to the nature of art under either socialism or capitalism.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art/ Kullurprojekte exhibition built on a se-iies of ambitious shows organized in Germany in the wake of reunification, each of which had sought to come to grips with the bifurcated history of postwar an. Perhaps die most significant of diese was /mages of Germany: Art from a Divided Land (Deutschlandhilder: Kunst aus einem geteilten Land). held al ihe Martin-Giopius-Bau in Berlin in 1997. Conceived by Gillen and cocurated by him in collaboration with Rudolf Zwirner. ibis mammoth show brought together a cross section of East and West German artists working in a range of media, but especially painting. In conjunction with thai show. Gillen edited a hefty lome that has served, ever since, as one of die few substantial publications on the subject in English.1 Given his curatorial contribution Io both shows, it is noi surprising ihat they had much in common, including many - if byno means all - of the same artists and objects. While ibis meant that the 2009 show fell a little like a redux at times, it is important to note thai it also departed from its precedent in significant ways, including a more sustained concentration on photography and moving image media, as well as a more balanced allotment of space between East and West Gemían artists.

Though Art of Two Germanys featured numerous works by many of ihe big international stars from the Federal Republic - Joseph Betiys, Ansehn Kiefer, A. A. Penck, Sigmar Polke, Gerhard Richter, Dieter Roth, and Wolf Vostell, inter alia - the real energy of die show resided in those artists whose work had rarely , if ever, been shown in the United States. Among West Germans the standout in this regard was Konrad Klapheck, on whom more in a moment, bin ii was really ihe comparatively little-known underground East German artists who stole ihe show. Indeed, the Los Angeles installation provided what was for many visitors a firsttime glimpse into the sheer stylistic and ideological diversity of art produced in East Germany. That we should know rather little about this work has partly Io do with the orientation of the study of European modernism, which, until relatively recently, centered primarily on French art. with organizations devoted to Germanophone culture (such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's own Robert Cote Rilkind Center for German Expressionist Sutdies or die BuschReisinger Museum at llaivard University) being the exception rallier dian the rule in the institutional landscape of modern and contemporary an history. But the more significant factor is, of course, the Cold War itself: during its four and a half de-cades - and continuing also after reunification - many artists, curators, critics, and art historians in the West dismissed East German an on the grounds dial it was, by défailli, the morally and aesthetically compromised produci of collaboration with a repressive siate apparatus. The exhibition afforded a welcome opportunity for further debate on this controversial issue, and it was thus all the more regrettable thai it did noi travel to other destinations within the United States.

The exhibition's Berlin iteration - on which I focus here - was installed on two floors of the Deutsches Historisches Museum's new wing, designed by I. M. Pei. Though retaining largely the same chronology- and slate of objects as had appeared in Los Angeles, with certain substitutions for conservation and other reasons, the curators expanded the show in Berlin from four to five sec lions. The first of these surveyed aesthetic production between the end of World War II in 1945 and the formalization of the division of Germany in 1949. The result was a rallier motley but nevertheless moving assembly of objects. A conspicuous effort was made to sei the historical and affective scene in which these objects had been produced by foregrounding the sheer devastation of German cities at the end of die war. An overhead monitor, for example, screened rubble films and excerpts from Hollywood features on a continuous loop. One particular fragment - an aerial shot of a lonelv tram trundling through deserted streets - quietly underscored the alienation of the postwar city.

Adjacent to this loop of moving images were four agitaied ink drawings bv Wilhelm Rudolph, whose uniformly querulous line, executed with a stiff reed pen, seemed lo combine both die agony of loss and the will of a documentarían. Drawn from his series Dresden Destroyed (1945-46), each very loosely portrays a specific topographic localion or structure wiihin a city that was almost totally reduced to rubble bv Allied bombing during ihe night of February 13, 1945. These four sheets were just a few of the several hundred drawings Rudolph made in the clavs and months and years after the bombing, a trauma that die artist seems never to have left behind, not least because it had destroyed alinosi the entirety of his own oeuvre." Though it would have been space-consuming, the inclusion of more examples from the same portfolio - which Rudolph himself considered a "selfcontained whole" - would have afforded ihe visitor a greater sense of the utterly compulsive project to which diese drawings belong, for it is noi only their iconography of rubble that moves us, but also the repetition compulsion - the relentless serial production - behind the project itself.

