THE COOL AND THE COLD — GROPIUS BAU OPENS ITS DOORS FOR A COLD WAR ART EXHIBITION FROM THE LUDWIG FOUNDATION COLLECTION
The biggest art collection you’ve ever seen spans 10,000km but fits into the ground floor of Gropius Bau in Mitte. Confused? We’ll explain: from now until 09.01.2022, six international museums are offering up works from the world’s most iconic artists for a one-of-a-kind exhibition in partnership with the Ludwig Foundation collection. As its title suggests, the collection of art in The Cool and the Cold: Painting in the USA and the USSR 1960–1990 spans three decades of the Cold War and the entire ground floor of Gropius Bau. Rather than curating retrospectively as is typical of historical shows like this, Peter and Irene Ludwig’s collection was actually acquired during the period of time it explores. This enriches the teachings and stories you experience throughout the exhibition.
This Cold War era saw forms of artistic expression develop that dealt with attitudes about politics, social reform, nuclear war and other fears. One question arises continually: are there differences between the ways USA and USSR paintings expressed these feelings and, if so, how are these contrasts presented? Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Natalia Nesterova and Erik Bulatov plus 76 other names feature in the show, which extends to 120 paintings. Crucially, you can understand the artworks within the cultural context of this feverish era. The venue itself, which sits on the site the Berlin Wall and overlooks government buildings and the Topography of Terror, reminds us of the importance of artistic expression during the era and allows us to appreciate contemporary privileges and struggles.
Text: Rosie Gilmour / Credit: Estate of Roy Lichtenstein, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020; Kunstmuseum Basel, Leihgabe der Peter und Irene Ludwig Stiftung; Ralph Goings; Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst Aachen / Photos: Kunstmuseum Basel, Martin P. Bühler; mumok – Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien,& Carl Brunn, Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst Aachen
Gropius Bau, Niederkirchnerstr.7, 10963 Berlin–Kreuzberg; map
The Cool and the Cold: Painting in the USA and the USSR 1960–1990, until 09.01.2022
You can book tickets online.