On the way to Tiergarten to visit Academy of Fine Arts (AdK) at Hanseatenweg the rainy storm catches us, announced since days. S-Bahn is interrupted once again, so we run along the river Spree in direction Friedrichstrasse. As thick drops getting more dense, we are just at the underpass at Monbijoupark where a didgeridoo player plays his timeless, endless overtones in a trance. With one foot he´s kicking drums simultaneously, also a rattle is used. The acoustics here is perfect, the rain is getting stronger. The underpass is full of people who wait until the long shower ends, as the musician suddenly awakes from his trance, stops playing and wonders visibly over the great deal of folks watching him.

Adk Berlin Kicks

Arrived at Bellevue the AdK is very well attended, because it’s a tuesday afternoon. Admission is free. Lots of audience jostling in front of the portrait photographs by Gisèle Freund, who has photographed the most important writers of the last century. Becket, Benjamin and many others, mostly in black and white. Coloured photographs from the 30s stand out, as well as footage from Berlin from the 50s. Around Straußberger place it looks like a field, the two towers of the Stalin Allee in the background. Not even to dream of a fountain in that place. After the removal of debris, a big void there is anywhere in Berlin at that time.

Corinne Wasmuht AdK Berlin Kicks
Corinne Wasmuth: Detail

But we´re here to see the second exhibition. Large-format paintings by Corinne Wasmuht, who this year received the annual award by the Academy, the famous Käthe Kollwitz Prize. Her painting is difficult to classify. From a distance, by far, her images resemble abstract photographs. Lines, light effects, individual plastic figures and elements are recognizable. Up close, however, dominate impressionistic painting reminiscent details. Polka dots and trimmed with a cutter, recessed reliefs give her work depth and three-dimensionality. Some of the concrete, plastic figures stand on the head, reminding Georg Baselitz, others dissolve in the abstract. Different levels require precise observation, the structure seems to correspond to layers in Photoshop. But here everything is painted with a brush, detailed and precise craftsmanship, that puts our eye, accustomed to digitally processed images, on a test.


In the outdoor area of the Academy and later at Tiergarten a wonderfully fresh scent after the rain, lush green soothes the eye. Rabbits hopping across the precisely trimmed lawn at the residency of the president, looking like living sculptures. The sun comes out again, it’s time for the return journey.

Until Sunday, August 10, in the Academy of Fine Arts
Hanseatenweg 10
10557 Berlin

Tue – Sun 11-19 clock
04 / 06 € (combined ticket with Gisèle Freund)


Please recommend Berlin Kicks:

Painting and Photography at AdK
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