Revolutionary Romances — PROLOGUE

Transcultural Art Histories in the GDR

The exhibition and research project Revolutionary Romances. Transcultural Art Histories in the GDR focuses on the cultural relationships between the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and the socialist-oriented countries and independence movements of the Global South in Asia, Africa, and Latin America in the period 1949-1990. It is the starting point of the institution-wide project Kontrapunkte. The prologue show introduces different topics of the research through collection works and interventions by contemporary artists, and acts as background for an international conference that explores the international(ist) relations of the GDR further. A large exhibition presenting the outcome of the project will take place at the Albertinum in fall 2023.

  • DATES 13/04/2022—17/07/2022
  • Opening Hours daily 10—18 , Monday closed
  • Admission Fees normal 12 €, reduced 9 €, under 17 free, groups (10 persons and more) 11 €
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Im Zentrum der Recherche

The starting point for the research is the rich collection of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. The prologue exhibition, which was created in collaboration with the Kupferstich-Kabinett and the Kunstfonds, presents a selection of paintings, graphics, textile works and films by artists from the GDR, Cuba, Chile, and Vietnam. These include programmatic propaganda graphics, travel images, portraits of students from abroad, works by artists who emigrated to the GDR, and Cuban political posters. The interventions by contemporary artists Ângela Ferreira, Emeka Ogboh, Laura Horelli, and Sung Tieu are integrated into the collection presentation of the Albertinum, critically question the former ideals of the "Revolutionary Romances" and illuminate their historical and artistic significance from the perspective of the present.

© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2022 Foto: SKD, Herbert Boswank
Lea Grundig, Blatt 1 aus der Folge "Zum Komunistischen Manifest", 1968 Tusche, Pinsel in Wasserfarben, 80 x 65 cm Kupferstich-Kabinett, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden


Albertinum, June 9–11, 2022

Conference "The Global GDR. A Transcultural History of Art (1949–1990)"

From June 9–11, 2022, the Albertinum will host the conference The Global GDR. A Transcultural History of Art (1949–1990), organized by the TU Dresden in cooperation with the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. At this conference, international scholars will discuss the cultural-political framework of cultural exchange in the GDR, present examples of socialist art production from Asia, Africa, and Latin America, report on foreign architectural projects of the GDR, as well as transnational groups of artists, and illustrate the transnational networks between the GDR and socialist-oriented countries of the Global South using the example of fairs, exhibitions, and collections.

To the conference

© SKD, Foto: Martin Förster

Die Erkenntnisse der Tagung

The findings of the conference, deep collection research, as well as the feedback from visitors of this prologue exhibition will be incorporated into the conception of the large 2023 exhibition on the topic of "Revolutionary Romances."

The research and exhibition project "Revolutionary Romances. Transcultural Art Histories in the GDR" is curated by Kathleen Reinhardt and Mathias Wagner.



With the project Kontrapunkte (Counterpoints), funded by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes, the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden are once again dedicating programming to the era of the GDR in 2022 and 2023. Based on their own holdings and collection history and their ongoing dialogue with the public, new perspectives on art in the GDR, its perception and significance in the past and present are developed.

To the project 'Kontrapunkte'



publications accompanying the exhibition


Here you can download the exhibition booklet.

Information for journalists


High-resolution press images and further information can be found in our newsroom.

Ausstellungsansicht "Revolutionary Romances"
© SKD, Foto: Klemens Renner


Revolutionary Romances is made possible by the main sponsor, the Kulturstiftung des Bundes, with the kind support of the Ludwig Foundation, and the Augstein Foundation. The conference “The Global GDR. A Transcultural History of Art (1949-1990)” is organized by the TU Dresden with the kind support of the Fritz Thyssen Foundation.

Sponsored by


Logo mit Schriftzug

Partner und Sponsoren

Schriftzug der Peter und Irene Ludwig Stiftung


Further Exhibitions
14/04/2022 —31/07/2022
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in Residenzschloss

Portrait eines Mannes mit Hut und Vollbart
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