Germany Divided explores a selection of unpublished and unseen works from some of the leading names in contemporary art. Showcased are key works from six artists who re-defined art in Germany in the second half of the twentieth century: Georg Baselitz; Marcus Lupertz; Blinky Palermo; A.R. Penck; Sigmar Polke and Gerhard Richter. In-depth biographical essays on each artist show how the division of Germany into separate states affected their work; and the importance of the experience of migration from East to West. The new consumer culture in the West contrasted starkly with the planned economy of the East. Artists on both side of the Wall were faced with the difficult emotional task of negotiating with the past; not only the recent history of the Third Reich, but the lost traditions of German painting, particularly Expressionism, from which they had been cut adrift. Germany Divided explores the work of these artists in the broader historical context of Germany and Europe in the 1960s and 1970s, and shows how these debates placed crucial emphasis on the creation and display of art.
Graphic traditions, reaching back through Expressionism to older traditions of print-making in Germany, were an essential part of the reconstruction of artistic life, and a basis for the phenomenal international success of German art on an international stage in the decades to follow.
Publisher: British Museum Press