Behind the Mask: Artists in the GDR



Museum Barberini


Alter Markt
Humboldtstr. 5–6
14467 Potsdam


Email Address:

+49 331 236014-499

Working hours:
Monday and from Wednesday to Sunday Last admission: 6 p.m. 10 a.m.–7 p.m. Every first Thursday Last admission: 8 p.m. 10 a.m.–9 p.m. Tuesdays closed

Always check the current working hours on the website.

Artists in the GDR were caught between providing a role model and retreating into seclusion, between operating within a prescribed collective and pursuing creative individuality. How did they reflect the way they saw their profession and their own take on the official mission to educate the public? This exhibition brings together self- and group portraits, role projections and studio scenes to illustrate the critical gaze they turned upon themselves.

Behind the Mask: Artists in the GDR is about the self-styling of artists as individuals from 1945 to 1989, presented through four generations in paintings, photographs, prints, drawings, collages, sculptures, and performances.
It shows
 that art cannot be reduced to ideological ascriptions. With this exhibition, the Museum Barberini has begun to investigate its collection of GDR art, which still plays a marginal role in German art history. Building on in-house holdings, the show brings together more than one hundred works by eighty artists.

Exhibition view "Behind the Mask: Artists in the GDR" at the Museum Barberini, Photo: Helge Mundt, © Museum Barberini

Image on top: Trak Wendisch: Seiltänzer, 1984, Neue Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin© VG BILD-KUNST, Bonn 2017


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Image of the Day

Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Earshot, 2016

Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Earshot, 2016


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