Extreme Tension. Art between Politics and Society 1945 – 2000
Collection of the Nationalgalerie

18.11.2023 to 28.09.2025
Neue Nationalgalerie

Hardly any other era was so marked by division, rupture and transformation as the period after the Second World War. In light of this, the Neue Nationalgalerie has consciously chosen the title Extreme Tension for the upcoming presentation of its postwar collection. Taking the radical performance Zerreißprobe (Stress Test) by Günter Brus as its point of departure, the Neue Nationalgalerie will show how dramatically postwar art was shaped by the tensions that existed between politics and society.

The presentation will encompass key works from West and East Germany, Western Europe and the USA, and unpacks central artistic and societal themes from the twentieth century, including realism and abstraction, politics and society, everyday life and pop culture, feminism, and nature and ecology. The works on display will come from the art informel movement and American colour field painting, from pop art and minimalism, as well as the conceptual art of artists like Josef Albers, Joseph Beuys, Francis Bacon, Lee Bontecou, Rebecca Horn, Valie Export, Bruce Naumann, Wolfgang Mattheuer, Louise Nevelson, Gerhard Richter, Bridget Riley and Willi Sitte. The collection will be supplemented by a number of works and artists not yet represented in the collection.


The exhibition is curated by Joachim Jäger, Marta Smolińska and Maike Steinkamp.

A special exhibition by the Nationalgalerie – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Potsdamer Straße 50
10785 Berlin

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