Berlin Metropolis: 1918-1933

Oil on canvas
Private Collection

b. 1884
d. 1966

I and the City
Ludwig Meidner
1913

Pen and ink and watercolor on paper

Private Collection
© 2015 Estate of George Grosz/Licensed by VAGA, New York

b. 1893
d. 1959

Panorama (Down with Liebknecht)
George Grosz
1919
Dada Triumphs (The Exacting Brain of a Bourgeois Calls Forth a World Movement)

Watercolor and collage on wove paper mounted on board
Private Collection

© 2015 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

b. 1886
d. 1971

Dada Triumphs (The Exacting Brain of a Bourgeois Calls Forth a World Movement)
Raoul Hausmann
1920
Dada Triumphs (The Exacting Brain of a Bourgeois Calls Forth a World Movement)
Diabolo Player

Pen and ink and watercolor on paper
Private Collection

© 2015 Estate of George Grosz/Licensed by VAGA, New York

b. 1893
d. 1959

Diabolo Player
George Grosz
1920
Diabolo Player
Friedrichstrasse Skyscraper project

Charcoal and graphite on brown paper, mounted on board

The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Mies van der Rohe Archive, gift of the architect
Digital Image © The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA / Art Resource, NY
© 2015 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

b. 1886
d. 1969

Friedrichstrasse Skyscraper project, perspective of northeast corner, Berlin-Mitte
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
1921
Friedrichstrasse Skyscraper project
Embroidered coat

Leather, satin, and monkey fur

The Sandy Schreier Collection
Photo: Howrani Studios

Embroidered coat, possibly German
ca. 1920
Embroidered coat

Directed by Walther Ruttmann

Colored lithograph

Printer: Lindemann/Lüdecke, Berlin
Universität zu Köln

Poster for the film Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Grosstadt (Berlin: Symphony of the Metropolis)
1927
The Racing Reporter (Egon Erwin Kisch)

Photomontage; vintage gelatin silver print

Bauhaus-Archiv, Berlin
© 2015 Gallery Kicken Berlin / Phyllis Umbehr / Artists Rights Society (ARS),
New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

b. 1902
d. 1980

The Racing Reporter (Egon Erwin Kisch)
Otto Umbehr
1926
The Racing Reporter (Egon Erwin Kisch)
Two Girls

Oil on canvas

Private Collection
© 2015 Christian Schad Stiftung Aschaffenburg / ARS, New York /
VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

b. 1894
d. 1982

Two Girls
Christian Schad
1928
Two Girls
Lonely Metropolitan

signed reproduction 1970-80
Photograph of collage; silver gelatin print

Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin
© 2015 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

b. 1900
d. 1985

Lonely Metropolitan
Herbert Bayer
1932
Lonely Metropolitan
Blind Power

Oil on canvas

Berlinische Galerie

b. 1890
d. 1955

Blind Power
Rudolf Schlichter
1937
Blind Power

Berlin Metropolis: 1918-1933

October 1, 2015-January 4, 2016

This exhibition is devoted to Berlin during the Weimar period. The show explores the city using a multi-media approach, revealing this complex period through painting, drawing, sculpture, collage, photography, architecture, film, and fashion. The Neue Galerie is the sole venue for this show, where it will be on view through January 4, 2016.

The exhibition is organized by Dr. Olaf Peters, Professor of Art History at the Martin-Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg, a distinguished scholar and historian. Dr. Peters curated the 2013 show at Neue Galerie, "Degenerate Art: The Attack on Modern Art in Nazi Germany, 1933," as well as the 2010 show "Otto Dix." Pandiscio Co. is the exhibition designer for "Berlin Metropolis," as well as the designer for its accompanying catalogue.

Approximately 300 works will be on display, organized into five thematic groupings: The Birth of the Republic; A New Utopia; The "Neue Frau," or New Woman; The Crisis of Modernity; and Into the Abyss. Highlights of the show include a number of major works created in Berlin during this time, such as Herbert Bayer, The Lonely Metropolitan (1932), Max Beckmann, Film Studio (1933); George Grosz, Metropolis (1017); Raoul Hausmann, Dada Triumphs (The Exacting Brain of a Bourgeois Calls Forth a World Movement) (1920); Ludwig Meidner’s I and the City (1913); Lily Reich’s Collage (1930); Rudolf Schlichter’s Blind Power (1937), Georg Scholz’s Of Things to Come (1922), as well as major works by John Heartfield and Hannah Höch.

This show will cover the city from various perspectives in order to demonstrate the dramatic changes that occurred at this time. Berlin saw explosive growth and transformation, as many were attracted to the burgeoning metropolis. Between 1871 and 1919, the population of the city quadrupled, and Berlin became the political center of Germany, as well as the turbulent crossroads of the modern age. This was reflected in the work of artists, critics, directors, and writers of the time.

As an imperial capital, Berlin was the site of violent political revolution and radical aesthetic innovation. After the German defeat in World War I, collage and montage were conceived as appropriate forms to destroy the traditional bourgeois concept of art. The Berlin Dadaists were reflecting upon the horrors of war—the trauma of a mechanized conflict—and the terrors of revolution and civil war. This new spirit was reflected in the artistic, political, and social statements of artists during the birth and formation of the fragile Weimar democracy.

Between 1924 and 1929, Berlin became the most “American” city in Europe, and jazz, advertisements, and cinema played a central role in its development. The urban experience was expressed through works of art and through mass culture—magazines, photographs, and posters all boldly proclaimed the spirit of modernity. The concept of the “Neue Frau”—the modern, emancipated woman—helped move the city in a new direction. The exhibition at the Neue Galerie includes evidence of all these shifts, including fashion of the time.

Finally, Berlin became a hostile stage for political confrontation between the left and the right and was deeply affected by the economic crisis and mass unemployment at the end of the 1920s. The experiences of social and economic crisis and despair began to overshadow the “golden years” of Berlin.

The exhibition catalogue, published by Prestel Verlag, provides a complete historical overview of the period. It examines subjects ranging from art and architecture to film, music, fashion, and the “New Woman.” Dr. Peters serves as the catalogue editor, which features contributions from such scholars as Leonhard Helten, Sharon Jordan, Jürgen Müller, Janina Nentwig, Dorothy Price, and Adelheid Rasche.