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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Building-related art in the DDR: Wall design by Karl-Heinz Adler + Friedrich Kracht from 1976 at the Neuen Rathaus Plauen | from 21/06/2024

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As part of the Long Night of Museums in Plauen, the large, historical mural by Karl-Heinz Adler (1927-2018) and Friedrich Kracht (1925-2007) on the New Town Hall in Plauen will be shown for the first time after restoration and will be accessible to the public again after decades. Thanks to the commitment of Plauen’s citizens and the EIGEN + ART gallery, the city of Plauen and the Wüstenrot Foundation decided in 2019 to completely uncover and restore the mural in line with its listed status.

Image above: Thomas Wolf, Wüstenrot Stiftung

The large, historic mural by Karl-Heinz Adler (1927-2018) and Friedricht Kracht (1925-2007) on the New Town Hall in Plauen is now open to the public again for the first time in decades. Thanks to the commitment of the citizens of Plauen and the EIGEN + ART gallery, the city of Plauen and the Wüstenrot Foundation decided in 2019 to uncover the mural and completely restore it in line with its listed status.

Dipl. Rest, Stadt Plauen

The 250 square metre abstract work was created between 1975 and 1976 and was hidden behind the concrete panels of the New Town Hall for over 30 years. Adler and Kracht are important representatives of building-related art in the former GDR and won a competition in the 1970s to design the walls of Plauen’s New Town Hall. Their painting does not depict labour leaders or scientists, doves of peace or space rockets, but rhythmically arranged and interpenetrating geometric shapes, created using a specially developed, experimental technology. Coloured glass splinters were applied using a spray gun in this patented process.

Dipl. Rest, Stadt Plauen

Colloquially known as the “ghost train” by locals at the time, the work was criticised shortly after completion for its colourfulness, among other things. It was only visible for eleven years. In 1987, it was covered with sandstone slabs and fell into oblivion. Today, the mural is rightly regarded as a milestone of Eastern Modernism.

As part of the 17th Night of Museums, the travelling exhibition “Karl-Heinz Adler and Friedrich Kracht – A New Discovery of Eastern Modernism” can be seen in Plauen Town Hall on 21 June from 6 pm to 1 am. The exhibition is dedicated to introducing the two artists and providing an insight into their work. At 8 pm and 10 pm, there will also be explanations on the restoration of the wall design by Karl-Heinz Adler and Friedrich Kracht by qualified restorer Martin Fliedner.

The artist’s next solo exhibition will be shown at Galerie EIGEN + ART in Berlin from 14 November to 20 December 2024, opening on Thursday, 14 November from 5 to 8 pm.

WHEN?

Opening: Friday, 21 June 2024, 18:00-01:00

WHERE?

North facade
Unterer Graben 1
08523 Plauen

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Thomas Hoepker 1936-2024