Menzel's Extreme Realism
6th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art

11.06.2010 to 08.08.2010

Alte Nationalgalerie
Alte Nationalgalerie

Part of the 6th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, in cooperation with two members of the National Museums in Berlin: the National Gallery and the Museum of Prints and Drawings.

Adolph Menzel (1815-1905) was a master of realism. His artistic work is closely tied to the historical development of the city of Berlin. As an exact observer and analyser of his immediate surroundings, Menzel used his works to tackle a wide spectrum of questions concerning society, politics, science, economics, art and philosophy. Closeness to detail and a high demand for authenticity are threads that run through his entire work.

As part of the 6th Berlin Berlinale for Contemporary Art, this exhibition of around 40 of his drawings, gouaches and watercolours, taken from the National Museums' Museum of Prints and Drawings, reflects how the question of reality and its treatment in the here and now were very much a product of the age and are examined here from the wider perspective of the history of art.

This charming exhibition has been curated by American art historian Michael Fried, upon invitation by Katrin Rhomberg (curator of the 6th Berlin Biennale), in conjunction with the Museum of Prints and Drawings and the Old National Gallery, themselves both part of the National Museums in Berlin. Fried is a distinguished expert on Menzel's work and is the author of a standard text on Menzel and his legacy, entitled: 'Menzel's Realism: Art and Embodiment in Nineteenth-Century Berlin' (2002).

The Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art is organized by the KW Institute for Contemporary Art and sponsored by the Federal Cultural Foundation.