WHAT IS THERE
As you enter the impressive modern building, you won’t know where to look first. The awesome glass front lets all the natural light in while offering up a view of other museums on the outside. But you can also still see the old brick wall belonging to the original building.
Let me just quickly tell you now that there’s a stand offering free audio guides near where you have your ticket checked. Make sure you pick one up! It really will improve your experience of looking at the works of art.
You should start off on the ground floor because that’s where you’ll find all the older art. And by older art I mean modern art by the likes of Mondrian, Chagall, Beckmann and Käthe Kollwitz.
The first room is designed in the style of a Petersburg hanging. In other words, the walls are covered with paintings and the effect is incredible. A Calder mobile is suspended from the ceiling, and the benches are filled with vases and sculptures. There’s such a lovely laid-back vibe in here!
How many artists can you spot on display here?! The likes of Mondrian, Paul Cézanne, Jackson Pollock, Oskar Kokoschka, Marc Chagall and Vincent Van Gogh are all hanging together.
Next up, you’ll come to two rooms that only feature work by female artists. I was quite taken with Käthe Kollwitz’s moving sculpture called ‘Tower of Mothers’. It depicts a group of women standing in a circle to protect their children. Some of them have their backs to us, while others are standing side-on. And then there is one facing out and looking right at us. You can spot children’s faces poking out between their mothers’ arms and dresses.
This sculpture, which can also be found in Berlin and Essen, is a response to some of the problems being faced back in the artist’s day – poverty, hunger and a ban on abortions. It went on to become a symbol of the Second World War, which broke out shortly after the artist created this piece.
Next up, you’ll walk through rooms with Beckmann and even more Mondrian on display. You’ll end up at a fabulous staircase. Head up the stairs and find a collection of works by younger contemporary artists waiting for you. Prepare to be wowed by Niki de Saint Phalle, Yves Klein, Jeff Koons, Marlene Dumas, Lucio Fontana, Sigmar Polke and so many more.