Munich’s museums invite visitors to encounter the Old Masters and new young things. Almost all genres and epochs are represented. It is amazing what art can do: it brings colour to our lives, amuses us, irritates and rebels, relaxes and is sometimes simply beautiful. Here are some exhibitions that you’ll definitely want to catch:
- From the 18th century to classical modernism
- Strong women, strong art
- Art in dialogue
- Architecture, design and handicraft
- Munich – a mecca for contemporary art
- Photo exhibitions
- Exhibitions at the Jüdisches Museum
- Exhibition at the NS-Dokumentationszentrum
- Exhibitions at the Deutsches Museum
- Exhibitions in the Munich environs
Around 90 paintings and sculptures from the late 18th to the early 20th century will be exhibited under the title “From Goya to Manet”. This temporary relocation of masterpieces from the Neue Pinakothek to the Alte Pinakothek presents a unique opportunity to view the most famous paintings from both museums under one roof.
The exhibition focuses on the lives and fates of artists during the Weimar Republic, National Socialism and the still young Federal Republic of Germany. The diverse artworks and biographies tell of successful, interrupted and completely aborted careers, of resistance and adaptation, of persecution, exile and murder.
The focal points are oriented towards the collection and exhibition history of the Lenbachhaus. This results in a focus on the city of Munich within national and international phenomena. Alongside familiar works from the Lenbachhaus, new acquisitions and recently restored works are shown; selective loans complete the presentation.
Artists represented in the exhibition:
Jussuf Abbo, Rudolf Belling, Maria Caspar-Filser, Karl Caspar, Fridel Dethleffs-Edelmann, Erna Dinklage, Heinrich Ehmsen, Edgar Ende, Elisabeth Epstein, Maria Franck-Marc, Otto Freundlich, Willi Geiger, George Grosz, Emilie von Hallavanya, Marie Heilbronner, Wilhelm Heise, Käte Hoch, Karl Hofer, Karl Hubbuch, Julius Hüther, Peter Kálmán, Paul Klee, Else Lasker-Schüler, Rudolf Levy, Maria Luiko, Gabriele Münter, Halil Beg Mussayassul, Herbert Ploberger, Carl Theodor Protzen, Franz Radziwill, Anita Rée, Gertrude Sandmann, Christian Schad, Josef Scharl, Rudolf Schlichter, Georg Schrimpf, Erwin Steiner, Hermann Tiebert and Fritz Winter.
This large-scale monographic exhibition is dedicated in the first instance to the theme of travel, which was of existential importance to Max Beckmann (1884 – 1950). His life was marked by tragic experiences of war and uprooting, transit and exile, but also by glamorous vacations, the urge for freedom and the longing to travel.
Around 100 loans from important private and public Beckmann collections in Europe and the USA, such as the first triptych “Departure” from the MoMA (cover picture of the exhibition preview), show the enormous range of travel-oriented pictorial motifs and concepts and complement the largest European collection of Beckmann paintings from the Modern Art Collection at the Pinakothek der Moderne art gallery.
Through a donation from Max Beckmann’s family estate to the Max Beckmann Archive of the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen (Bavarian State Painting Collections) in 2015, numerous previously unseen materials and documents such as photo albums and films are now presented for the first time, providing a new and updated view of the artist.
The exhibition at the Monacensia (Munich’s literary archive) focuses on Munich’s Bohemian women between 1890 and 1920, examining their importance in the context of literature, culture, politics and society. What topics did the women of the Bohemian world write about? What living concepts and political demands did they introduce to the public sphere? What ideals and convictions did they represent? How did they wish to live? To what extent did they shape Bohemianism as a subculture at the turn of the century?
The exhibition centres on women whose lives and work were largely based in Munich. The specific destinies of individuals such as Franziska zu Reventlow, Margarete Beutler and Emmy Hennings were clearly marked by difficulties and problems, but these women also emerge as courageous protagonists fighting for female self-determination and independence.
