John and I head off to see the contemporary art collection of every country we are visiting. Berlin’s Museum for Contemporary art is not housed in a spectacular new building designed by a current leading architect but a former railway station. Photos of the original building.
The annex of the gallery is the former railway yards accessed at the side of the gallery via a set of stairs and corridor that has been designed to look like an underground station corridor.The gallery has international artists represented in the collection and it has dedicated substantial space to the work of German artists.
Joseph Beuys 1921-86 was a charismatic artist who influenced many artists. He became famous in the 1960’s.
His fat sculptures are legendary but whilst you may find sculptures made of fat bizarre there is a sound reason for his interest in using it. He said that grew out of a wartime experience, a plane crash in the Crimea, after which he was rescued by Tartars, rubbed with fat and wrapped in felt.
Keith Haring was born in 1958 and died in 1990. He was an artist and social activist. The Keith Haring Foundation was established in 1989 to assist AIDS-related and children’s charities, and maintains a resource of archives of his work.
Anselm Keifer studied with Joseph Beuys. He too is a towering figure in the German art world. He was born in Germany in 1945 but lives and works in France.