documenta art and modern classics
A pack of sleds without dogs, light-flooded landscape paintings, abstract blocks of colour and impressive sculptures: at the Neue Galerie, you can immerse yourself in the world of the renowned exhibition series documenta and explore the diversity of modern art history.
The fascinating diversity of modern art
There are streets that live up to their names – for example Schöne Aussicht, "glorious view", above Kassel's Karlsaue park, because this street not only offers fantastic vistas across the extensive landscaped park but also leads to the Neue Galerie. An imposing historic building houses Kassel's modern art collection, where you can also expect to see many "glorious sights", indeed. With works by Lovis Corinth, Max Ernst, Gerhard Richter, Joseph Beuys, Andy Warhol and many others, the list of the artists on show here reads like a who's who of recent art history. Every room offers new, surprising perspectives.
Besides paintings, sculptures and media art from the covering the period from the 18th century until today, the collection focuses particularly on documenta works from the past few decades. The presentation "about: documenta" on the top floor also takes you on a fascinating tour through the history of the world-famous exhibition series Kassel hosts every five years. A rather hidden gem in the Neue Galerie are the works by the "Willingshäuser Malerschule" exhibited on the ground floor, an artists' colony whose members skilfully captured rural life in the town of Schwalm, which is located just south of Kassel, on canvas around 300 years ago.
The documenta has always been more than just a major exhibition where artists from all over the world present their works: each documenta is also based on a clear concept that usually reflects the current political and social developments. Since 2019, the presentation "about: documenta" offers you the chance to learn more about the documenta's history as well as the organisers' respective concepts in an entertaining way. Original works are accompanied by relevant documents and film material, which makes it possible to experience and understand the exhibition series initiated by the artist and designer Arnold Bode in 1955 in a completely different way. The curators of the 2022 documenta 15, the Indonesian art collective ruangrupa, have also designed a room here.
Joseph Beuys at the Neue Galerie
"Every human being is an artist": Joseph Beuys' probably most famous quote. He was one of the most colourful and most famous artists of the past century and would have celebrated his 100th birthday in 2021. The artist, who was born in Germany's Lower Rhine region, regularly exhibited works at the documenta in Kassel from documenta 3 onwards. With his social sculpture "7000 Oaks", he even left his permanent mark on the cityscape. Beuys actually designed an entire room on the ground floor of the Neue Galerie in person. It is now at the heart of the collection and invites you to discover the diverse range of Beuys' oeuvre. Besides the large-scale installation "The Pack", you can also admire many smaller works by the artist there.