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Berlin's Neue Nationalgalerie set to open in August after six-year renovation

Updated: May 27, 2021

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Neue Nationalgalerie will reopen its doors this August, lending its glass-walled ground floor to American artist Alexander Calder’s kinetic sculptures.

Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin. Photo: Neue Nationalgalerie, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons.

This is a fitting inaugural exhibition following renowned architect David Chipperfield’s reinvigoration, which carefully preserves the building’s original features while fixing design flaws and breathing new life into the museum with sleek innovations.

Calder has long been associated with the Neue Nationalgalerie through his ‘Têtes et Queue’ sculpture, which was installed on the terrace for the museum’s original opening in 1968. Below the iconic glass hall lies a vast floor partitioned into gallery rooms, which will host ‘Die Kunst der Gesellschaft’: the museum’s 20th-century collection including work by George Grosz, Otto Dix and Hannah Höch.

In other news, Munich’s Pinakothek der Moderne is showing Gerhard Richter’s most recent phase of his highly diverse oeuvre: vibrant, abstract sketches created with oil pastels, coloured pencils and ink.

Richter sees these smaller-format works as giving him an ultimate experimental freedom: "Die kleinen Abstrakten Bilder waren (...) eine Erholung, eine Art Altersleichtsinn - ich muss nichts mehr beweisen , ich darf mich etwas gehen lassen. Nicht unkontrolliert, aber nicht mit einem so ausgesprochenen Willen oder einem Ziel"(The small abstract pictures were (...) respite, a kind of recklessness in old age - I don’t have to prove anything anymore, I can let myself go a bit. Not uncontrolled but also not with any explicit intention or aim).

The exhibition runs through to 6th June, and can be previewed here.

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