The painting "Departure" by Max Beckmann

A sneak preview of Munich’s 2023 gallery exhibitions

Hungry for art

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:

Exhibition preview for 2023

- Art of Antiquity
- 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


Art of Antiquity


Neues Licht aus Pompeji, Staatliche Antikensammlungen, 9 November 2022 to 2 April 2023

The exhibition at the Staatliche Antikensammlungen invites visitors to discover the light of the past. For the first time, an exhibition is comprehensively dedicated to the technology, aesthetics and atmosphere of Roman artificial light. On display are 180 bronze originals from the Vesuvian cities: oil lamps, candelabras, lamp stands and figural lamp and torch holders. A fresh look at 2000 years of creativity with light is provided by the lamps and light sculptures by the Munich lighting designer Ingo Maurer woven into the exhibition circuit. At the end of the exhibition, the virtual triclinium offers a special visual experience. The VR glasses transport the visitor into a digitally reconstructed dining room where oil lamps set up there can be lit.

From the 18th century to classical modernism


From Goya to Manet – Masterpieces from the Neue Pinakothek at the Alte Pinakothek, to 31 December 2023

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.


Art and Life. 1918 to 1955, Lenbachhaus, 15 October 2022 to 16 April 2023

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.

Max Beckmann – Departure, Pinakothek der Moderne, 25 November 2022 to 12 March 2023

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.


Strong women, strong art


Live free! The women of the Bohemian world, Monacensia at the Hildebrandhaus, 1 July 2022 to 31 July 2023

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.

Etel Adnan, Lenbachhaus, 25 October 2022 to 26 February 2023

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 RepublikDeutsches 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.

Meredith Monk: Calling, Haus der Kunst, 10 November 2023 to 8 March 2024

“Meredith Monk. Calling” is the most comprehensive survey to date of the celebrated American artist, presenting works from across the last six decades. Monk (b. 1942, New York City) seamlessly works across disciplines — pushing the boundaries of music, theatre, dance, video, and installation — while at the core, continuously exploring the evocative power and dimensionality of the human voice. While Monk is widely recognised in the worlds of music and theatre, the exhibition at Haus der Kunst will be the first exhibition in Europe dedicated to her immersive work.


Nicole Eisenmann. What happened, Museum Brandhorst, 24 March to 10 September 2023

Nicole Eisenman (*1965) has been one of the protagonists of the New York art scene since the 1990s and is today one of the most influential contemporary artists. From the beginning, her work has been characterised by a juxtaposition of different materials, formats and techniques: Thus, some oil and acrylic paintings, large-format murals and works on paper stand on their own, while others are grouped into installations.

Characteristically, Eisenman draws from a variety of sources, including works from the Renaissance, comics from the underground scene or socialist murals from the 1930s. Many of her works invoke the experiences of lesbian communities in New York. However, rather than being purely documentary, they are highly imaginative and comedic.

Art in dialogue


Group Dynamics - The Blue Rider, Lenbachhaus, 23 March 2021 to 5 March 2023

"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.

Hauptsache. Hüte, Hauben, Hip-Hop-Caps (The top feature. Hats, hoods, hip-hop caps), Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, 20 October 2022 to 30 April 2023

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!


Flowers Forever, Flowers in Art and Culture, Kunsthalle München, 3 February to 27 August 2023

Flowers Forever is the first comprehensive exhibition dedicated to the art and cultural history of the flower from antiquity to the present. With paintings, sculptures, photographs, design, fashion, interactive media installations, and scientific objects, the Kunsthalle München presents a fascinating, thematically organized, and elaborately staged exhibition parcours addressing the role of flowers in art and science, in mythology and religion, as well as in literature, politics, economy, and ecology.

The presentation comprises around one hundred and seventy works from international collections as well as installations created especially for the exhibition. Important examples from the histories of art and design enter into a fruitful dialog with new artistic approaches. The exhibition features works by Jan Brueghel the Younger, Abraham Mignon, Barbara Regina Dietzsch, Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Hannah Höch, Andreas Gursky, Miguel Chevalier, Ann Carrington, Patricia Kaersenhout, Kehinde Wiley, DRIFT, and many other artists. The opening of the exhibition is also the kick-off for the city-wide Flower Power Festival Munich 2023.

La vie en rose. Brueghel, Monet, Twombly, Museum Brandhorst, 5 May to 22 October 2023

With an exhibition inspired by Cy Twombly's rose paintings, Museum Brandhorst is participating in the city-wide Flower Power Festival. Twombly created the series Untitled (Roses) especially for a room of the museum, which opened in 2009, where the six monumental paintings have been on display ever since. Based on Twombly's poetically conceived subjects such as death, freedom, loneliness and eroticism, the show brings together works by other artists, including Jennifer Packer, Ellsworth Kelly, Georgia O'Keeffe, Gabriele Münter and, last but not least, Claude Monet, who is represented with his famous Water Lilies from 1915. This bouquet of works from the Bavarian State Painting Collections and external loans reveals the complex, even contradictory motives of numerous artists to deal with the representation of flowers over the centuries.


