Looking for something to do indoors while it’s snowing? Museums are a great way to spend the day inside without getting cabin fever. While in Berlin be sure to escape to the Museum Berggruen to see George Condo’s Confrontation exhibit from 19. November 2016 – 12. March 2017.
Museum Berggruen is one of several state museums that form the National Gallery of Berlin. It is located right in front of the Charlottenburg Palace, and is across from another art museum, the Scharf-Gerstenberg Collection. You can purchase tickets for both museums at once, if you plan on spending the day!
The late Heinz Berggruen is the man behind the Museum Berggruen. He was a Jewish-born art collector, who fled Hitler’s Germany for the United States in 1936. Berggruen later returned to Europe, opened a gallery in Paris, and became good friends with many artist including none other than Pablo Picasso. Moving his art collection to Berlin in the 90s symbolized both reconciliation and coming to terms with his homeland.
George Condo is a contemporary American painter whose pieces often blend humor and irony. He was friends with the late Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, worked for Andy Warhol as a screen printer, and most recently battled with cancer. His artwork done for Kanye West’s album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy received both mainstream popularity and outcry, as the main covered was banned in the US.
Artificial realism is a termed created by Condo, which describes his work rather well. Condo portrays the unreal in a realistic manner, combining both the history of European masterpieces and American pop. The concept further claims that reality is beyond us. We can’t comprehend it, because it can only be understood through our manmade filter known as senses.
What makes the setup of the Confrontation exhibition unique is that it displays George Condo’s work amongst the museum’s permanent collection, including pieces by Picasso, Matisse, Klee, Giacometti, and Cézanne. The juxtaposition adds a fresh new twist on the interwoven and almost repetitive tendencies of art. It highlights Condo’s inspiration, and the development of particular artists movements.
With a confrontation, an opposition is happening — and the beautiful thing that can happen in a confrontation is the resolution. It’s much more gratifying than the predictable agreement in a dialogue. –George Condo on the exhibition
Be sure to read through the booklet provided at the entrance while exploring the exhibition. Each room is separated into conceptual blocks, such as Works for the Stage, Analytical Cubism, Nude Drawings, or it is divided by eras of an artists’ works.