The exhibition Sixty Years, Sixty Works opened at Martin-Gropius-Bau
in Berlin. Organized for the anniversary of the ratification of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany, the exhibition recounts another history of the Republic: the developmental history of the visual arts, made possible by paragraph 5, article 3 of the constitution that guarantees the freedom of expression in art, science, research, and education. Curatorial team spokespersons Walter Smerling and Peter Iden point out: The exhibition is also meant to provide an opportunity to reflect upon whatʼs been created, especially against the background of Germanyʼs specific history. Today we have the freedom and the ability to create and present all conceivable forms of art. Of course art and culture was also created in the GDR between 1949-89. Sixty Years, Sixty Works focuses rather on presenting artistic positions that developed as a result of the foundational stability provided by the constitution, in other words, the freedom of artistic expression guaranteed by the state.
Sixty outstanding works will be presented that have impacted art events both nationally and internationally. The works range from paintings and graphic art, to sculpture, installation, and photography. On view in the comprehensive exhibition are renowned works such as Joseph Beuysʼ felt-covered concert piano Infiltration homogène pour piano à queue from the collection of the Centre George Pompidou, or a configuration of monkey sculptures curated by Markus Lüpertz for his artist friend Jörg Immendorfʼs from his series Malerstamm.
Sixty Years, Sixty Works is an initiative organized by the Foundation for Art and Culture Bonn and BILD, Germanyʼs largest daily paper. As official media partner BILD will be covering the exhibition and presenting daily features of all the major works for sixty days. Major funding for the exhibition had been provided by the gas and electric utility company RWE. Sponsorship by the Essen based corporation centers on culture and education, and provides free of charge entrance and a tour of Sixty Years, Sixty Works to school classes from Berlin and Brandenburg. The exhibition is underwritten by the Ministry of the Interior of the Federal Republic of Germany.
The exhibition and media design developed by ART+COM provides, via the medium of film and interactive terminals, an historical overview of the last sixty years, situating events in the contexts in which they occurred. The WDR has opened its archive to visitors for the exhibition, and Dr. Heribert Schwan has compiled, in the form of sixty short films, a lively chronological history of events between 1949 and 2009.
Various events will accompany the exhibition. Professor of aesthetics Bazon Brock will present daily at 3pm his Visitorʼs School with which he sets up a confrontation between the audience and contemporary art, offering a range of methods for apprehending art critically. At the Salons, scheduled to take place on three separate occasions, experts will discuss the themes Art & Law, Art and Crisis and Art and Time.