Postwar: Art Between the Pacific and the Atlantic, 1945–1965

EXHIBITION 14.10.16 – 26.03.17

The exhibition examines the vibrant and turbulent postwar period as a global phenomenon for the first time in recent exhibition history. In eight dramatic chapters, the exhibition guides visitors through the first 20 years following the end of World War II, demonstrating how artists coped with and responded to the traumas of the Holocaust, the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki; how the two political blocs of the Cold War exploited the arts and created competition between realism and abstraction, and how displacement and migration produced new cosmopolitan contexts across the world. The postwar period also marked the end of European colonial systems; the rise of nation-building, decolonization and liberation movements; the partition of countries in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East; as well as the civil rights movement in the United States. These changes unleashed an incredible energy visible in the art of the time. New technologies began to pour into everyday life; the space age fascinated artists as well as the masses, opening up a completely new and dynamic field of artistic consideration.

As an in-depth, global study, the exhibition shows painting, sculpture, installation, collage, performance, film, artist books, documents, photography, in total more than 350 works by 218 artists from 65 countries.

Under the patronage of Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Germany

"Postwar: Art Between the Pacific and the Atlantic, 1945–1965" is supported through major funding by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes, the Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne, and Goethe-Institut. Additional generous support is provided by the Gesellschaft der Freunde Haus der Kunst e. V. 

Pablo Picasso, Massacre in Korea, 1951, Musée national Picasso, Paris © Succession Picasso / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2016
Pablo Picasso, Massacre in Korea, 1951, Musée national Picasso, Paris © Succession Picasso / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2016
Emilio Vedova, Berlin, 64, 1964, detail, Courtesy Fondazione Emilio e Annabianca Vedova, Venice, Italy, photo © Paolo Mussat Sartor
Emilio Vedova, Berlin, 64, 1964, detail, Courtesy Fondazione Emilio e Annabianca Vedova, Venice, Italy, photo © Paolo Mussat Sartor
Joseph Beuys, Hirschdenkmäler, 1949-58, Courtesy Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris-Salzburg © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2015, photo Charles Duprat
Joseph Beuys, Hirschdenkmäler, 1949-58, Courtesy Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris-Salzburg © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2015, photo Charles Duprat
Maruki Iri und Toshi, Fire (Panel II), from the series Hiroshima Panels (15 Panels), 1950-82, Maruki Gallery, Higashi-Matsuyama, Saitama, Japan
Maruki Iri und Toshi, Fire (Panel II), from the series Hiroshima Panels (15 Panels), 1950-82, Maruki Gallery, Higashi-Matsuyama, Saitama, Japan
Robert Rauschenberg, Axle, 1964, Museum Ludwig, Schenkung Ludwig, Cologne © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2016
Robert Rauschenberg, Axle, 1964, Museum Ludwig, Schenkung Ludwig, Cologne © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2016
Sandú Darié, Sin Título, (Estructura Transformable) [Untitled, (Transformable Structure)], ca. 1950s, Private Collection, London
Sandú Darié, Sin Título, (Estructura Transformable) [Untitled, (Transformable Structure)], ca. 1950s, Private Collection, London
Kazuo Shiraga, Work II, 1958, Hyōgo Prefectural Museum of Art, Kobe
Kazuo Shiraga, Work II, 1958, Hyōgo Prefectural Museum of Art, Kobe
Affandi, Pengemis Cirebon (Beggar in Cirebon), 1960, Lippo Group Collection, Jakarta
Affandi, Pengemis Cirebon (Beggar in Cirebon), 1960, Lippo Group Collection, Jakarta

Stretch your view


Stretch your view

Picture Gallery


Video

Postwar / Trailer

The trailer gives an impression of the extensive exhibition and the works on view. In eight dramatic chapters, the exhibition guides visitors through the first 20 years following the end of World War II. MORE


Publication

Postwar: Art Between the Pacific and the Atlantic, 1945–1965 - Exhibition Guide

MORE


EXHIBITION

Gustav Metzger: Travertine/Judenpech

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


EXHIBITION

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


Conference

"Postwar – Art between the Pacific and the Atlantic, 1945-1965"

21.05 – 24.05.14

Convened at Haus der Kunst in collaboration with the Tate Modern in 21-24 May, 2014, the "Postwar — Art between the Pacific and Atlantic, 1945-1965" conference is an attempt to reconsider and re-examine the two decades following World War II. MORE


Teachers’ Guide

Teachers’ Guide for the exhibition “Postwar: Art between the Pacific and the Atlantic, 1945-1965”. MORE


Goethe-Institut Postdoctoral Fellowship at Haus der Kunst

The program was inaugurated in August 2013 and awards each fellowship for one academic year. The fifth fellowship is to start in August 2017. MORE


Video

Postwar / exhibition film

The video allows a closer look at the works in the exhibition and its structure, commented by the three co-curators of the exhibition, Okwui Enwezor, Katy Siegel and Ulrich Wilmes. MORE


EXHIBITION

Works of European sculpture

The exhibition focused not only on sculpture as an art form, but also on its interpretation by European artists. MORE


EXHIBITION

Graham Sutherland

A few years after its exhibition of works by English sculptor Henry Moore, Haus der Kunst again paid tribute to a contemporary artist from England, this time to the painter Graham Sutherland. MORE


Worksheets

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


Video

Interventions into Architecture

Video about the artworks currently installed on Haus der Kunst's facade – by Mel Bochner, Christian Boltanski and Gustav Metzger MORE


EXHIBITION

Ellsworth Kelly. Retrospective

17.10.97 – 20.01.98

Ellsworth Kelly is a part of the generation that went beyond Abstract Expressionism in the 1950s and developed a new pictorial language. MORE


EXHIBITION

Emil Schumacher — Retrospective

08.05 – 12.07.98

The paintings of Emil Schumacher (1912–1999) are considered a high point in German postwar art. MORE