Holger Matthies is a poster artist, image assembler, graphic artist, provocateur, and professional voyeur. Over the course of more than four decades, he has designed more than 1000 posters, making him one of the world’s most prolific poster artists. He is best known for his designs for theatre and opera productions, exhibitions, concerts, and political satire shows. His portfolio is further swelled by social and political posters, cover designs for magazines and books, as well as numerous LP and CD covers.
Today’s exhibition in the foyer of the Kunstbibliothek presents the human head - which Matthies once casually described as the 'largest sexual organ’ - as the central recurring motif, reconfigured in various guises. In Matthies’ works the head is placed in unusual settings or forms surprising connections to other objects, in a graphic play of proportions that touches on the surreal. Thanks to his hallmark style, Matthies is not a maker of conventional poster images that merely provide a decorative frame for a product, illustrated from just one aspect. His works are instead optical mind-games that require the viewer to play an active role in their perception. Their creation is often a time-consuming process, representing a balancing act between the clients’ wishes and his own interpretation, but, in the artist’s view, this process is all part of the job. As Matthies himself says: 'good posters sometimes contain a slice of anarchy’ and this is exactly what appeals to him about his trade.
The Kunstbibliothek owns a large collection of Matthies posters, which has swollen in recent years thanks to a series of generous donations and acquisitions, including, most recently, acquisitions of two preparatory designs.
Address / Getting there
U-Bahn: Potsdamer Platz
S-Bahn: Potsdamer Platz
Bus: Potsdamer Brücke, Potsdamer Platz Bhf / Voßstraße, Kulturforum, Philharmonie
Sun 11:00 - 18:00
Tue 10:00 - 18:00
Wed 10:00 - 18:00
Thu 10:00 - 18:00
Fri 10:00 - 18:00
Sat 11:00 - 18:00
Opening times on public holidays Opening hours