Art of Two Germanys

An exhibition going on now at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art compares, contrasts, and confuses art made in east and west Germany during the cold war. An article by the New York Times calls the show, a “sympathetic view of postwar art on both sides of the Wall,” and explains that, ” West German art, so the standard account goes, flourished after the war thanks to free expression. Stars like Joseph Beuys, George Baselitz, Anselm Kiefer and Gerhard Richter had arrived on the world stage by the 1970s and established a new era of German cultural prestige abroad, while East German art languished under Communism, churning out only Socialist Realism.

The show makes clear that the truth was actually more complicated, as it usually is, East German art having been more varied, not always politically compliant, closer at times to what was happening in West Germany than the West German art establishment either acknowledged or bothered to notice.”

The show will run through April 19.