DAS MINSK Kunsthaus in Potsdam is the newest project of the Hasso Plattner Foundation. Its building, once the home of the terrace restaurant Minsk, was built in the 1970s in the modernist style of the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Now a space for encounters between modern and contemporary art, showing work from the former GDR in new contexts, the MINSK opens to the public on September 24 with two exhibitions: Wolfgang Mattheuer: Der Nachbar, der will fliegen and Stan Douglas: Potsdamer Schrebergärten.

Running through January 15, 2023, both opening shows present two artists from the Hasso Plattner Collection who are dedicated to the political theme of landscape — a subject that occupies a central role within the collection, from Impressionism through the present day. These concurrent exhibitions and accompanying catalogue reflect on both wild and contained nature, the city and industry, and the tension between preservation and renewal.

Wolfgang Mattheuer (1927–2004) repeatedly painted his immediate surroundings, including his garden. Sometimes his landscape paintings seem to arise from visible reality, while at other times they contain mythological elements. Wolfgang Mattheuer: Der Nachbar, der will fliegen shows works from 1960 until 2000.

Photographer and filmmaker Stan Douglas (1960–) photographed the Schrebergärten in Potsdam as part of the DAAD Program at the beginning of the 1990s, documenting the city immediately after the fall of the Berlin Wall. For his film Der Sandmann (1995), he built and filmed two Schrebergärten in the former DEFA Studios in Babelsberg.

Another artwork at the MINSK is Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt’s “Cagy Being (Käfigwesen) 3”, installed in the building’s stairway to Potsdam’s Brauhausberg hill. This large-scale wall work was originally planned for a kindergarten in 1989 but was not realized after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Now on view for the first time, this piece heralds the comprehensive retrospective on Wolf-Rehfeldt opening in early 2023.

For more information, visit dasminsk.de.

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