THE MINSK Kunsthaus in Potsdam is showing the retrospective Nichts Neues (Nothing New) in spring 2023, dedicated to the artist Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt (*1932 in Wurzen) and her artistic life’s work between 1960 and 1990. The exhibition examines Wolf-Rehfeldt’s typewritings, prints, collages and paintings in three thematic episodes that open up new perspectives on the artist’s oeuvre as a whole.
Image caption: Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt, Save Nature, 1980er-Jahre. Privatsammlung, Berlin
The first episode, “Many Open Questions”, focuses on finding and overcoming physical, cognitive and systemic boundaries. “Whether nature did not take over when it afforded humans” is the initial question of the second episode. The themes of environmental destruction, environmental protection and the relationship between man and nature recur in the artist’s work. In addition, she dealt intensively with other socially relevant topics such as information technologies, feminism, interpersonal relationships and the effects of the Cold War. The last episode asks the question “Where do you stand?” and invites the viewer to reflect on her own standpoints and convictions.
Wolf-Rehfeldt wrote her first poems in the early 1960s and created pastels, drawings and paintings as a self-taught artist. Her typewriter graphics, which she herself called “Typewritings”, were preceded by a long and intensive exploration of image, writing and language. Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt’s first Typewritings were created in 1972 and the typewriter became her artistic means of production. She experimented with the visualisation of language and laid the foundation for her concrete poetry. In a manuscript entitled Signs Fiction, the artist explained how pre-existing signs became the building blocks of fictional signs for her by giving new meaning to words and alphabetic symbols. The properties of the alphabet became the material of her visual compositions. Thus Wolf-Rehfeldt used linguistic signs beyond their linguistic meaning and successively developed an independent formal language in her typewritings.
Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt was connected to a large network of international artists known as the Mail Art movement. She and her partner Robert Rehfeldt were pioneers of this form of artistic exchange in the GDR, which enabled the uncensored circulation of art and ideas.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Wolf-Rehfeldt stopped her artistic work completely, as she saw the function of art production and dissemination fundamentally changed by the newly won freedom.
The exhibition is curated by Paola Malavassi and Marie Gerbaulet.
Program preview 2023
June 3 – August 20, 2023
The summer exhibition shows a selection of works from the former GDR that are part of the Hasso Plattner Collection.
September 16, 2023 – February 4, 2024
Curated by Paola Malavassi and Jason Moran
The exhibition focuses on the legendary concert tour that led jazz musician Louis Armstrong through the GDR in 1965.
Exhibition dates: Saturday, 11 February until Sunday, 07 May 2023
10 Euros, 8 Euros concession
Combined ticket 20 Euros, 12 Euros concession
The combined ticket is valid for the Museum Barberini and DAS MINSK Kunsthaus in Potsdam.
DAS MINSK Kunsthaus
Hint:The MINSK team is always happy to receive contact from contemporary witnesses of the former terrace restaurant “Minsk” by mail or e-mail: email@example.com.