Exhibition catalogue, Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin, November 20, 2014 - April 12, 2015
By Udo Kittelmann, Britta Schmitz (éds.)
Published by Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin; Verlag der Buchhandlung Walter König
22,5 x 30 cm, hardcover, 274 pages, 160 color ill., 39,80 €
Purchase the book here.
Gottfried Lindauer. Maori-Portraits
With the exhibition, Gottfried Lindauer. The Māori Portraits, the Nationalgalerie presents, for the first time, Gottfried Lindauer (1839-1926), whose works are all but unknown outside of New Zealand, in the Alte Nationalgalerie. It is the first time that the descendants of the personalities depicted have, together with Haerewa (Māori scholars and artists acting as consultants to Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki), given permission for the pictures to be shown outside of Aotearoa/New Zealand. The pictures have never left New Zealand because, for the descendants of the personalities depicted, the memory of their ancestors is part of living and the former are always mindful of the bonds tying successive generations to their lineage, history and identity right up to today.
The exhibition opens up a further chapter in the history of 19th century art and one focusing on the complex web of relationships already woven around the whole world. With its premier collection from the 19th century, the Alte Nationalgalerie forms an ideal context for this exhibition. The bitterly conducted struggle at the end of the 19th century over acquisitions of the French art of Impressionism does, in fact, define the decisive background to the history of collecting and to the identity of the Nationalgalerie. Previously, the museum's international perspective surveyed a European history of art and excluded the context of what was already a globalised world in the 19th century. The questions of inclusion and exclusion, as developed in the context of contemporary art with the aim of scrutinising our own cultural practice, are highly relevant here, as the portraits of tattooed Māori bear witness to a genuine and rare bicultural interaction and demonstrate the energy arising from the encounter between very different people, societies and cultures.