16 January 2009

Gisele and Olaf

Insurance company and a banks don't just ruin the economy. Some have other, more worthwhile roles.

The Vericherungskammer Bayern has an art gallery in the lobby of the company headquarters on Maximilianstrasse. The current exhibition features photography from Gisele Freund, which I visited yesterday with a fellow blogger.

Her early works on display give an idea of the political atmoshpere in Germany in the years before the second world war with a series of images of public demonstrations by communist groups in Frankfurt.

Many of the works on display are portraits of some of the twentieth century's greatest writers. There are images of James Joyce that's him to the left), Viriginia Woolf, Andre Gide, Boris Pasternak and many more. Some of these can also be found on the website of the National Portrait Gallery in London.

The exhibition ends on Sunday, so if you are in Munich this weekend will be your last chance to see it. Next up (4 February - 10 May) is an exhibition of photographs from 1955-56 from the Magnum agency including works by two of the agency's founders, Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson.

After the VKB it was on to the Bayerische Landesbank, better known as Bayern LB. The BLB Gallery at their headquarters in Briennerstrasse also puts on regularly changing exhibitions.

Currently showing here is an exhibition of the work of Olaf Gulbransson, a Norwegian artist who spent much of his life in Munich. As well as a selection of his portraits and landscapes the exhibition has an extensive display of cover art for the Munich based satirical magazine, Simplicissimus.

There is an online archive of the magazine in pdf format which includes all of Gulbransson's covers, and a short article in Munich Found gives the history of the magazine. This exhibition runs until 1 March.

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