Berlin is always changing. The city’s art scene constantly reinvents itself, too. Narrating this eventful history from the dawn of Modernism around 1900 into the 1980s is the theme of our permanent exhibition “Art in Berlin 1880–1980”.
With fresh vigour and diversity since the revamp in October 2020, the collection at the Berlinische Galerie occupies more than 1000 square metres. Waiting to be discovered among the roughly 250 works on show are paintings, prints, photographs, architecture and archive materials rarely or never displayed before.
Walking around this exhibition is like time travel through Berlin: the Kaiser’s era, the Weimar Republic, the Nazi dictatorship, the new beginnings after 1945, Cold War in the divided city, and the counter-cultures and unconventional lifestyles that evolved in East and West under the shadow of the Wall. In East Berlin, an alternative art community developed from the late 1970s. In West Berlin from the late 1970s, aggressive art by the “Neue Wilden” placed the divided city back in the international limelight.