The Lenbachhaus and the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen are jointly organising the first comprehensive monographic exhibition in Germany on the work of the artist Etel Adnan, who died in 2021 at the age of 96. Born in Beirut, Etel Adnan (1925 – 2021) is an important representative of modernism. Her artistic and literary work is characterized by a broad and vibrant exchange between the Arab and Western worlds. The work of the poet, journalist, painter and philosopher, who spent her life between Lebanon, France and California, combines very different art forms, media, languages and cultures.
After Algeria's War of Independence (1954 – 1962), Adnan refused to continue working in French and showed solidarity with Algeria: "I didn't need to write in French anymore, I wanted to paint in Arabic." Her political clarity, as well as the close connection between writing and painting, have become essential features of her oeuvre.
Nini & Carry Hess. Gertrude Fuld. Theaterfotografie in der Weimarer Republik, Deutsches Theatermuseum, 11 November 2022 to 8 March 2023
The Deutsches Theatermuseum is showing photographic works by three women of the Weimar Republic. The focus is on theatre photography. The two sisters Nini and Carry Hess founded a photo studio in Frankfurt in 1931, which soon became one of the most respected in Germany. In Munich, Gertrude Fuld documented theatre life in the early 1930s.
All three women had to give up their livelihoods in Germany because of their Jewish origins after the National Socialists seized power. Gertrude Fuld was able to escape to Switzerland. The work of the Hess sisters, which was destroyed in the Reichsprogomnacht with the destruction of their studio, was shown reconstructed in an exhibition by the Giersch Museum of the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main in 2022. A partial takeover of this exhibition flanked by works by Munich photographers can be seen at the Deutsches Theatermuseum from 11 November 2022.
"The whole body of work we call art knows neither borders nor nations but only humanity": that is how Kandinsky and Marc put it in their almanac The Blue Rider, which came out in 1912. The credo inspired the Lenbachhaus to put together a new presentation that embeds the Blue Rider artists’ works in the sweeping history of art and culture that the almanac illustrates.
For the first time, the exhibition allows visitors to study with their own eyes the interconnections between Bavarian and Russian folk art, Japanese woodcuts, children’s drawings, contemporary music and the works of Balinese, Gabonese, Oceanian, Sri Lankan, Mexican, and Egyptian art reproduced in the almanac. The dialogue between outstanding works and artifacts on loan from other museums and the beloved classics from the Lenbachhaus’s own collection opens up new perspectives on the Blue Rider artists’ high-minded vision.
In cooperation with Tanit Gallery, Museum Fünf Kontinente presents its first pop-up exhibition entitled "Simone Fattal »... provide me the clay so I can do the making«". In it, contemporary artistic works enter into dialogue with historical objects from Southwest Asia and North Africa in the permanent exhibition "The Orient". A total of eleven works by the artist, who was born in Syria in 1942 and grew up in Lebanon, are on display. In black and white etchings and sculptures made of clay, Simone Fattal expresses her attachment to her homeland and the art traditions of the Near and Middle East.
Head coverings have been and continue to be prime means of communication: they are used for self-presentation, to indicate hierarchies, and can both unite and divide groups of people. The Bayerisches Nationalmuseum presents around 300 hats, hoods, caps and much more from its collection. From the Middle Ages to the present day, various aspects of the cultural history of this “top feature” are illuminated.
Historic original articles form the central focus of the exhibition, with commentary and explanation provided via an abundance of visual materials. The presentation is enhanced by loans of 20th- and 21st-century pieces from important private collections, as well as modern-day milliners and hat artists. In this special exhibition visitors an see that head coverings are fashion statements which boast a unique diversity and are simply beautiful!
On 26 April 1966, the International Olympic Committee chose the Bavarian capital Munich as the venue for the 1972 Summer Olympic Games. On the 280-hectare Oberwiesenfeld, four kilometres from the city centre, the Olympic sports facilities were built in harmony between nature and architecture, a buoyant bold tent-roof construction with the neighbouring Olympic Village.
