30 May 2019 - 15 September 2019
Watch on Youtube

On February 5, 1892, eleven painters in Berlin founded an association “to hold art exhibitions.” This association, called the Vereinigung der XI, or the Association of the XI—an eccentric name that recalls secret societies or conspiracies—revolutionized the art world. In a palace located on the city’s main boulevard Unter den Linden, the group presented exhibitions of contemporary art dominated by progressive styles like impressionism and symbolism, which otherwise hardly had a place in imperial Berlin. The very first exhibition broke out in scandal, the XI were either reviled or celebrated. Artists like Max Liebermann, Walter Leistikow, and Ludwig von Hofmann had their artistic breakthrough alongside painters nearly forgotten today, like Hugo Vogel or Konrad Müller-Kurzwelly. Dora Hitz was accepted into the artists’ association in 1897, the very first woman member of an art association. As the first avant-garde artist group in the German-speaking world, the Group of XI became a cornerstone for Berlin modernism, which was given a broader forum as of 1899 in the Berlin Secession.

With more than 100 exhibits, “Scandal! Myth! Modernism! The Association of the XI in Berlin” presents the history of this pioneering organization of Berlin artists for the very first time. It reconstructs parts of the historical exhibitions held by the group, introduces the artists involved and presents the polemical response they met with in the press of the day.

Supported by: Hauptstadtkulturfonds. Media partners: Wall GmbH, rbb Kultur, Yorck Kinogruppe, Dinamix, where Berlin Magazin, Exberliner.

A catalogue will be published to accompany the exhibition.

Curators: Dr. Anna Grosskopf, Dr. Sabine Meister
Exhibition design: Katleen Arthen, Colya Zucker
Advertising motif: Gerwin Schmidt, Munich