The Berlin Gallery - which is actually not a gallery but a museum - was opened in 1975 after its founders thought it necessary for the city to have a venue exhibiting art solely from Berlin. Having been forced to leave the exhibition spaces in the famous Martin-Gropius-Bau in 1998, the Berlin Gallery looked hard for a suitable new venue, finally choosing the basements of an old brewery in the Kreuzberg district, an area which used to be home to the city's best-known artists. Since the new space is soon to undergo reconstruction, and the collection can't sit in storage and collect dust, the Berlin Gallery decided to tour the exhibition around Europe. Now, until January 6th next year, it can be viewed in Prague. Ursula Prinz, is one of the main organisers:
"I know that there are many museums in Prague, which are very, very interesting but I think that no-one has seen Berlin art and what it was like in the past - what happened in Berlin - which is also of international interest. But many artists from Prague have lived in Berlin and there has always been a good connection between Prague and Berlin. It's interesting to see this new collection which nobody has seen."
According to Ursula Prinz, there were numerous good artists whose work did not receive the attention it deserved during the Nazi regime in the 1930's. One of the Berlin Gallery's main goals has therefore been to collect and exhibit their work - helping names such as Felix Nussbaum, or Wollheim gain recognition both nationally and gradually internationally. Although the collection that can be seen in Prague includes works of such artists, it differs somewhat from that exhibited in the other European cities:
"The modern art pieces are mostly too big to get in here. The rooms are very nice but the way to them is difficult and so we couldn't bring the bigger pieces and we cut off the very old things and decided to just put really the highlights like the Russian avant-garde, like the Dada Saloon like the famous 20's as a part of our collection of photographs, and a big installation of Ed and Nancy Kienholz's 'The Art Show' which was produced in Berlin which was very nice, very funny and when you come in you'll think that they are really alive. I think that people could be interested in it, I hope so."
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