8 March 2017

Otto Bartning (1883 – 1959). Architect of Social Modernism
Exhibition 31 March – 18 June 2017, Opening 30 March, 7 pm

Invitation to the Press Preview
Thursday 30 March 2017, 11 am
Exhibition halls open from 10 am
Akademie der Künste, Hanseatenweg 10, 10557 Berlin
Registration requested: Tel. +49 (0)30 200 57-1514 or presse@adk.de

Sandra Wagner-Conzelmann, Architectural and art historian, curator of the exhibition
Werner Durth, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Otto Bartning Archive, Member of the Akademie der Künste
Philip Kurz, CEO, Wüstenrot Stiftung
Johannes Odenthal, Director of Programming, Akademie der Künste

Otto Bartning (1883 – 1959). Architect of Social Modernism is the first exhibition of its kind to pay tribute to the many diverse aspects of Otto Bartning’s oeuvre. As an architect and theorist of modernism, inspirational figure and critic, writer and advisor, Bartning had a lasting influence on twentieth-century architecture. In the process, he set new benchmarks for closely integrating artistic vision and social responsibility. His designs for cultural, social and residential buildings across Germany and in other European countries are all informed by the human dimension, as well as functionality and acceptance. Through his constant efforts to create spaces suitable for the spiritual dimension in social life, Bartning soon became one of the leading advocates of a modern Protestant church architecture.

In the original drawings and sketches, photos, and architectural models on show, this comprehensive retrospective illustrates four eras of German history. With this exhibition allowed to draw for the first time on Bartning’s entire private estate indexed in the Otto Bartning Archive at the TU Darmstadt, many of the exhibits never been seen publicly before.

In his early career in Imperial Germany, Otto Bartning’s designs exemplified his radical rejection of the historicist revivalist styles dominant at that time. After the First World War, together with Walter Gropius and Bruno Taut, he was a formative influence on the Weimar Republic’s Neues Bauen architectural movement. In his Sternkirche design (1922) and his innovative Stahlkirche (1928) assembled from steel elements, he created touchstones of architecture for modern Protestant churches. His work for the emergency church programme from 1946 was also quite unique, helping to design architectural typologies of prefabricated churches produced in series and constructed in 43 German cities. Co-founder of the reconstituted Deutscher Werkbund after 1945 and founding member of the Architecture Section of the West Berlin Akademie der Künste in 1955, Otto Bartning also shaped the direction and principles of architectural development in the new Germany of the post-war years.

Berlin’s International Building Exhibition Interbau 1957 represented a further highpoint in his oeuvre. As head of the project, Bartning played a major role in the plans for developing Berlin’s Hansa Quarter, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. In his honour, the road crossing the quarter is named Bartningallee. Other buildings by Bartning in Berlin include residential blocks on the Siemensstadt and “Reichsforschungssiedlung” Haselhorst housing estates, as well as churches such as his ‘fan-shaped’ Gustav-Adolf-Kirche, built in 1934 in Charlottenburg, the Church of the Resurrection (Offenbarungskirche) in Friedrichshain, an emergency church consecrated in 1949, and the Himmelfahrtkirche (1956) in Gesundbrunnen.

The exhibition’s accompanying events include the 31st Berlin Heritage Day on 31 March and a symposium on 9–10 June, as well as regular tours and school workshops.

The exhibition publication includes articles by Werner Durth, Wolfgang Pehnt and Sandra Wagner-Conzelmann (€19.90, ISBN 978-3-88331-220-0).
The exhibition’s further venues include Bartning’s home town of Karlsruhe (Städtische Galerie Karlsruhe, 22 July – 22 Oct 2017) and Darmstadt, where he spent his last years (Institut Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt, 19 Nov 2017 – 18 Mar 2018).

More details: www.adk.de/bartning

An exhibition by the Akademie der Künste, Berlin, and the Wüstenrot Stiftung in cooperation with the Städtische Galerie Karlsruhe, the Institut Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt and the Technische Universität Darmstadt. Funded by the LOTTO-Stiftung Berlin.

Otto Bartning (1883 – 1959). Architect of Social Modernism
Official opening: Thursday 30 March 2017, 7 pm, free admission
Exhibition: 31 March – 18 June 2017
Tue 11 am – 8 pm, Wed – Sun 11 am – 7 pm
Admission € 6/4, free admission for under-18s and Tues from 3 pm
Akademie der Künste, Hanseatenweg 10, 10557 Berlin, Tel. +49(0)30 20057-2000

Press photos available at www.adk.de/de/presse/pressematerial.htm