Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hamburger Bahnhof 1: Five Modern Artists

John and I had the pleasure of visiting one of Berlin's best contemporary art venues, the Hamburger Bahnhof, opened in 1996 in a fantastic refurbished railroad station originally built in 1848.
Here's John entering the front door past Anselm Kiefer's wooden sculpture, Folk  Thing Zero, 1987. That's one of Dan Flavin's neon installations between the arches above him.
The entrance hall and ticket booth showcase the old railroad station structure. Take our advice -- this is a big place with a large permanent collection as well as major changing exhibitions -- if you want to see everything, you'll need two visits.
We started with the permanent collection of 5 major modern artists. They have Roy Lichenstein's Reflections on the "Artist's Studio", 1989,
and Imperfect Painting, 1983.
I loved the rooms of Andy Warhol paintings
like Ten-Foot Flowers, 1967.
Here's John in front of a huge Warhol Mao, 1973
 and here in front of Cow, 1971, and Hammer and Sickle, 1976.
We're both big fans of the work of Cy Twombly. This is Thyrsis, 1977.
And these are John's details of the painting. We love Twombly's script.
Mr Twombly was apparently a big fan of the work of French artist, Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665). In fact he said he would have liked to have been Poussin. This is Poussin's The Victory of Joshua over the Amalekites, c. 1630.
Here's John in front of one of Twombly's works inspired by Poussin, School of Fontainbleau, 1960. I think the influence may be truly understood only by Mr Twombly but I love the results.
Another room was devoted to the work of the contemporary German master, Anselm Kiefer. Here we see his sculpture of a warplane, Hoffmann von Hallersleben aug Helgoland,1983/1987 and behind that, Lilith am Roten Meer, 1990.
Mohn und Gedächtnis, 1989. Mr Kiefer often uses unusual materials in his paintings like soot and tar. We wonder if he influenced one of our favourite Canadian artists, Attila Richard Lukacs, who worked in Berlin for several years and uses similar elements.
Here's John entering the rooms of the neon sculpture of Dan Flavin, a major minimalist artist of the 1970's.
 
 In 1996, Dan Flavin was commissioned to make an installation, Untitled, for the opening of the Hamburger Bahnhof in blue and green neon.
The installation appears throughout the permanent collection and on the front of the building.
There are also earlier pieces like Untitled (to you Leo in long respect and affection) 3, 1978.
So beautiful.

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