Rudolph's topographical angst found a photographic counterpart in an equally powerful project by Richard Peler Sr., Dresden after the Bombing of February 13-14, 1945 (1946). which was represented by six recent exhibition prims. Comprising horrific images of corpses in bombed-out air-raid shelters and the like, many of diese distili hing images had circulated at the time of their production in die form of a photo book. Dresden, a Camera Accuses (Dresden, eine Kamera klagt an) (1949). The inclusion of a copy of this book alongside the prints would have facilitated greater understanding of the sociopolitical stakes of the artist's overall project and its historical reception: Precisely whom, for example, did Peter's camera accuse?

The title of this first section - "Continuity or New Beginning, 1945-49" - provoked visitors into asking of the aesthetic realm a question that has been much debated in political and historical circles, namely, whether or not die originally military tenu Stunde null (zero hour) was a valid descriptor for postwar German culture more generally. Did the surrender of the National Socialist government on May 8, 1945, signify that the past was now definitively over, and that a totally new beginning for Germany was thus possible? Or. alternatively, was this popularly held view problematic, noi least because it impeded Germany's ability to acknowledge the crimes of its recent past, most especially that of the Holocaust? The selection of objects here seemed to embrace the latter view, suggesting that in the visual arts there had been no zero hour, no tabula rasa, no new beginning. Instead, artists like Hannah Hoch and Karl Hofer were shown to have deliberately invoked a panoply of pictorial languages developed in die early decades of the twentieth century, including Expressionism, priniiiivisin. abstraction, Dadaism, and critical realism - precisely those modes, in other words, that had been suppressed after 1933 and vilified in the notorious Degenerale Art (Entartete Kunst) exhibition organized by the National Socialists in Munich in 1937. These modes they now used to offer visceral representations of human loss and melancholy. Unfortunately, however, the sole painting in this first section io have demarcated the suffering and violated human subject as specifically Jewish - Hans Grundig's gut-wrenching portrayal of concentration-camp victims tossed into an open grave above which vultures circle. To the Victims of Fascism (Second Version) (1946-49) - appeared only in Los Angeles and Nuremberg and did not travel to Berlin.1

Among the exhibition's major objectives was to introduce visitors to a fundamental polemic driving Cold War aesthetics as each state formation (or, prior to 1949, occupation zone) sought to establish its superiority over the other: the struggle between modernism in West Germany and realism in East Germany. In the mainstream West, modernism - and abstraction in particular - were valorized as the expression of freedom and liberal democracy, while realism - and especially Socialist Realism - was habitually dismissed as the forced labor of a Communist state governed by a monopoly, the Socialist L' ni tv Party (Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands, or SED). In the Berlin installation this polemic was announced at the outset by the striking juxtaposition on lhe show's opening wall of two oil paintings: Willi Baumeister's Original Farms (Urformen) (1946) and Curt Querner's Parents (Flternbild) (1948, Fig. 1). A radier lugubrious, near-monochromatic composition of mythological forms and symbols brushily improvised in earthy brown and off-white pigments on cardboard. Original Forms here stood in for modernism in general. As is well known, Baumeister was a staunch advocate of nonfigurative art, which he practiced throughout his life in a variety of modes, running the gamut from Purist compositions in the mid-1920s to Miroesque paintings in die early 1950s. In 1947 lie published his apology for abstraction, The Unknown in Art (Das Unbekannte in tier Kunst), and in 1950 defended abstraction against the attacks ol Hans Sedlniayr and others in the famous Darmstadt debate (Darmstädter Gespräch), field in conjunction with the exhibition The Image of the Human Being in Our Lime (Das Menschenbild in unserer Zeit). By contrast Querner, about whom still too little is known outside of Germany, was a lifelong realist whose oeuvre ricocheted between the critical realism of the Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) and various more explicitly proletarian idioms pet haps developed in dialogue with the Russian Association of Proletarian Artists (RAPKh).'' Executed in a predominantly sober palette of steel blues, blacks, and browns, Parents is exacting in its veristic detail and haunting in its affect - an unflinching portrayal of the artist's elderly mother and father, both of whom were deaf.

