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Saturday, February 4, 2023

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Berlin art with a typing machine: tour as a quickie

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In the future, some will shake the Tagesspiegel first so that the Berlin section falls straight into their laps. Your newspaper has looked different since earlier this week. New format, new content: more from the world, more from Berlin. Among other things, “Rieger’s round”.

On Wednesdays I will serve you an inspiration from the Berlin art world, which is rightly considered one of the most exciting in the world. Not only because of the museums, but above all because of the many international artists who come here. Ever since I started working as an art editor in Berlin, art has taken me all over the city, to neighborhoods and places that I would never have gotten to know otherwise.

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What also interests me about art is the curiosity about things, the determination, the will to create. Encounters that stay in your head for a long time. Sometimes art teaches you about quantum physics, sometimes about love.

Criss-crossing the city with art

Call in the Old National Gallery. Media consumption in the 19th and early 20th centuries? “I’m thinking of Hasenclever,” calls the director from the off. Luckily I also thought of that: Johann Peter Hasenclever and “The Reading Cabinet” from 1843. The picture shows a room, with gentlemen bending over newspapers at an oval table. A symbol of the bourgeoisie. Some read, others look belligerently, ready to throw out different points of view.

Max Slevogt’s painting “Francisco d’Andrade, Reading the Newspaper” is on display in the Alte Nationalgalerie.
© State Museums in Berlin, National Gallery / Photographer: Andres Kilger
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Not so with Max Slevogt. He painted the opera singer and stage star Francisco d’Andrade reading the newspaper in front of the window, reading as an intimate act. Women are a little harder to find. In Leo von Koenig’s oil painting “At the breakfast table” from 1907, the artist’s wife leafs through a tabloid similar to that of the Tagesspiegel. The work hangs in the Alte Nationalgalerie on the first floor. Thanks to Stephan Helms for pointing this out to me. I couldn’t turn this round after all. Relaunch and strolling are mutually exclusive.

Only once did I quickly run across from Askanen Platz to the Kulturforum. The text collages by Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt, which she typed with her Erika typewriter, are on display in the Kupferstichkabinett. A homage to typography, metal typesetting and poetry. That’s why I love Berlin, a lunch break is enough for a great art experience.

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Source: Tagesspiegel

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