Fancy Bizarre Brute. New German Design of the 1980s

17 October 2014 - 1 February 2015

In the eighties, artists and designers in Westgerman cities caused a sensation with fancy, bizarre, brute and ironic furniture and objects. The movement was called Neues Deutsches Design (New German Design), stood for a radical new approach, alike the Neue Deutsche Welle (“New German Wave”) or the Neue Deutsche Film (New German Cinema ): design was made outside the framework of industrial production and influenced by all kinds of cultural and subcultural sources. For the first time, the Bröhan-Museum launches a major exhibition about this phenomenon, which had just a short peak: from 1982, when the first exhibition titled “Möbel perdu – Schöneres wohnen” (“Furniture perdu – Living more beautiful”) took place in Hamburg, until the German reunification. Therefore, the New German Design is a contemporary document for a perception of Germany, that does not exist anymore, and one of the last important cultural achievements of West Germany.

“Fancy Bizarre Brute. New German Design of the 1980s” shows about 80 objects of the New German Design, among them furniture and works by Stiletto, Volker Albus, Heinz Landes, Andreas Brandolini, Wolfgang Flatz, Axel Kufus, Jasper Morrison, the groups Möbel perdu from Hamburg, Kunstflug from Düsseldorf, Pentagon from Cologne, Ginbande from Frankfurt as well as Bellefast and Cocktail from Berlin. Some historical exhibition arrangements are reconstructed, like the Deutsches Wohnzimmer (German living room) by Brandolini, first exhibited at the Documenta 8, and also pieces of the exhibition Kaufhaus des Ostens (Department store of the East), which was presented in 1985 in the same rooms, then the Werkbundarchiv, today the Bröhan-Museum. The exhibition takes a new look at designs and projects of various artists, designers and designer groups and makes this movement of the eighties visible again.

Curator: Dr. Tobias Hoffmann
Exhibition design: Katleen Arthen
Design advertising motif: Gerwin Schmidt, 2014