Postwar: Art Between the Pacific and the Atlantic, 1945–1965

14 Oct 2016 – 26 Mar 2017

Haus der Kunst

Bayern, Germany


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  • Tram: Vollbild Nationalmuseum Hau der Kunst

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In 2016, two prominent exhibition projects explore the pressing question of which factors remain relevant to the writing of art history.


While "A History: Contemporary Art from the Centre Pompidou" provides an overview of contemporary art since the 1980s, "Postwar: Art between the Pacific and the Atlantic, 1945–1965" analyzes the time immediately after World War II.

Uniquely, the Postwar exhibition project understands the term "postwar" as a truly global condition, with the increasingly interlocked and interdependent nature of the world reflected as a single entity characterized by new geopolitical affinities and technological realities.

Geographically it follows the coastlines of the two great oceans as representatives of the Atlantic and Pacific hemispheres, extending from Germany via Japan to South America, featuring around 180 artists from 50 countries: Francis Bacon, Joseph Beuys, Willem de Kooning, Ibrahim El-Salahi, Ben Enwonwu, Jasper Johns, On Kawara, Krishen Khanna, Isamu Noguchi, Helio Oiticica, Colette Oluwabamise Omogbai, Robert Rauschenberg, Gerard Sekoto, Kazuo Shiraga, Andy Warhol a.o.

Organized in eight thematic sections, "Postwar" illuminates these epochal social changes – "Aftermath: Zero Hour and the Atomic Era"; "Form Matters"; "New Images of Man"; "Realisms"; "Concrete Visions"; "Cosmopolitan Modernisms"; "Nations Seeking Form"; "Networks, Media, and Communication." Postwar therefore transcends the boundaries between continents, political systems, economic structures, and institutional frameworks. It seeks to understand the complex legacies of artistic practice and art historical discourses that emerged globally in the aftermath of World War II's devastation.

Under the patronage of Frank-Walter Steinmeier,
Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Germany 

"Postwar: Art between the Pacific and the Atlantic, 1945–1965" is generously supported by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes, the Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne, and Goethe-Institut.

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