The Nativity Scene and the Spirit of the Times
The Christmas season at the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum is the time year for the museum to exhibit their collection of nativity scenes. For over a century the main focus has been on traditional Christmas scenes of the Nativity. Now, for the first time in over a century, the museum is showcasing its spectacular collection of modern, splendidly colourful – in some cases huge, in other cases tiny – Nativity scenes by artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. Comic art meets cubism, pop art meets surrealism.
Despite all the alterations, visual provocations and the occasional cheekiness, the artists such as the Munich Academy professor Anton Hiller, the performance artist Rupert Stöckl, and the graphic artist Walter Tafelmaier, are nonetheless committed to the content of the Christian story of the Nativity. Their creative approach to established formats, forms and scenarios is an expression of artistic freedom that allows for a peculiar approach that goes beyond sentimentality. Devotion and artistic enjoyment, modernity and tradition undergo an fascinating symbiosis.
With kind support of Dürr OHG, Hohenfurth und Schmidt-Lebkuchen GmbH & Co. KG, Nürnberg