Natalia LL on „Extreme Tension. Art between Politics and Society” exhibition in Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin
18.11.2023 – 28.09.2025
Neue Nationalgalerie
Potsdamer Straße 50, Berlin
Tue – Sun 10:00 am – 06:00 pm
opening 17.11.2023
Curators: Joachim Jäger, Maike Steinkamp (Neue Nationalgalerie) and Marta Smolińska (Uniwersytet Artystyczny)

The art of the second half of the twentieth century is marked by an enormous diversity of materials, mediums, and methods. At the same time, hardly another era was so characterized by division, rupture, and transformation as the period after the Second World War. In light of this, the Neue Nationalgalerie has chosen the title Extreme Tension for the upcoming presentation of its postwar collection.

Holocaust and war, upheaval and emancipation, Cold War and the fall of the Berlin Wall all led not only to tensions within society, but also to a fundamental realignment in visual art. The Neue Nationalgalerie will take as its point of departure the radical performance Zerreißprobe (Stress Test, 1970) by Günter Brus, who was a co-founder of the Vienna Actionism and used this performance to push his own body to the limit. The exhibition will address central artistic and social themes of the twentieth century in 14 sections, including realism and abstraction, politics and society, the everyday and Pop, feminism, identity, and nature and ecology.

The presentation will encompass key works from West and East Germany, Western Europe and the USA, and former Socialist countries. The works on display will come from the art informel movement and US-American color field painting, Pop art and Minimalism, as well as the conceptual art of artists like Natalia LL, Marina Abramovich, Joseph Beuys, Francis Bacon, Lee Bontecou, Rebecca Horn, Valie Export, Wolfgang Mattheuer, Louise Nevelson, Bridget Riley, Pipilotti Rist, and Willi Sitte. The collection will be supplemented by a number of works and artists, such as Kiki Kogelnik and Ewa Partum, not yet represented in the collection.