International conference Elective Affinities. German Art Since the Late 1960s. Day One
18.08.2016 10:30
With the final days of the exhibition “Elective Affinities. German Art Since the Late 1960s” approaching, on 18 and 19 August 2016 the Latvian National Museum of Art in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut Riga is organizing an international conference where various art experts, critics, collectors and artists from Latvia and Germany will participate. Conference venue: Goethe-Institut Riga, 1 Torņa Street (entrance from Klostera Street).




18 August 2016

(German and Latvian language day)


Panel I


The Redeeming Role of Art in the Making of Modern German) (the 60s and 70s)

Die erlösende Rolle der Kunst in der Entstehung des modernen Deutschland (die 1960er und 1970er Jahre)


Panel Members:

  • Dr. Marc Wellmann, Creative Director of the Exhibition Centre Das Haus am Lützowplatz, Fördererkreis Kulturzentrum Berlin e.V., participant moderator;
  • Astrīda Rogule, art historian and curator, Senior Curator of the Contemporary Art Collection at the Latvian National Museum of Art, Assistant Professor of Latvian Academy of Culture, Project Curator for Elective Affinities. German Art Since the Late 1960s;
  • Prof. Christiane Möbus, sculptor and object artist, ex-Senior Head of Sculpture, Universität der Künste, Berlin;
  • Prof. Jānis Taurens, philosopher and researcher, Associate Professor of the Art Academy of Latvia


Each panellist will give a brief personal reflection on the subject and address the significant transition that German art made from the late 1960s onwards, that is considering it in the context of the post-Adenauer (Konrad Adenauer, Chancellor, 1949–1963) years in West Germany (Bundesrepublik Deutschland) and East Germany (from the later Walther Ulbricht into the Erich Honecker years, First General Secretaries of the Central Committee, (SED), Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR)).


The focus is on the role played by art and its cultural practices in the re-establishment and forging of a new sense of German identity. The panellists might consider the contrast between the New Left in West Germany (the Frankfurt School, Adorno, Marcuse, Horkheimer, Benjamin, Habermas, et al.), and the Stalinist and Post-Stalinist Communist Party Leftism of the DDR. What were the consequences of 1968 in Germany and Europe, the Baader Meinhof and Red Army Factions, the rise of Green Party and the Ecology Movement, etc.?


If these were the issues served as the background of what were the changes in aims and practices in the contemporary art movements of the time, for example the new provocative expressionist tendencies, the use of new and radical material approaches (Beuys), the gradual abandonment of post-war ‘informel’ and the passing of post-war phenomenological tendencies (the Zero Group, Düsseldorf, 1958–1966), the consequences of Fluxus and the newer expressive forms of figurative art (painting) that dealt directly with recent German history (Baselitz, Schönebeck, Lüpertz and Kiefer, et al., made evident in the historical points of departure for Elective Affinities. German Art Since the Late 1960s.


Panel II


The Internationalisation of German Art (1980s 'The Kohl Years')

Die Internationalisierung der deutschen Kunst (1980er Jahre, die ‘Kohl-Jahre’)


Panel Members:

  • Christoph Tannert (Berlin), curator and critic writer, Creative Director of the Künstlerhaus Bethanien, participant moderator;
  • Jānis Borgs, art historian, critic and curator, former Director of the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art;
  • Inese Baranovska, art historian, critic and curator, Head of the Museum of Decorative Art and Design, lecturer on Contemporary Arts at the Art Academy of Latvia;
  • Dr. Sabine Ziegenrücker (Berlin), art historian and critic, Director of the Karl Hofer Stiftung




All interested parties are welcome to the Goethe-Institut conference!

Free entrance.

No previous arrangements are necessary.

For more information please contact Antra Balode by calling (+371) 67 508187 or writing to

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