The Olympic facilities designed by Behnisch & Partner, Frei Otto, Günther Grzimek and Heinle, Wischer und Partner received international recognition as an outstanding architectural achievement of the German post-war period and Otl Aicher's visual appearance set new standards.
With numerous unknown documents and models, the large-scale exhibition of the TUM Museum of Architecture in the Pinakothek der Moderne spans a thematic arc from the reconstruction of the city to the "Olympics in the Green" with the world-famous tent roof, the sports facilities and the Olympic Village as well as the visual image to the Olympic legacy. Questions of self-portrayal, sustainability and understanding of democracy are the focus of the presentation.
20 Years of the Pinakothek der Moderne - 21 Objects, Neue Sammlung - The Design Museum, 14 July, 2022 to 15 January, 2023
On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Pinakothek der Moderne, which opened in 2002, Die Neue Sammlung - The Design Museum presents objects from the last 20 years. They may be new manufacturing processes such as 3D printing, which has generated new forms. The "Solid C2" chair by designer Patrick Jouin is representative of this. It is one of the first fully 3D-printed pieces of furniture. Technical developments such as robotics have also increasingly influenced everyday life over the last two decades. This is exemplified by the entertainment robot "AIBO ERS 210", which imitates a dog and can react to its surroundings by means of touch sensors, camera and microphones.
Ecological aspects such as sustainability and Fairtrade and societal and social issues such as inclusion and diversity have also become increasingly important in the last two decades. All the objects in the exhibition reflect these phenomena of the last two decades in a small section, which find their innovative and relevant creative implementation in design.
For the first time, the exhibition focuses on the subject of bicycle design. On display are 70 examples of some of the most unusual and exciting bicycles in the history of design.
The fact that bicycle design is not only the art of craftsmanship and frame building, not only the work of ingenious inventors, tinkerers, obsessives and enthusiasts, is proven by the numerous designs of aircraft and automobile engineers such as Paul Jaray, Hermann Klaue or Alex Moulton as well as industrial designers, including Luigi Colani, Richard Sapper, Michael Conrad, Giorgetto Giugiaro, Marc Newson, Christian Zanzotti or Ross Lovegrove.
The exhibition at the Museum Brandhorst brings to life a hitherto little-noticed phenomenon in art and sculpture in particular: the reciprocal interpenetration of body and technology. With works by around 60 artists—primarily from Europe, the USA and Japan—the exhibition is dedicated to the major technological changes since the post-war period and takes a look at their influence on our ideas of bodies. The exhibition is a journey through materials, forms, and modes of expression in sculpture, which has changed more in the last 70 years than probably ever before in its long history.
The following artists are represented in the exhibition "Future Bodies":
Genpei Akasegawa, Paweł Althamer, Nairy Baghramian, Joachim Bandau, Matthew Barney, Alexandra Bircken, Louise Bourgeois, Robert Breer, John Chamberlain, Barbara Chase-Riboud, Shu Lea Cheang, Jesse Darling, Stephanie Dinkins, Aleksandra Domanović, Melvin Edwards, Bruno Gironcoli, Robert Gober, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Nancy Grossman, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Eva Hesse, Judith Hopf, Rebecca Horn, Tishan Hsu, Edward Ihnatowicz, Arthur Jafa, Motoharu Jōnouchi, KAYA, Kiki Kogelnik, Shigeko Kubota, Tetsumi Kudo, Yayoi Kusama, Nicola L., Mark Leckey, Sarah Lucas, Bruce Nauman, Senga Nengudi, Kiyoji Ōtsuji, Tony Oursler, Nam June Paik, Eduardo Paolozzi, Friederike Pezold, Julia Phillips, Walter Pichler, Seth Price, Carol Rama, Germaine Richier, Niki de Saint Phalle, Hans Salentin, Ashley Hans Scheirl, David Smith, Alina Szapocznikow, Takis, Atsuko Tanaka, Paul Thek, Jean Tinguely, Hannsjörg Voth, Franz West
The Kunsthalle München presents the first major retrospective in Germany dedicated to the French artist JR (born in 1983) who exhibits freely in the streets of the world, catching the attention of people who are not typical museum visitors. JR achieved fame by emblazoning huge portraits of anonymous people on the façades of buildings, trains, container ships, even border walls. With his art, JR gives greater visibility to those, whose dignity and rights are frequently ignored in the political discourse, in a way that is as perceptive as it is compassionate.
