U.S. Exhibition to Examine the Complexity of Art Developed During the Cold War in East and West Germany

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) presents Art of Two Germanys/Cold War Cultures (on view January 25 to April 19, 2009), the first major exhibition in the United States to examine the range of art created during the Cold War. Art of Two Germanys/Cold War Cultures continues LACMA’s tradition of thematic explorations of twentieth century German art in its political, social, and historical contexts and is co-curated by LACMA’s Stephanie Barron and Eckhart Gillen of Kulturprojekte Berlin GmbH.

For East and West Germany during the Cold War, the creation of art and its reception and theorization were closely linked to their respective political systems: the Western liberal democracy of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the Eastern communist dictatorship of the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Reacting against the legacy of Nazism, both Germanys revived pre-World War II national artistic traditions. Yet each developed their own distinctive versions of modern and postmodern art – at times in accord with their political cultures, at other times in opposition to them. By tracing the political, cultural, and theoretical discourses during the Cold War in the East and West German art worlds, Art of Two Germanys reveals the complex and richly varied roles that conventional art, new media, new art forms, popular culture, and contemporary art exhibitions played in the establishment of their art in the postwar era.

Art of Two Germanys is the first special exhibition to go on view in LACMA’s new Renzo Piano designed-building, the Broad Contemporary Art Museum (BCAM). Divided into four chronological sections, the exhibition includes approximately 300 paintings, sculptures, photographs, multiples, videos, installations, and books by 120 artists. The show features large scale installations and recreations of major works by Hans Haacke, Heinz Mack, Sigmar Polke, Raffael Rheinsberg, Gerhard Richter, and Dieter Roth, as well as a number of videos and performance-based works.

Upon closing at LACMA, the exhibition will travel to Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nurnberg (May 27-September 6, 2009), and Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin (October 3, 2009-January 10, 2010).

General Information: LACMA is located at 5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles CA, 90036.