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Thu 8 November 2007 - Sun 8 June 2008
After the guest appearance of the French masterpieces of the 19th century, now the National Gallery's own 20th century treasures will return to their 'temple of modernism'. Munch with his 'Frieze of Life' of 1906-1907, Kirchner's 'Potsdamer Platz' of 1914, the Expressionist work of other members of the 'Brücke' group, as well as the art of the great individualists Nolde, Kokoschka, Beckmann and Dix - in all of these, the myth of man is visualised and re-defined with incisiveness and elementary force. At the same time, modernism enforced the departure towards abstraction. Starting with Cubism, this abstract tendency soon expressed itself in the work of Bauhaus masters such as Klee, Feininger, and Schlemmer, and later led to the rigorous return to iconic basic elements which characterises American colour field painting. Dadaism, Surrealism, and sculptures by Lehmbruck, Belling, and Ernst stand next to art works illuminating developments after 1945, among the highlights being the Informel, ZERO, and Minimal Art movements, as well as the cool realism of Richter, Polke, and Tübke.