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KVOST: CLARA MOSCH and early art actions in the GDR | 27.04.-30.07.2023

Editors’ Choice

From 27 April 2023, KVOST will be showing the exhibition “CLARA MOSCH und frühe Kunstaktionen in der DDR” (CLARA MOSCH and Early Art Actions in the GDR) by the artists (among others) Michael Morgner, Thomas Ranft, Carlfriedrich Claus, Gregor-Torsten Schade and Dagmar Ranft-Schinke. The exhibition at KVOST is dedicated to the work of the producer gallery Clara Mosch, which was founded in Karl-Marx-Stadt (now Chemnitz) in 1977 and existed until 1982, as well as the group of artists of the same name that developed from it.

Fig. above: Photo: Ralf-Rainer Wasse / Baumbesteigung / 1979 / Pleinair Rügen, Lindenau-Museum Altenburg / Archiv Ralf-Rainer Wasse

The exhibition combines original artworks, editions and posters together with photographs from the Ralf-Rainer Wasse archive of the Lindenau Museum Altenburg collection. It is the first institutional “solo exhibition” in Berlin to explore the work of Clara Mosch.

The catchy name is an anagram made up of the beginnings of the surnames of the participants: CLA = Carlfriedrich Claus, RA = Thomas Ranft and Dagmar Ranft-Schinke, MO = Michael Morgner, SCH = Gregor-Torsten Schade. As founders of the first producer gallery in the GDR, as well as with their own diverse work, the group is one of the most important representatives of the GDR avant-garde.

A thematic focus of the exhibition is above all on the land art actions and plein airs that were closely associated with Clara Mosch. These obstinate actions not only bear witness to a remarkable oeuvre of the avant-garde scene around Clara Mosch, but also shed light on the various facets of the environmental movement and the treatment of nature in the GDR. Very relevant, for example, is the action “Trees Connect” (1983), for which members of the group climbed two trees in Tabarz (Thuringia) and wrapped the branches with gauze bandages. With this action they wanted to draw attention to the rapidly spreading forest dieback, which is still progressing steadily today.

The “Leussow Suitcase” is another important work. The original edition, which was published in collaboration with Galerie Akarde in 1978, will be on display in the exhibition. The work was created after the “Leussow Recycling” action, in which the artists made monumental objects from felled wood and then burned them. The printed wooden case consists of limited edition prints and photographs, as well as test tubes filled with the ashes from the action.

One of Clara Mosch’s declared aims was to draw more attention to the destruction of the environment. A situation that has not improved even 40 years later, but rather has worsened. Therefore, Clara Mosch’s actions have lost none of their topicality and urgency today. It is therefore particularly interesting to consider and question them in the context of today’s discourses on ecology and climate protection.

The actions of the group were extensively documented photographically by Ralf-Rainer Wasse, friend and extended member of Clara Mosch. Even though it is a stroke of luck that the actions could be recorded in this way, the abundance of documentation is, however, highly ambivalent. For Wasse, as it turned out after the fall of the Wall, was one of more than 120 employees whom the Ministry for State Security had commissioned to observe and “decompose” the group.


Leipziger Strasse 47 / Jerusalemer Strasse
10117 Berlin-Mitte



Wednesday, 26 April 2023 . 7 to 9 pm

Exhibition period:

Thursday, 27 April – Sunday, 30 July 2023

Opening hours KVOST:

Wednesday – Sunday 14 – 18 pm

NEW / Guided tours of the exhibition: every Saturday at 3 pm

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