press release

"There was Socialist Realism, which was very well known, especially to me. This was just the opposite… because 'Capitalist Realism' was another form of provocation. This term somehow attacked both sides: it made Socialist Realism appear ridiculous, and did the same to the possibility of Capitalist Realism as well." —Gerhard Richter in an interview for Artforum, 1985

The term ”Kapitalistischer Realismus” (”Capitalist Realism”) was coined by Gerhard Richter for the flyer of an exhibition he, Manfred Kuttner, Konrad Lueg and Sigmar Polke organised while still attending the art academy in Düsseldorf in 1963. Gallerist René Block appropriated the term in the title of the first exhibition at his West Berlin gallery, Neodada, Pop, Décollage, Kapitalistischer Realismus, which was followed a few months later by Gerhard Richter’s solo exhibition Bilder des Kapitalistischen Realismus. While not a movement in the strict sense, the term "Kapitalistischer Realismus," with its double-edged irony, became a bracket label for a constellation of artists around the gallery, including Polke, Richter, and some of the pioneers of German and European Pop Art. Graphic work played an important role in their practice. Besides works from Sammlung René Block, the exhibition incorporates the portfolio Gras Grafikkmappe 1971, produced by the Norwegian artist group Gras, which included Victor Lind, Per Kleiva and Morten Krohg among others.

Lars Ramberg’s installation Kapitalistischer Realismus, commissioned by Trondheim municipality, will be unveiled on November 9 next to TKM Gråmølna. It is part of the artist’s ongoing engagement with and critique of the commodification of the cultural heritage of Berlin’s recent past.

Symposium On November 10, there will be an open symposium on "Kapitalistischer Realismus" with René Block (gallerist, collector and curator), Francesco Masci (philosopher), Lars Ramberg (artist), Susanne Küper (art historian), and Andreas Hoffmann (artistic director, Pikene på Broen) at TKM Gråmølna.