Berlin’s Contemporary Art Collection

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.

The entry prices are adding up

'Land Art' by British artist Richard Long

Detail of Richard Long installation

Richard Long's spheres of materials gathered from the land

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.

For rare book collectors

Book collectors will be paying between €3,000 and €30,000  for old editions of his catalogues. The bookshop has them locked in this cabinet.

Beuys detail of circle of stone taken out, wrapped in felt and reinserted

Beuys sculpture made from fat

It smells like fat

More Beuys in felt

Joseph Beuys felt case trapping sound

Very familiar Mao by very familiar Warhol

Keith Haring

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.

Keith Haring an artist whose work was championed by Andy Warhol

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.

Anselm Kiefer

Detail - tiny dresses

Anselm Kiefer the aeroplane is an iconic image executed in lead

Art in the railway sheds

Recycling, flotsam and jetsam - this is a theme we saw in last Venice Biennale

Picture gives size of galleries annexe


  1. #1 by Celia on June 2, 2011 - 10:56 am

    What an interesting place! Thanks for taking photos for us, Roz!

  2. #2 by sheila on June 3, 2011 - 11:07 am

    Great blog Roz, loved the art.

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