Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Guggenheim-Berlin: Visions of Modernity

Unlike its big sisters in New York and Bilbao, the Guggenheim Museum in Berlin is modest in size and nondescript in architecture. The Museum has no permanent collection of its own, and instead hosts four exhibitions a year. In the past, these exhibitions have been unimpressive. The Guggenheim's latest offering, Visions of Modernity, is no exception. 

Lauschende (Listening)
Heinrich Campendonk
One of the few interesting
works
This small collection of modern art from the late 1900's and early 20th century is uninspired despite having the works of Picasso, Brancusi, Kandinsky, Miró, Delaunay, Cézanne, and Modigliani. There has been a lot of buzz about the exhibition, but all that buzz is just hype. In fact, the curators seemed intent on making the exhibition as dry and mundane as possible.

The works are displayed in a hodgepodge fashion with little information about the individual pieces other than the title of the work and name of the artist. It reminded me of the way museums used to exhibit works of art, accessible only to people with advanced degrees in art. The Guggenheim foundation can present impressive and imaginative exhibitions. The Kandinsky show at the New York Guggenheim was remarkable in its accessibility and ability to tell a story. 

Visions of Modernity is on view until February 17, 2013, and admission is free on Mondays.

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