His recent projects include a large-scale pasting in a maximum security prison in California, a TIME Magazine cover about guns in America, a monumental mural in the suburbs of Paris, or a gigantic installation at the US-Mexico border fence. As he remains anonymous, JR leaves the space empty for an encounter between the subject and the passer-by. That is what JR’s work is about, raising questions. With photographs, videos, models and pastings covering entire walls, the multimedia exhibition revisits a selection of JR’s projects, which are, by their very nature, only temporary.
This exhibition is organized by the Brooklyn Museum.
The most comprehensive exhibition of work dedicated to visionary artist Joan Jonas (b.1936, New York) in Germany to date has been conceived by the artist and Haus der Kunst in collaboration with Tate Modern, London. Characterised by her fundamental interest in cultural rites and the dynamic processes of mirroring, shifting and redefining genre and time, the major retrospective is underpinned by themes that have recurred throughout her career.
Environmental issues, echoed in early video works such as “Wind” (1968) are central to multimedia installations “Reanimation” (2010–12) and “Stream or River, Flight or Pattern” (2016), which address climate change and the threat to the ecosystem. The exploration of collective narratives of mythology, fairy tales and fables, set against a backdrop of contemporary, socio-political events form the starting point for works such as “Juniper Tree” (1969), “Volcano Saga” (1985), and “Lines in the Sand” (2002).
With an oeuvre spanning more than five decades, Imi Knoebel (*1940) is considered an outstanding representative of radically non-objective painting. With a retrospective exhibition, the Goetz Collection pays tribute to the artist Imi Knoebel, who developed his own minimalist-conceptual formal language in his work. On display is the entire spectrum of his artistic oeuvre, starting with black-and-white photographs from the 1960s, hard-fibre paintings, objects made of cast concrete and his most recent paintings in acrylic on aluminium. The presentation includes not only his geometrically minimalist works, but also hitherto rarely shown expressive paintings from the 1980s.
Kunstlabor 2, Kunstlabor 2 of the Museum of Urban and Contemporary Art (MUCA), from 26 October, 2021 for five years
Situated in the Maxvorstadt district and located in a former health centre, Kunstlabor 2 spans some 10,000 square metres over six floors. The building was transformed into a new centre for art and culture as a temporary project by the Museum of Urban and Contemporary Art (MUCA). A particularly exciting point for lovers of street art and urban art to note is that two of the six floors have been – and continue to be – transformed into a walk-in work of art by more than 100 artists.
Those involved include household names such as Loomit and rapper Samy Deluxe, but also newcomers such as Pepe (alias Jose Luis Villanueva Contreras). In addition to the permanent room installations and changing exhibitions, the centre offers an extensive framework programme including guided tours, workshops, film days, concerts, readings, labs, performances and many other cultural highlights. The operators of Kunstlabor 2 offer the façade to artists to use as a design platform, legally and free of charge.
Dayanita Singh (*1961, New Delhi) is one of the most important contemporary artists. In 2013, for example, she was a member of the German Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale. The Villa Stuck Museum is showing the most comprehensive retrospective to date of the internationally renowned artist, whose work occupies a singular position within the photographic tradition, as she constantly seeks to explore the boundaries of the medium.
