On September 29th, 2018 the Academy of Arts on Pariser Platz opens its so-called pictures cellar (Bilderkeller) for the public after nearly 30 years.
Image above: Akademie der Künste, Bilderkeller, Photo: Andreas FranzXaver Süß
In the former boiler room of the Akademie building on Pariser Platz, a series of murals has survived that were created in 1957 and 1958 for two carnival festivals. Painted by Manfred Böttcher, Harald Metzkes, Ernst Schroeder and Horst Zickelbein – former master students of the German Academy of Arts – they are the only original remnant of the historic building in addition to the exhibition halls. Photographed for the first time in 1989, published and carefully preserved since then, they can now be visited for the first time in almost thirty years. On display are unique testimonies of a young opposition in East Berlin painting, whose former conflict potential can still be guessed at today.
The tradition of master class education had been continued in the succession of the Prussian Academy of Arts in the GDR. Supervised by individual members, she offered young artists the chance to work relatively independently in the studios at Pariser Platz 4 for two years. However, in the politico-cultural and explosive period of the 1950s and 1960s, there were bitter debates; a true proxy war against individual academy members flared up. Among them was the sculptor Fritz Cremer, who initiated an exhibition of young art shortly before the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961, which led to a culture-political scandal. Cremer resigned as director and Academy President Otto Nagel had to do it for him – for “health reasons”, as it was officially called. The murals make it clear that the generation of master class students born around 1930 was concerned with a realism different from that demanded by the state. They played a major part in the training of the so-called Berlin School, and their “black pictures” were defamed by the official art critics as being outmoded, decadent and formalistic. The pressure felt from outside made the artists move closer together and react to each other in their pictures. In the open space of the carnival design in the academy, the joy of experiment was vented. Here was raging, which was not allowed to be shown in exhibitions.
The opening of the Bilderkeller will feature interview films with Jürgen Böttcher | Strawalde, Matthias Flügge, Dieter Goltzsche, Harald Metzkes and Werner Stötzer showed insights into the work of the restorers as well as sound documents of the former dispute brought to the fore. Access to the picture cellar is only possible with a guide.
Opening event in the context of the Berlin Art Week 2018:
Saturday, September 29th, 2018 at 5 pm
Guided tours, talks, films, sound documents
with Matthias Flügge, Angela Lammert, Carolin Schönemann
Guided tours of the Bilderkeller:
Saturday and Sunday, September 29th – 30th, 2018
with Angela Lammert and Carolin Schönemann
every hour 10 am -7 pm, admission free
Limited number of participants!
Please note: on September 29th, 2018 there may be blockages due to a state visit to the Pariser Platz. Please use the access via Behrenstraße.
Weekly Guided Tours:
Wednesday, October 3rd to Wednesday, December 19th, 2018 – every Wednesday, 6 pm
Limited number of participants, admission € 5/3
Tickets only in advance at the box office of the academy:
Pariser Platz 4 and Hanseatenweg 10, daily 10 am – 8 pm
as well as in the webshop under: www.adk.de/tickets
Further informations: www.adk.de/bilderkeller