CONTRA(RY) ART. ‘DEGENERATE ART’ – NAZI ART’ – COLLECTING AFTER ’45

Date(s): Mar 20, 2015 – Jan 31, 2016
Location: Pinakotheken, 80333 München, Germany

The city of Munich played a crucial role in National Socialist cultural policy. It hosted both the ‘Great German Art Exhibitions’ and their counterpoint, the ‘Degenerate Art’ exhibition, the cultural version of a show-trial, in which modern art, artists, and artistic tastes were put in the dock. Counter/Art posits two triptychs and two sculptures against each other. All works originate from the Pinakotheken’s collections. The selection sees works by Adolf Ziegler and Josef Thorak, artists promoted by Adolf Hitler himself, pitted against works by Max Beckmann and Otto Freundlich, denounced by the Nazis as ‘degenerate’. Francis Bacon’s triptych, ‘Crucifixion’, represents the international modernism of the post-war period and the artistic liberation associated with it, whereby depictions of the human form were no longer governed by political ideology.

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