One of the monoliths of Berlin's culture is the Neue Nationalgalerie. Immerse yourself in the fascinating world of the great artists of the 20th century.
The Neue Nationalgalerie at the Kulturforum Berlin is one of the city's state museums, and the most important art addresses of the capital. The exhibition presents important art of the 20th century, moving from cubism and surrealism to American colour field painting. During a tour of the permanent exhibition, you encounter such celebrated names as Pablo Picasso, Paul Klee, Otto Dix and Morris Louis. Fittingly, they are housed in an impressive, light-flooded glass building by famous architect, Mies van der Rohe. Since January 2015, the Neue Nationalgalerie has been undergoing comprehensive modernisation by David Chipperfield. Until its re-opening in 2019, twice a year you can see the collection in thematic exhibitions at the Hamburger Bahnhof.
From classical modernism to colour field painting
Mies van der Rohe's last independent work, the Neue Nationalgalerie, opens in 1968 on Reichpietschufer near Potsdamer Platz. The building with the ergonomic hall and floating roof is an architectural icon, and its minimalist design works in harmony with the modern collection. While temporary exhibitions take place in the building's Glass Pavilion, the permanent exhibition is housed in the basement. To the west, a door leads to a leafy sculpture garden under the open sky. It's inspired by the sculpture garden of the MoMa in New York and showcases high-calibre sculptures from Richard Sierra and Barnett Newman. During your tour, you'll experience great milestones of painting and sculpture - from classical modernism to the 1980s. A focal point of the collection is German expressionism: with Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Otto Dix and Max Beckmann all making appearances. Dalí, Miró and Picasso dip into surrealism. Klee and Kandinsky give an insight into the doctrine of the Bauhaus - the world famous art and design movement. On large canvases, abstract and colourful, the American painters Barnett Newman, Frank Stella and Ellsworth Kelly proclaim a new era.
Highlights of the Neue Nationalgalerie
- National Gallery building by Mies van der Rohe - an icon of modern architecture.
- Femme assise dans un fauteuil (1909), Pablo Picasso.
- Potsdamer Platz (1914), Ernst Ludwig Kirchner.
- Who's afraid of red, yellow and blue IV (1969-70), Barnett Newman.
- Head in brass (1925), Rudolf Belling.
Art, culture and politics around the Berlin Kulturforum
Located on Potsdamer Straße, around a 10-minute walk south of the Kulturforum, is gallery Jarmuschek + Partners. Here, young international artists exhibit. The focus is on installations and painting - both representational and abstract. Great art also finds a home in the Kulturforum Gemäldegalerie. Marvel at famous paintings from the 13th to 18th centuries by Titian, Holbein, Dürer and Rembrandt among others. The Botticelli collection is one of the most prestigious in the world. A few steps away, the Kunstgewerbemuseum (Museum of Decorative Arts) presents precious medieval gold smithery, artfully painted majolica and delicate porcelain. Follow the exciting history of design from the Middle Ages to the present day. One of Berlin's great cultural centres, the Philharmonie, Chamber Music Hall and the new State Library at Kulturforum Potsdamer Platz resound Europe-wide. Cross the Kulturforum is the Zoologischer Garten, the river Spree and Schloss Bellevue, the residence of the Federal President. Prince Ferdinand of Prussia builds this stately three-winged palace in the 18th century. Take part in a guided tour and enjoy the splendid princely interiors.
Guide for visiting the Neue Nationalgalerie
The Neue Nationalgalerie is easily reached via the underground U2 line to Potsdamer Platz. S-Bahn lines S1, S2 and S25 also stop here. The visitors entrance to the Neue Nationalgalerie is located at Potsdamer Straße 50. Enjoy the exhibition for free with a Berlin Museum Pass.
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