Guided tours through the Picture Cellar with Dr. Angela Lammert (leader of Interdisciplinary special projectsLeiterin des Bereichs interdisziplinäre Sonderprojekte) and und Carolin Schönemann (Secretary of the SectionSekretär der Sektion Baukunst)
The politically-charged era of the late 1950s and early 1960s in the former GDR led to conflicts faced by the master student generation, which included Manfred Böttcher, Wieland Förster, Dieter Goltzsche, Harald Metzkes, Ernst Schroeder, Werner Stötzer and Horst Zickelbein ‒ artists who played a major role in the formation of the "Berlin School". An existential mood, typical of the times, is reflected in what came to be known as their "Black Period". Art criticism deemed it formalist and decadent, and as a result some of these works could no longer be shown publicly.
Murals by Böttcher, Schroeder, Metzkes and Zickelbein have been preserved in the basement of the Akademie der Künste building. They were painted in 1957 and 1958 for two Fasching (carnival) events that the artists celebrated with fellow Akademie members. Now they are accessible to the public for the first time.
Free and uninhibited sceneries populate the walls of this former coal cellar, and it quickly becomes apparent that these paintings deviate in style from government-approved Socialist Realism. The artists experimented here with works that could not have been exhibited. Today, the paintings are seen as substantiation of this younger generation of artists’ opposition to accepted painting in East Berlin.
Outside Berlin Art Week open only upon request
Visit to Picture Cellar is not barrier-free and at one’s own risk