It’s not so widely known, but David Bowie had indeed close ties to Berlin – this is why this city seems to be the perfect place for a stunning show curated by the Victoria and Albert Museum that is opening soon at Berlin’s Martin-Gropius-Bau.
Bowie’s Berlin years from 1976 to 1978 were among his most productive ones. It was here that he made music history. The so-called “Berlin Trilogy” – which includes the albums
Low (1977), Lodger (1979) and his magnum opus Heroes (1977) – was inspired by the capital and in part recorded at the Hansa Studios near Potsdamer Platz.
The city provided Bowie and companions such as Iggy Pop the room to experiment with radical avant-garde personas. By fusing fashion, music and performance art, life and art merged into something entirely novel. Its rich cultural past and the buzzing subcultures of the 1970s provided further inspiration. He was fascinated by the omnipresent historical forms of expression in architecture and art and felt particularly drawn
to the artists of the Brücke movement.
The famous lyrics of Heroes demonstrate how thoroughly he contemplated Berlin. The song is about two lovers who kiss at a wall. Here, Bowie processes his own observations and
impressions of the 1920s Expressionism. In Berlin, Bowie also shot Just a Gigolo, the last film that featured Marlene Dietrich.
The main focus of the exhibition is on the diversity of David Bowie’s work and the close interplay of various disciplines and modes of expression. His music and radical individualism were not only influenced by movements in art, fashion, design and contemporary culture, but Bowie left his own mark on them as well. The show retraces the career of this exceptional artist in great detail – from David Robert Jones’ early years as a young London artist until he became the global superstar Bowie.
60 stage costumes are presented, photographs by Brian Duffy, Terry O’Neill, Masayoshi Sukita, Helmut Newton, Herb Ritts and John Rowlands are to be seen, album covers by Guy Peellaert and Edward Bell, clips from films and live concerts, including The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976) and Saturday Night Live (1979), music videos, stage sets, unpublished storyboards, song lyrics, notes and diary entries from his personal collection and much more.
20 MAI – 10 AUGUST 2014
ART & DESIGN FAIRS
FRIEZE MASTERS 03 OCT/ 06 OCT
FRIEZE LONDON 03 OCT/ 06 OCT
FIAC PARIS17 OCT/ 20 OCT
PARIS PHOTO 07 NOV/ 10 NOV
SCOPE MIAMI 03 DEC/ 08 DEC
DESIGN MIAMI 04 DEC/ 08 DEC
ART BASEL MIAMI 05 DEC/ 08 DEC