Rirkrit Tiravanija, Haus der Kunst, May 2023

The artist Rirkrit Tiravanija is designing his first opera stage in cooperation with the Bayerische Staatoper (Bavarian States Opera): the work of Tiravanija (born 1961, Buenos Aires) will be on view in a decentralised exhibition at Haus der Kunst. The presentation coincides with the opera Hanjo, which will be performed in the West Gallery of the Haus der Kunst in cooperation with the Bayerische Staatsoper, for which Tiravanija is designing the stage set.

In Other Spaces. Environments by Women Artists 1956 to 1976, Haus der Kunst, 8 September 2023 to 10 March 2024

Judy Chicago, Lygia Clark, Faith Wilding and others are on view here in a reconstruction of historical environments by women artists. "Environment" is a genre of art in which spaces are designed: Haus der Kunst presents eleven works by women artists of three generations from Asia, Europe and North and South America. The exhibition redefines the artistic canon by showing the elementary role of women in the development of environments.


WangShui: Certainty of the Flesh, Haus der Kunst, 8 September 2023 to 10 March 2024

Machine learning and live installation in WangShui's first European solo exhibition: the American artist (b. 1986) develops videos, sculptures and paintings with the help of artificial neural networks and creates generative installations that react to their environment. WangShui's work will be exhibited in dialogue with the works in the concurrent exhibition at the Haus der Kunst "In Other Spaces" (see above).


Architecture, design and handicraft


The Bicycle. Cult Object - Design Object, Pinakothek der Moderne, 11 November 2022 to 22 September 2024

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.


All sewn up. Woven and embroidered textiles from the Ottoman Empire, Museum Fünf Kontinente, 9 December 2022 to 11 June 2023

On 17 November 1922, Sultan Mehmed VI Vahideddin left the city of Istanbul on board a ship. After more than 700 years, his exile marked the end of the Ottoman Empire (1299-1922), which once spanned the continents of Africa, Europe and Asia.

Among the gems of Ottoman art are finely embroidered textiles. Pillowcases and wall hangings defined the interior, ornate tablecloths and napkins ennobled meals, and towels with embroidery played an important role in the weekly visit to the hamam.

The exhibition shows cloths from the 18th to the 20th century. These textiles were artistically handcrafted and finely decorated with flowers, fruits or architectural elements. With the help of around 70 cloths and everyday objects from the Werner Middendorf and Ulla Ther collections as well as the museum's own holdings, visitors to the exhibition at Museum Fünf Kontinente will gain insights into various areas of life of the inhabitants of the Ottoman Empire.

Munich – a mecca for contemporary art


Joan Jonas, Haus der Kunst, 9 September 2022 to 26 February 2023

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).


Imi Knoebel, Sammlung Goetz, 15 September 2022 to 29 April 2023

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.


Photo exhibitions


Dayanita Singh. Dancing with my Camera, Museum Villa Stuck, 20 October 2022 to 19 March 2023

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.


Inge Morath Homage, Kunstfoyer of the Versicherungskammer Kulturstiftung, 21 December 2022 to 1 May 2023

The Kunstfoyer of the Versicherungskammer Kulturstiftung is showing "Inge Morath Homage" to mark the 100th birthday of the famous Magnum photographer, who was born in Graz on 27 May 1923 and died in New York on 30 January 2002. The retrospective brings together the 200 most beautiful shots of her world-famous photo reportages and her legendary portraits of film stars, artist friends and literary figures.

Exhibitions at the Jüdisches Museum


Radio Free Europe. Voices from Munich during the Cold War, Jewish Museum in cooperation with the Münchner Stadtmuseum, 30 September 2022 to 5 March 2023.

"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.

Exhibition at the NS-Dokumentationszentrum


To be seen. queer lives 1900 - 1950, NS-Dokumentationszentrum Munich (Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism), 7 October 2022 to 21 May 2023

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.

Exhibitions at the Deutsches Museum


19 completely new permanent exhibitions on Museumsinsel, at the Deutsches Museum from 8 July 2022

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 in the Munich environs


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!



Photos: Johannes Eber, National Museum in Warsaw, Museum of Modern Art New York, Japan Foundation, Fratelli Büchi, François Fernandez, Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Stefan Hartmaier, Die Neue Sammlung-The Design Museum, Gunter Lepkowski, JR Artnet, MUCA/ Wunderland Media, Noah Cohen, Ekkeland Goetze, Deutsches Museum, Frank Stolle, Nicolai Kästner, Karl Hubbuch Stiftung, VG-Bild-Kunst, Inge Morath

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The painting "Departure" by Max Beckmann

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