On the one hand, the juxtaposition of these two pictures shored up the reigning polemic of the period, pitting West German modernism against Easl German realism. On the other hand, it undermined - deliberately, it would seem - the tenacity of that intensely ideologically motivated bifurcation by virtue of the fact that Querner's realism had its roots in the critical realism of the Neue Sachlichkeit, an arguably modernist movement of the 1920s. Parents not only bears the traces of the year Querner spent in the studio of Otto Dix (1929-30). one of t lie founders of that movement, but also has a certain affinity with August Sander's photographic portraits of farming couples, modest and well-to-do alike, which were part of the hitter's vast project to document Weimar society. People of the liven tirili Century. Querner's historical connection to the Weimar period reminds us that just as abstraction had been understood in some quarters as a form of realism (consider, for example, Kaziinir Malevich's vigorous polemic that his Suprematism was a new form of "painterly realism"), so, too, had critical realism - as advocated in certain quarters of the Neue Sachlichkeit - been promoted as a form of modernist practice. Modernism, in other words, had its own realism, thus complicating the reductive bifurcation of modernism and realism during the Cold War.

That bifurcation was shown to have reached its zenith in the exhibition's second section, titled "Dispute about the Image of Man, 1950-1959" in reference to the historical debate over the efficacy of abstraction and realism in the articulation of human subjectivity. At one extreme here were Socialist Realist paintings that essayed major SED themes (the reconstruction of Berlin, the new proletarian subject, and rrew forms of proletarian social and labor organization); at the other were abstract paintings bv West German Informel artists, practicing in a by-then international language of spontaneous, gestural expression. Apparently, litis was the first time that German Socialist Realism and Informel had come face-lo-face on a level playing field in a major museum exhibition.' (A notorious 1999 exhibition in Weimar that had included both - Rise and Fall of the Modem - had sequestered modernist from East German painting, installing the latter together with selections from Adolf Hitler's art collection, thereby producing a controversial analogy between die cultural patronage of Erich Honecker, the SED's first secretary and leader of East Germany, and the Third Reich. s But with the rise of the market for and scholarly study of Socialist Realism, along with the waning of the culture wars of the 1990s,1' such crude exercises in comparative totalitarian aesthetics have given way to more nuaiiced forms of discussion.)

The inclusion of canvases by Willi Sine and Werner Tübke in this same section demonstrated that there was also much inore to realism in East Germany than Socialist Realism. Sitte's vast memorial to the Lidice massacre. Massacre Il (1959). for example, is a pastiche of modernist painting in general and of Pablo Picasso's Guernica (1937) in particular. Notwithstanding its government-approved theme, it was roundly criticized on formal grounds by Communist Party functionaries. This criticism did not prevent Sitte - once he had repented in the mid- 1960s for his earlier modernist sins and pledged henceforth his adherence to the party line - from becoming East Germany's most politically powerful artist as head of the Union of German Artists (Verein der Bildenden Künstler der DDR).10 The case of Tübke. one of the leaders of the Leipzig school, is in some ways even more problematic, if less clear-cut. In this section Tübke was represented by White Tenor in Hungary (ca. 1957), a grotesque painting that dresses up- in a pastiche of what looks like Jacopo da Pontormo. Albrecht Dürer, and Thomas Hart Benton all rolled into one - the SED denunciation ol the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 as a counterrevolution. Later seclions of the show included panels of his best-known series. Reminiscences of Schulze, JD (1965), all virtuoso essays - in terms ol visual illusionisti) - on the crimes of die Third Reich rendered in a discomfiting pictorial language dial marries Surrealism with Hieronyinus Bosch. De-spile criticism for his deviation from Socialist Realism in these pictures, Tübke retained die lifelong patronage of Alfred Kurella, a member of the Central Committee and major architect of repressive cultural policy in East Germany." Style alone, it turned out, was not the exclusive index of state patronage or collaboration in the German Democratic Republic.

