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The Power of the Expressive
Gift from Otto van de Loo & Collection to the National Gallery

19.03.2009 to 10.05.2009

Neue Nationalgalerie
Neue Nationalgalerie

'A painting is not a construction made of colours and lines, but an animal, a night, a scream, a person or all of these things put together.'

The stance of the Cobra Group, founded in 1948, could not be outlined more clearly than by these words from the Dutch artist, Constant. This group of artists' uncompromising demand for expression also fascinated Otto van de Loo, who has been a gallery owner and collector since 1957; and as a result of this fascination, works by Jorn, Appel, Constant and Alechinsky subsequently make up the bulk of the magnificent gift he presented to the National Gallery in 1991.

The renewed exhibition of the total of 55 works by 24 artists - among them also the Munich group 'SPUR' and individuals such as Dubuffet, Michaux, Tàpies, Rainer and Vostell - now sees the pieces placed in their relation to the expressionist masters of the first half of the twentieth century, taken from the National Gallery's collection. The outstanding collections of Munch, Beckmann and Lehmbruck are reunited together for the first time in the main exhibition room; and are further joined by works by Kirchner, Picasso, Nolde and Nay in this exciting show.