Leipzig was a centre of the fine arts in former East Germany. Following the Peaceful Revolution of 1989, an unparalleled art boom began which made the works of the "Leipzig School" internationally renowned and coveted by collectors. This exhibition reviewed the development of the fine arts in Leipzig between 1949 and 2009 and compared the legend with the reality of Leipzig.
The exhibition started with the year 1949 when both East and West Germany were founded. The political division of Germany resulted in disparate artistic positions in East and West, especially in terms of artistic freedom and social responsibility. Even the Leipzig College of Graphic Design and Book Art saw its task as promoting "realistic art that people can understand", yet allowed its artists to exercise a certain degree of freedom within socialistic realism. Artists from Leipzig began attracting attention on the European stage in the 1970s. In 1977 several of them were invited to the documenta VI in Kassel (Bernhard Heisig, Wolfgang Mattheuer, Werner Tübke) and to the Venice Biennial in 1984. Although the events of 1989 abruptly changed artistic production conditions in East Germany, "Leipzig aesthetics" continued to develop and draw international acclaim of incredible magnitude.
In addition to displaying paintings, graphic works and photography from the past 60 years, the curators intended to reconstruct the original "GDR Art" room at the documenta VI. The exhibition also examined the commercial and artistic development of the art scene after 1989 which made alternative exhibition venues financially viable, e.g., the former neighbourhood artists' collective Galerie Eigen + Art which has grown into an international art trading company. 60-40-20 wished to highlight the cultural history of Leipzig on the occasion of the 600th anniversary of the city's university.
Curators: Karl-Siegbert Rehberg, Hans-Werner Schmidt, Richard Hüttel, Paul Kaiser, Dietulf Sander, Jeannette Stoschek, Constanze Treuner
Artists: Hartwig Ebersbach, Sighard Gille, Bernhard Heisig, Karl-Georg Hirsch, Wolfgang Mattheuer, Rolf Münzner, Evelyn Richter, Arno Rink, Annette Schröter, Volker Stelzmann, Günter Thiele, Werner Tübke, Elisabeth Voigt and others
Venue and schedule:
Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig, opening: 3 October 2009, exhibition period: 4 October 2009 - 10 January 2010
Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig
www.mdbk.de (external link, opens in a new window)