Other modes of East German realism appeared in later sections of the show, such as die work of Tübke's Leipzig school colleagues Wolfgang Maitheiter and Bernhard Heisig and documentan photography by Ursula Arnold and Arno Fischer. In order Io flesh out more fully ihe relational field in which these highly contradictory realist practices were mutually constituted, however, ii would have been helpful to include the crucial (and stili lincici explored) postwar photomontage practice of John Heartfield in Easi Germany, which was surprisingly absent altogether from the exhibition. Yet. as the show's second section nicely demonstrated, realism was not the exclusive province of East Germany. Two paintings by the West German artist Klaphec k - Typewriter 1955) and The Offended Bride (1957)- confounded the statisi contours of the orthodox binary. Resisting Informel, which had become de rigueur by the mid-1950s in his adopted town of Düsseldorf, Klaphec :k pursued a deTaniiliarizing form of realism, at once rest rained and pop. The objective was, in his words, "to counter . . . lyrical abstraction with prosaic SupergegensUindTichkeil (super-realism and super-objectness). The results were exquisite renderings ol laleliineteenth-centurv machines - in diese works, a typewriter and a sewing machine - that simultaneously look back toward Surrealism (his teacher was the painter Bruno Coller) and forward to capitalist realism (Richter and Polke were much indebted to him).

The third and fourth sections, entitled "Contemporaneousness" and ''Trauma of the Pasi." respectively, covered the years 1960 through 1979. "Contemporaneousness" sought Io demonstrate the great expansion in the ontology of art that occurred dining these decades in East and West Germany alike, partly as a restili of the widespread adoption of new media and new technologies of aesthetic production. Not surprisingly, therefore, this section was more diffuse than the two preceding it, and at times il fell as if the ideological tension of the exhibition had dissipated as a result. Under the broad theme of how artists in die Federal Republic grappled with their country's postwar "economic miracle" - its counterpart to the Democratic Republic's economicpolicy of die "building of socialism" - this section included numerous major works by blue-chip West German artists, including the Federal Republic's legendary émigrés from East Germany. If die efficacy of some of these objects with respect to the section's thematic focus was not always so clear, others hit the nail right on the head, such as Thomas Barylc's hybrid painting-sculpture Erhard Gargantua (1966). With few exceptions - such as an excelleni clustei ol "Stand-art" objects and paintings - explorations of the semiology of everyday life under suite socialism - executed in nidinientary and sometimes scavenged materials produced by Penck in the 1960s and 1970s (well before his move to the Federal Republic in 1980)13 - East German artists seemed to enter this section primarily via photography, which had noi been regarded in the Democratic Republic as an art form per se. Socially committed and conceptually- oriented, the subtle and patient photographs of Evelyn Richter made a very strong showing, especially in contrast to the ruckus of the paintings by Georg Baselitz and Eugen Schönebeck installed nearby.

But the big light from the Democratic Republic in this third section was indisputably Hermann Glöckner, an artist who worked in abstract and eonstruciivist idioms across media from the 1930s until his death in 1987. Here he was represented by a freestanding sculpture comprising bohed vertical shafts of iron ( Vertically Staggered Bauds Based on a Twelve-Part Grid. 1965/76), a couple of folded-paper and tempera "drawings" from 1971, and, most compelling of all, some two dozen small objects and models dating from the late 1950s through to the mid-1970s and apparently never before exhibited. Proposals for future (largely unrealized) sculptural projects in most cases, diese lasi arc- « onsirm ted out of the detritus ol everyday life in die Democratic Republic - scraps of wood, cardboard, primed mailer, socialist package design (Fakt laundry detergent, matchboxes, pillboxes), rubber bands. electrical wires, spectacles, and even a letter from die artist's lax accountant, one II. Ziller - employing a variety of rudimen tanoperations such as folding, binding, crumpling, reversing, mirroring, slacking, tilting, and so forth (Fig. 2). This profoundly moving ensemble of modest constructions, empathetically laid out together on a large elevated podium, drove home the truly multigenerational nature of Glöckner's postwar practice, which inlenvove the lessons of concrete art of the 1930s with die foundobject, Minimalist, and even Pop art tendencies of the 1960s and 1970s.

