Museum Berggruen open in all areas once again

06.06.2016
Museum Berggruen

Following the conclusion of work on the Museum Berggruen extension, the Charlottenburg branch of the Nationalgalerie is re-opened to the public since 19 June 2016. The repair work was needed to correct defects in construction. The Stülerbau, the museum's main building, remained open to the public during renovations. With the reopening of the new wing, visitors can once again enjoy the extensive collection holdings of approximately 70 works by Paul Klee.

Berlin composer and artist Brigitte Witzenhause (b. 1979) has developed a multi-channel sound installation and video projection for the event: 'Studio Cézanne: An electro-acoustic sound installation in four parts' (on view 19 June–16 October 2016). While the work is intended as an acoustic homage to Paul Cézanne, it also offers a contemporary perspective on Picasso's and Braque's cubism as well as the painting and music of Paul Klee. Witzenhaus' characteristic artistic approach to music and sounds incorporates musique concrète, electro-acoustic music, and site-specific field recordings to create new soundscapes. The central elements of 'Studio Cézanne' are photographs from Cézanne's studio and daily life in Aix-en-Provence in the south of France. The title of the piece alludes to the experimental and evolving nature of the installation: for the artist will present a new sound space every month.

With its impressive collection of works by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Paul Klee, Alberto Giacometti, and Paul Cézanne, the Museum Berggruen is one of the most important museums of modern art in Germany. The Museum Berggruen owes its name and genesis to the art dealer and collector Heinz Berggruen (1914–2007). The 165 works that the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz acquired from the collector in 2000 for the SMB's Nationalgalerie are supplemented by additional loans from the wider Berggruen family.

In 2013, the Museum Berggruen was expanded with an auxiliary building and a garden. The expansion was undertaken by the architectural firm Kuehn Malvezzi and included a glass corridor connecting the Stülerbau on Schloßstraße to the former commandant's quarters at Spandauer Damm 17. Now that renovation work has been completed, the museum's exhibition space totals 1,250 square metres, but the atmosphere remains as intimate as ever. The collection's two largest groups of work – by Picasso and Klee – are housed in galleries of equal size; the entrance area now has space for rotating exhibitions. The garden on the courtyard side of the building, the Bettina Berggruen Garten, was named after Heinz Berggruen's wife and features a sculpture ensemble by Thomas Schütte. Since the museum's re-opening in March 2013, the garden has provided an attractive addition to the Charlottenburg museum district and is publicly accessible during the museum's opening hours.

From 19 November 2016 to 12 March 2017, the Museum Berggruen will present the exhibition 'George Condo: Confrontation', featuring paintings, drawings, collages, and sculptures by American artist George Condo (b. 1957) from the 1980s to today. Condo's works will be presented throughout the museum, engaging with works by modernist artists. The works' dialogue with pieces by Picasso, Matisse, Klee, and Giacometti will be a surprising, amusing, and provoking experience for visitors, one they will be sure to remember.