Dayanita Singh sees herself as an "offset artist", i.e. a bookmaker who works with photographs. Over the course of time, and especially through her engagement with the medium of "exhibition", she has developed a series of modular display structures, some of which are architecturally sophisticated, that allow images to be changed quickly and at the same time allow the images to enter into a spatial relationship with each other and with the viewers.
The exhibition shows a wide variety of these radical forms of presentation – modular structures made of wood, artists' books and collections of prints. They make Singh's longstanding preoccupation with Indian music, with the transformation of Indian society, with friendships, gender roles and much more tangible.
"Radio Free Europe" and "Radio Liberty" produced news, culture and sports programmes in over 20 Eastern European languages in Munich during the Cold War. The stations were financed by the CIA until the 1970s and were intended to create a counter-public in the communist countries of Eastern Europe where there was no media freedom.
The exhibition provides an insight into the lives of employees of the radio stations "Radio Free Europe" and "Radio Liberty" through five moving biographies. Whether at the microphone or behind the scenes - the diverse life stories create a many-voiced picture of the stations from their beginnings in the 1950s to the 1990s.
In the Einwand gallery of the Münchner Stadtmuseum and in the foyer of the Jewish Museum, contemporary witnesses whose lives were linked to Radio Free Europe in various ways will have their say in video interviews. Photos and documents illustrate their path to Munich and their work for the US military government during the Cold War.
The exhibition at the NS-Dokumentationszentrum is devoted to the eventful history of the LGBTQI+ community during the first half of the 20th century. Selected exhibits show how queer life became ever more visible in all areas of public life – art and culture, science, politics and military. However, the more confidently people fought for equal rights, the greater the resistance they encountered. The Nazi ruling powers largely destroyed the queer subculture and the spaces it occupied.
“TO BE SEEN” invites visitors to trace these often-forgotten stories and ways of living. In addition to historic accounts, the exhibition includes works by present-day artists, some of which were created especially for the show.
The first phase of the extensive modernisation of the Museumsinsel building is complete. Now there are 19 completely new permanent exhibitions to explore on the 20,000-square-metre site. The diverse list of themes covered ranges from atomic physics to agriculture; from chemistry to bridges and hydraulic engineering; and from aeronautics and space travel to health. A number of major masterpieces are on display, such as the first diesel engine, the Siemens electronic music studio, the Helios space probe and the famous/infamous Enigma code machine. You can get a first glimpse of the departments after the renovation here.
In addition, there are also several new Deutsches Museum acquisitions to admire, such as the groundbreaking Sycamore quantum processor and the first approved coronavirus vaccines. A wealth of interactive demonstrations, accessible exhibitions, virtual reality and augmented reality experience rooms and numerous media stations bring technology and science to life and make them tangible in the truest sense of the word.
Exhibitions of the MuSeenLandschaft Expressionismus, Museums in the Upper Bavarian Alpine foothills, autumn and winter 2022/23
The extraordinarily attractive landscape of the Upper Bavarian Alpine foothills stretches between Munich and the Alps. In the early 20th century, the young Expressionists from Munich came here to capture nature in powerful colours and forms. Emil Nolde and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner were here before they became members of the Dresden artists' community "Brücke". The artists of the Blauer Reiter (Blue Rider) Wassily Kandinsky, Gabriele Münter, Franz Marc, Alexej von Jawlensky and Heinrich Campendonk had particularly close ties with the region.
In the "MuSeenLandschaft Expressionismus", experiencing nature and enjoying art enter into a unique combination: The Buchheim Museum of Fantasy attracts people to Lake Starnberg with its world-famous Expressionists; in Kochel am See, the Franz Marc Museum offers exquisite art experiences around its namesake; at Staffelsee, the Murnau Castle Museum attracts visitors with the "Blue Rider" and Gabriele Münter; near the Osterseen, the Penzberg Museum draws attention with Campendonk, and in Munich, the world's largest collection of works by the "Blue Rider" can be seen in the Lenbachhaus. From autumn 2022, all these museums will be tempting visitors with new attractive exhibitions!