Exhibition: 9.10.2022 - 26.03.2023
Mies was a form inventor, but even more than pure form, he explored the relationship between space and spirit. His monument projects are seminal designs, whether destroyed, never built, or preserved only as images.
Near Bingen in 1910, Mies designed a pillared hall that encompasses an open space. His monument rises above vineyards as a memorial to the German overfather Bismarck. Schinkel's design for the Orianda Castle in the Crimea greets us from afar. Here, the "monument as palace" dominates the Rhine.
For Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, Mies designed a block in the spring of 1926; no room, no shell, instead a massive sculpture of brick ashlars jutting forward and back in a garden landscape. He exaggerates the revolutionary monument into an abstract lectern from which the survivors honor the dead of the revolution and, as it were, point to the future. Between erratic monumentality and movement, Mies' rhythmic brick architecture thus becomes a "symbol of the masses."
After the Bismarck Monument near Bingen and the massive body of the Revolution Monument in the Friedrichsfeld cemetery landscape, Mies designed an "empty space" in 1930: within the Schinkelian walls of the Neue Wache, Mies created a silent memorial space. Architecture and commemoration come together in front of bare walls, drawing the eye to the ancient cella, with its black granite victim and memorial block.
In the intermediate realm of architecture and art, Mies makes three proposals for modern commemorative culture. With the palace, the block and the empty space, the architect specifies spatial worlds of memory between personal and collective image-making.