The installation of Glöckner in the exhibition's third section in Berlin provoked some nicely open-ended correspondences, therefore, between his work and that of a few of the younger artists shown nearby. such as Vostell, Imi Knoebel, and Penck. This was in strong contrast to the installation of his work in Los ,Angeles, where it had appeared in the second section, smack in the middle of the gallery in which Socialisi Realism and Informel had faced off against one another. In thai context, Glöckner had taken on a quite different function. serving as a dramatic counterexample, as had Klapheck, to the orthodox bifurcation of the 1950s. Though the selection of his work in ihe show dated mostly to the 1960s and 1970s, die grounds for his inclusion in this earlier section in Los Angeles seem to have had to do with the fact that Glöckner practiced underground as an abstract artist throughout die 1950s. It was not until 1969. when the Kupferstich Kabinett in Dresden gave Glöckner a solo show on the occasion of his eightieth birthday. Gillen tells us. that abstrae! constriictivist art was shown for the first time in a museum context in East Germany, while participation in a group exhibition of constructivists in Stuttgart in 1974 marked his West German debut.14

Section four, "Trauma of the Past," surveyed the belated coming to terms in both East and West Germany with the crimes of Germany's National Socialist past, and the Holocaust in particular, in the wake of the Adolf Eichmann trial in Jerusalem in 1961 and the Frankfurt Auschwitz trials held in 1963-65, whose proceedings were made public. The exhibition concluded with a fifth and final section installed on the upper floor of the Pei wing; its titular nibric - "Manic Normality in Germany. 19801989" - referred to the increasingly freneticcharacter of the final efforts to maintain the Cold War status quo of a divided Germany . There were some major standouts here, such as Hans Haacke's multipart installation Broadness anil Diversity of Ihe Ludwig Brigade (1984), a critical exposé of the economic interests chiving West German industrialist Peter Ludwig's collecting in the 1970s and 1980s of compromised stale artists from the Democratic Republic like Sitte and Heisig. which underscored die lie and hypocrisy of die official division of die two countries by the 1970s.15

The final section also represented work by women in truly significant numbers for the first time, as if in testimony to a lessening of the patriarchal overdeterniination of cultural production hitherto common to both Germanys in the postwar period, a fact that had been rather glaringly in evidence in the exhibition's second, third, and fourth sections. As much as Isa Genzken, Rosemarie Trockel, Cornelia Schleime, Astrid Klein, Katherina Sieverding, Gundula Schulze Eldowy, Barbara Melselaar-Berthold. Maris Sewcz, Sibylle Bergemann, and Helga Paris were all shown here to have alluded in one way or another to the Cold War, the presence of their work also invited visitors to ponder the role played by the profound transformations in the realm of sexual politics - which occurred in the 1970s as a result ol the women's movement - in bringing that war to an end. Another strength of ? h is otherwise rather diffuse conclusion to the show was the major cluster devoted to the Auto Perforation Artists, a collective of lour - Else Gabriel, Micha Brendel, Volker (Via) Lewandowsky. and Rainer Görss - who had met while studying stage design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Dresden. Active between 1985 and 1991, this collective, the best-known example of East German performance art, had been chosen to represent the former German Democratic Republic in a group show organized by the Moderna Galeiija Ljubljana, Slovenia, Body and the East: From the 1 960s to the Present, which traveled te) Exit Art in New York in 2001. Its name was derived from the spontaneous ("auto") events that the group began staging in the mid-1980s, metaphorically figuring the manifold constrictions of daily and creative life in the Democratic Republic. In the Los Angeles County Museum/Kullurprojekte exhibition, these performances were presented hi the form of archival photographic and video documentation, as well as by some of their props, the latter belatedly taking on the status of object-sculpture.

