Resistance — Thought Pictures for the Future

EXHIBITION 11.12.93 – 20.02.94

In times of increasing nationalist tendencies, the National Gallery of Modern Art and Haus der Kunst felt obligated to take a stand, which found its expression in this collaborative exhibition. Particularly for a history-laden site like Haus der Kunst, which was a symbol of the super-elevation of the "Aryan race" under Adolf Hitler, it was necessary to make a statement against nationalism and anti-Semitism. Eleven internationally recognized artists working in different mediums were invited to show works, which, as "concepts for the future", united aesthetic quality with social commitment.

The classical mediums of painting, drawing, and sculpture were represented by Ida Applebroog, Enzo Cucchi, and Eduardo Chillida. The five-part painting series "Sacrifice/Paradise" (1990) by the American artist Applebroog depicts an armed boy, and thus alludes to the civil war in Northern Ireland and the psychological effects of violence on private life. Cucchi's wall installation "Cathedral del Disegno" (1993) renders archaic myths fruitful for the present and thus confronts a civilization aimed at destroying nature. The "Monument for Tolerance" (1985) by the Basque artist Eduardo Chillida is characterized by the balance of open and closed forms as a symbol of a humanistic thinking, which presents the viewer with a concept of freedom.

Other artists seek expression in conceptualism, forensics, and individual mythology. Christian Boltanski's installation poster "Résistance" (1993) on the facade of Haus der Kunst shows pairs of eyes of former members of the anti-fascist resistance group "Red Orchestra" and warns today's society not to repeat the mistakes of the past. While Tony Cragg questions one-dimensional perception in his double figure "Unholy Ghosts" (1993) made of everyday objects, Ilya Kabakov reflects on daily life in Soviet society with his installation of 76 photographs, "Corridor. My Mother's Life II" (1992). As the former leading figure of the Arte Povera movement, Yannis Kounellis explores Haus der Kunst's Middle Hall, called the Hall of Honor under the Nazis, in his installation of wood, rope, and a bell (1993). The examination of the historical context led Rosemarie Trockel to create "Angel" (1993), intended as a memorial to the homosexual victims of the Third Reich and in recognition of individual humility.

Among the multimedia works in the exhibition, Bruce Nauman's "Clown Torture (I'm Sorry And No, No, No)" from 1987 stands out. He sees the clown as both a victim of an absurd situation and as a perpetrator who tortures the viewer with his noise and chaos, thereby visualizing modern society's underlying structures of violence. In a narrow room with a video and sound installation, with "Reasons For Knocking At An Empty House" (1982), Bill Viola subjects the viewer to a threatening situation and questions his endangered existence. Jeff Wall's three photo light boxes, "The Thinker" (1986), "The Jewish Cemetery" (1980), and "Eviction Struggle" (1988), reflect the exhibition's theme of resistance and respond to current issues such as alienation and economic constraints.

The works exhibited here support Carla Schulz-Hoffmann's thesis – presented in her introductory catalogue essay – that artists today, at a time when normative world views have lost their credibility, practice another, quieter, and more subjective form of resistance that of other great icons of political engagement – for example, Picasso's "Guernica" or Max Ernst's "Engel" (both 1937).

The cover of the 96-page, A4-format softbound catalogue bears the title as well as a photo of Haus der Kunst's colonnade facade. The foreword was written by Christoph Vitali and Carla Schulz-Hoffmann, who also wrote the titular essay. It also includes contributions by Hans Belting, Achille Bonita Oliva, and Helmut Kronthaler. The catalogue presents an alphabetical list of the artists, as well as color photos and an essay complement each chapter.

