This exhibition delineates the trajectory of German art during the years following the end of the Second World War until the present. The art and artists that emerged during this critical period are best considered within the context of German history and culture. Germany was divided into East and West, with West Berlin located deep within East Germany. Art was moribund. Hitler had mocked and banished artists, and tainted and co-opted the symbols of German culture and identity. While the country was physically restored in the early 1950's, its artistic rebirth would not start until the early 1960's.
This exhibition begins with the first generation of postwar artists: Joseph Beuys, the charismatic professor of the Düsseldorf Academy; his former friend Dieter Roth; and his students; Jörg Immendorff, Sigmar Polke and Gerhard Richter; and from Berlin; Georg Baselitz, A.R. Penck, Markus Lüpertz, and Antonius Höckelmann.
The second generation is represented by Martin Kippenberger, Albert Oehlen, Rosemarie Trockel, Erwin Pfrang, and Werner Büttner.