For this visitor, Art of Two Germanys was at its best when it showcased clusters of objects by a given artist or collective, as it did for. inter alia. Glöckner, Penck. the Auto Perforation .ArtisLs, and various photographers from both East and West Germany. These clusters introduced viewers to a given body of work in some detail, enabling them to begin to grasp ihe- ways in which thai work might be said not only to embody the historical moment of its production but also to transcend it. Without such double understanding there is always the clanger that the work of art will become a mere epiphenomenon of historical forces far greater than it. which sometimes happened here despite all efforts to the contrary. As contradictory and unintended as it may sound, therefore, the exhibition's real strength lay in those more intimate moments when ii was least like a traditional survey, for it was at precisely these moments that its revisionist goal - to transcend the binary grip of the rhetoric of the Cold War itself - was most realized. In so doing. Art of Two Germanys opened a vital path of inquiry for the now rapidly developing study of cultural production during one of die twentieth century's most enduring political conflicts.


1. Eckhart Gillen. ed.. Cernían Art prim Iierkmunrt to Richter: Images from a Divided Country (Cologne: DuMoni Buchverlag: Berlin: Berliner Festspiele .mei Museiimspidagogischer Dienst Berlin. 1997).

2. Each exhibition venue had a different selection of four drawings. In Berlin, ihev were supplemented by an oil painting (hors catalogue) by Rudolph, The Legacy oj Fascism: TÌie Dead CiIy (Dresden) (1948). which had the virtue of direc tlv linking the destruction of Dresden to fascism, a fact not otherwise explicitly broached.

3. Wilhelm Rudolph, quoted in Hans-Ulrich Lehmann. -'Wilhelm Rudolph: Dresden Destroyed," in Gillen. (icrinan Art from Beckmann to Richter, 79.

4. Gillen, "Images around 1945: Felix Nussbaum. Karl Hofer, Werner Heidi, Otto Dix, I lans Grundig, Horst Streinpel." in idem, German Art from Beckmann to Richter, 70, points out that Grundig's painting is a rare example of a Soviet Occupation Zone artist depicting lhe Holocaust. See also Andreas Huyssen. "Figures of Memory in the Course of Time." in Barron and Eckmanii, Art of Two (iermanys/ Cold War Cultures. 224-39.

5. See Adolf Schmoll. "The Image of lhe Human Being in Our Time" (1950). trans, in Charlotte Benton, ed.. Figuration/ Abstraction: Strategies for Public Sculpture in Europe, l945-i968 (Aldershoi, U.K.: Ashgate. 2004). 266-68.

6. See Curt Querner- das malerische Werft (Dresden: Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden; Berlin: Deutscher Kunstverlag München, 2004).

7. See Stephanie Barron, "Binned Boundaries: The An of Two German« between Mvtli and History." in Barron and Eckmann, Art of Two Gemianys, 14.

8. See Jonathan Osmond. "German Modernism and Anti-modernism." Burlington Magazine 111, no. 1158 (September 1999): 574-75.

9. Huyssen, "Figures of Memory in the Course of Time," 26.

10. On Sine's problematic legacy, see Debbie Lewer, "The Agitator and the Legacy of the Avant-Garde in the German Democratic Republic: Willi Sine's Rufer Il (Caller In of 1964," in Meno istori ja ir kritikn/Arl Histoiy and Crithism. no. 8 (!saunas, Lilh.: Yvlauias Magnus University, 2007). 62-69. See also Claudia Mescli, Modem Art at the Berlin Wall: Demarcating Culture in the Cold War Ceimanys (London: Tauris Academic Studies. 2008). chap. 3.

11. See Gillen. German Art from Beckmann to Richter, 540.

12. Koni ad Klapheck, quoted in Christine Mehring, "The Art of a Miracle: Toward a History of German Pop, 1955-72," in Barron and Eckmann, Art of Two (iermanys. 154.

13. On Penck, see Karen Lang, "Expressionism and the Two Geriiianys," in Barron and Eckmann, Au of Two Germanys, 84-100.

14. See Gillen, German Art from Beckmann to Richter, 512. It is worth noting, however, thai the I969 Dresden exhibition included Glöckner's work made between 1911 and 1945 only.

15. See Hans Haacke, "Broadness and Diversity of the Ludwig Brigade." October, no. 30 (Fall 1984): 9-16.

Author affiliation:

MARIA GOUGH is Joseph Pulitzer, Jr. Professor oj Modern Art at Harvard University iDepartment of History of Art and Architecture, Haivard University, 4S5 Broadway. Cambridge, Mass. 02138].

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