Stretch your view

Stretch your view


A Keen Eye — Contemporary Art in Munich

10.09 – 30.10.94

With the title "Scharf in Schauen" ("A Keen Eye") – a quote from Lion Feuchtwanger's novel "Success" – Haus der Kunst has devoted an exhibition to contemporary art in Munich. MORE


Per Kirkeby — Anticipation of the North Pole

16.11.94 – 15.01.95

The exhibition was developed in cooperation with the "Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin" – which, in its annual November edition No. 46, presented a kind of graphic novel consisting of a cycle of pastel drawings that the artist created especially for the publication. MORE


Tivadar Kosztka Csontváry 1853–1919

18.11.94 – 29.01.95

Tivadar Kosztka Csontváry (1853–1919) is considered one of the greatest Hungarian artists and one of the most original painters of his time. MORE


Christian Boltanski: Résistance

As part of the Archive Gallery's 2015/16 program, two former artistic interventions on Haus der Kunst's facade have been reactivated: Christian Boltanski's "Résistance" and Gustav Metzger's "Travertin/Judenpech". MORE


Elan Vital, or the Erotic Eye

– 14.08.94

As a reflection of the concept of life as a unified yet ramified flow, the exhibition thematically explores the phenomenon of organic abstraction in Kandinsky, Klee, Arp, Miró, and Calder from 1920 to 1945. MORE


Worksheets on the Archive Gallery 2015/16

Here you find the worksheets on the Archive Gallery 2015/16 and the works of Gustav Metzger and Christian Boltanski MORE


Roy Lichtenstein — The Retrospective

14.10.94 – 08.01.95

Lichtenstein, like Andy Warhol, has been regarded as a founder of Pop Art, the path for which had been paved by Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns. MORE


Christian Boltanski — Lost in Munich

14.11.97 – 11.01.98

The installation, created for Haus der Kunst in collaboration with Edition No. 46 of the "Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin", leads exhibition visitors to a temporary branch of Munich's lost and found office. MORE


Ai Weiwei. So Sorry

12.10.09 – 17.01.10

Ai Weiwei is regarded as one of the most important contemporary artists in China. Besides several familiar works in different media, Ai Weiwei also shows two new works in "So Sorry" that were produced especially for the Haus der Kunst. MORE


Art in the "Third Reich": Hitler's 'Brush Worker'

SPIEGEL ONLINE article on Adolf Ziegler, painter and president of the Reich's Chamber of Visual Arts, whose painting "The Four Elements" was on view in the exhibition "Histories in Conflict" MORE

Pdf, Essay

History of the air-raid shelter in Haus der Kunst

Text on the history of the former air-raid shelter in Haus der Kunst by Munich historian Sabine Brantl. MORE


Histories in Conflict


The illustrated online tour guides you through the six stations of the exhibition "Histories in Conflict", which takes a critical look at Haus der Kunst's historical heritage. MORE


Wilhelm Lehmbruck

The exhibition focused on 46 sculptures, but also draw the viewer's attention to a number of various paintings, drawings, and graphic works, thereby revealing a largely unknown aspect of the artist's body of work. MORE

The Confiscation of "Degenerate Art" 1937–38

Database on all works of “degenerate art” confiscated from German museums in 1937/38. Project by the Freie Universität Berlin MORE


Degenerate Art — The Iconoclasm 25 Years Ago

The exhibition commemorated the defamatory "Degenerate Art" exhibition, which was ordered by Adolf Hitler and took place at the same time as the lavish launch of the "House of German Art" in 1937. MORE

In the press

Histories in Conflict

Read a selection of the latest press reports, radio features, and reviews of the exhibition. MORE


The 1930s. Setting: Germany

11.02 – 17.04.77

Golo Mann praised the exhibition of German painting, sculpture, and decorative arts in the 1930s as a bold undertaking, for this period had previously been taboo. MORE


Wounds of Memory

06.05 – 28.05.95

With "Wounds of Memory", organized on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the liberation from Nazi dictatorship, Haus der Kunst wanted to draw attention to the war's horrific banality. MORE




Amar Kanwar

08.10 – 09.11.08

In his 19-part film essay Amar Kanwar deals in a direct, elliptical and metaphorical way with the fight for a democratic society, with political exile, memory and alienation. MORE