Friendship. Nature. Culture 44 Years of the Mercedes-Benz Art Collection

23 Oct 2021 – 21 Aug 2022

Regular hours

11:00 – 18:00
11:00 – 18:00
11:00 – 18:00
11:00 – 18:00
11:00 – 18:00
11:00 – 18:00
11:00 – 18:00

Special hours


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Mercedes-Benz Contemporary

Berlin, Germany


Travel Information

  • Varian-Fry-Str.: 200, 347
  • S+U Potsdamer Platz Bhf: S1, S2, S25; U2
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The anniversary exhibition ‘Friendship. Nature. Culture. 44 Years of the Mercedes-Benz Art Collection’ looks back on the development of an internationally renowned corporate collection.


From over 3,000  artworks in the collection, founded in 1977, about 100 works by ca. 70 artists have been selected.  Relating, in a broad sense, to contemporary phenomena in the context of friendship, nature and culture, the artistic works from a period of 100 years form networks and explore the interplay between art and human coexistence. 

The exhibition shows a cross-section of the collection’s history from its beginnings in the tradition of  South German Modernism, through abstract-minimalist approaches, and further to a current focus on international photography and media art. This multifaceted horizon of art history and the diversity of materials and media reflect the profile of the Mercedes-Benz Art Collection. At the same time, the orientation towards reduced, conceptual, and minimalist tendencies is perceptible throughout. Another focus of the collection’s development since 2000 has been on works by women artists of the 20th and 21st  centuries. 

The terms used in the title – friendship, nature, and culture—serve as points of connection to reflect on events and phenomena of our immediate present. Hannah Arendt gave her much-acclaimed speech  ›On Humanity in Dark Times‹ in 1959. In it, she formulated thoughts on the political dimension of the concept of friendship. She understands this as an actively lived and shaped relationship between people, which opens up a perspective on diverse and divergent points of view: it is about the friendship of the different. For Arendt, the essence of humanity lies in conversation. Against the backdrop of current trends of populism and increasing polarization, Arendt’s understanding of friendship prompts reflection on togetherness in times of social divisions. 

Linked to this political charging of the notion of friendship are changing understandings of the concepts of nature and culture. In the context of the climate crisis and human influence, in both a  negative and possible positive sense, it becomes apparent how intertwined human solidarity, nature,  and culture are. 

On the occasion of 44 years of the Mercedes-Benz Art Collection, the exhibition ‘Friendship. Nature. Culture’  brings works from painting, drawing, collage, video, photography, installation from the 1920s to the present into a cross-media dialogue. The exhibition, therefore, opens up different perspectives on artistic concepts of the aspects of friendship, nature, and culture as they have occupied art in a global perspective over the last four decades. 

Curator: Renate Wiehager 


Josef Albers (D), Heba Y. Amin (ET), Amish (USA), John M Armleder (CH), Silvia Bächli (CH), Willi  Baumeister (D), Amit Berlowitz (USA), Hicham Berrada (MA), Dieter Blum (D), Lina Bo Bardi (I/BR),  Hal Busse (D), André Cadere (RO/F), Cao Fei (CHN), Stéphane Dafflon (CH), Philippe Decrauzat  (CH), Mbali Dhlamini (ZA), Maria Eichhorn (D), Haris Epaminonda (CY), Adolf Fleischmann (D),  Sylvie Fleury (CH), Hermann Glöckner (D), Carola Grahn (S), Guan Xiao (CHN), Thea Gvetadze (LV),  Sandra Hastenteufel (D), Isabell Heimerdinger (D), Jan Henderikse (NL), Rita Hensen (D), Georg  Herold (D), Pieter Hugo (ZA), Bethan Huws (GB), Manfred P. Kage (D), René Kanzler (D), Imi  Knoebel (D), Norbert Kricke (D), Liu Zheng (CHN), Richard Paul Lohse (CH), Ma Qiusha (CHN), Annu Palakunnathu Matthew (GB), John McLaughlin (USA), Otto Meyer-Amden (CH), Gerold Miller (D), Pieter Laurens Mol (NL), François Morellet (F), Sarah Morris (GB), John Nixon (AUS), Rupert Norfolk (GB), Henk Peeters (NL), Verena Pfisterer(D), Franklin Price Knott (USA), Timm Rautert (D), Anselm Reyle (D), Joseph Francis Charles Rock (A), Karin Sander (D), Pietro Sanguineti (D), Viviane Sassen (NL), Michael Sayles (GB), Oskar Schlemmer (D), Raphaela Simon (D), Dayanita Singh (IND), Pamela  Singh (IND), Buhlebezwe Siwani (ZA), Elaine Sturtevant (USA), Eva Teppe (D), Yuken Teruya (J), Guy  Tillim (ZA), Anna Tretter (D), Luca Trevisani (I), Georges Vantongerloo (B), Michel Verjux (F), Franz  Erhard Walther (D), Andy Warhol (USA), Dawn Williams Boyd (USA), Georg Winter (D) 


Renate Wiehager

Renate Wiehager

Exhibiting artistsToggle

Manfred P. Kage

Haris Epaminonda

Pamela Singh

Josef Albers

Josef Albers

Carola Grahn

Isabell Heimerdinger

François Morellet

Rita Hensen

Lina Bo Bardi

Philippe Decrauzat

Maria Eichhorn

Buhlebezwe Siwani

Dayanita Singh

Michael Sayles

John McLaughlin

Norbert Kricke

Franklin Price Knott

Georg Herold

Rupert Norfolk

Timm Rautert

Elaine Sturtevant

Stéphane Dafflon

Thea Gvetadze

Cao Fei

André Cadere

Dieter Blum

Hal Busse

Amit Berlowitz

Verena Pfisterer

Pietro Sanguineti

Ma Qiusha

Karin Sander

Guan Xiao

Otto Meyer-Amden

Raphaela Simon

John Nixon

Yuken Teruya

Gerold Miller

Anselm Reyle

Adolf Fleischmann

Adolf Fleischmann

Richard Paul Lohse

Georges Vantongerloo

Georgie White Winter

Hermann Glöckner

Pieter Hugo

Michel Verjux

Liu Zheng

Silvia Bächli

Dawn Williams Boyd

Anna Tretter

Heba Y. Amin

John M Armleder

Luca Trevisani

Franz Erhard Walther

René Kanzler

Imi Knoebel

Jan Henderikse

Joseph Francis Charles Rock

Guy Tillim

Mbali Dhlamini

Pieter Laurens Mol

Oskar Schlemmer

Willi Baumeister

Annu Palakunnathu Matthew

Sarah Morris

Sandra Hastenteufel

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol

Sylvie Fleury

Bethan Huws

Eva Teppe

Viviane Sassen

Hicham Berrada

Henk Peeters


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