The Combat Zone at Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin

Time for modern art again.

After breaking fast in Pankow we headed over to the Neue Nationalgallerie and its exhibition „The Combat Zone – 1968-2000“. It is the third part of a selection of the Neue Nationalgalerie’s own collection which can’t be shown in total due to space restrictions. The first two focused on 1900-1945 and 1945-1968.

The first room greets the visitor with a camouflage painting of Andy Warhol on one side and cut out newspaper photos depicting soldiers.



You then turn an get a glimpse of one of my favourite pieces. Barnett Newman’s „Who’s afraid of Red Yellow and Blue IV“ has such vibrant colours in direct complementary opposition that a photo just can’t capture it right.



Then a human replacing robot painting walls. Not live, though, the action had happened already.


Who doesn’t like the occasional plastic penis and vagina?


The second impressive piece was this coloured wall. I have no idea who did it and also the photo could again not capture the vibrance and feel of the painting.




Some large recreations of socialist paintings with new interpretations added to it.




This is only a very tiny collection of photos. The exhibition is a bit larger and way more diverse. I went there because the website advertised with the works of Gursky and Beuys and so I wanted to go there. But then there is only one piece of each artist and the styles vary quite broadly. It is hard to get everything to its full extent during one or two hours. It is very interesting to see some clusters of related art and also discover new things. But as the topics jump from war to gender topics to German society to capitalism nothing gets covered satisfyingly. I left the exhibition a bit puzzled but impressed.

If you want to experience the exhibition as well, you find it at the Neue Nationalgalerie near Potsdamer Platz in Berlin. The exhibition ends at the end of the year so there is still some time to get impressed by Newman’s colours and all the other bits on display there.

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