What is modern art (group show)

The exhibition What is Modern Art? (Group Show) which takes place in Berlin from 29 September until 29 October 2006 in parallel to ArtForum Berlin gathers a series of art projects that have contributed to the development of a specific art practice based on anonymity and copying. These projects examine authors, exhibitions and institutions central to 20 th century art (and its historiography), using copies to de- and reconstruct their specific art historical events and narratives. Some of them, with roots in the (South-Eastern) European art scene of the 1970s-80s, became a central point of inspiration for a younger generation of artists. So far, Salons, Mausoleums and Museums with permanent exhibitions have been established in New York, Belgrade and, most recently, Berlin.

What is Modern Art (Group Show) is the first exhibition internationally to gather these projects in a comprehensive group exhibit at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien, the Galerie 35 and the Museum of American Art in Berlin. It is being curated, or rather edited, by Inke Arns (Berlin) and Walter Benjamin (New York).

The exhibition at Künstlerhaus Bethanien includes Collection of Drawings of an Art Amateur Made on his Travels through a Mysterious and Faraway Land, 1900, Moderne Kunst from the Museum Folkwang, Hagen 1904, and From the Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (1905-1913). All three works are by the Salon de Fleurus (New York), and examine the art of the 19 th and the early 20 th centuries. They are on display at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Studio 1 on the first floor. Studios 2 and 4 feature the International Exhibition of Modern Art ( Armory Show ), 2013, and Kazimir Malevich's Last Futurist Exhibition 0,10, two important exhibitions that took place in the US and Russia between 1913 and 1916. Studio 2 also contains Alfred Barr's Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1936 , while new works by the Museum of American Art focusing on documenta 2 (1959) can be found in Studio 1, ground floor: Arnold Bode, Documenta II – Opening (1959), Arnold Bode, Documenta II – Visitors (1959), Porter McCray, Documenta II – Americans (1959) and Dorothy Miller, Neue Amerikanische Malerei (1958).

As the Museum of American Art in Berlin-Friedrichshain shows its permanent collection (predominantly representatives of Abstract Expressionism 1953-59), the Galerie 35 presents Recent Works by Piet Mondrian, accompanied by video recordings of lectures by Walter Benjamin and Katherine Dreier.

A comprehensive two-volume catalogue (German/English) will be published by Revolver – Archiv für aktuelle Kunst, Frankfurt am Main 2006.

What is Modern Art? (Group Show)

Künstlerhaus Bethanien
& Galerie 35 / Museum of American Art
Berlin, September 29 – October 29, 2006

Edited by: Inke Arns (Berlin) & Walter Benjamin (New York)
Organisation: Mara Traumane (Berlin/Riga)
Technical Director Leiter (Künstlerhaus Bethanien): Toni Lebkücher
Director of the Workshop (Künstlerhaus Bethanien): Peter Rosemann
Technicians: Elmar Schlenke, Torben Schomaker
Exhibition set up (Abrell&vandenBerg): Maurus Kmür, Jahn Vogtschmidt, Mark Schmitz, Cisca Bogman
Technical Assistant (What is Modern Art?): Goran Djordjevic
Buchhaltung (mikro e.V.): Niels van Wieringen (Berlin)

Funded by Kulturstiftung des Bundes.

A project by mikro e.V., Berlin.

Generously supported by
Künstlerhaus Bethanien GmbH, Berlin