Discovery - Michael Reid

Discovery allows collectors the opportunity to experience curated online exhibitions that range from emerging to established artists; exhibitions often within a theme – working with artists that the directors of the Berlin and Sydney galleries consider worthy of notice and understanding.

Discovery is undertaken to extend our galleries’ and our audiences’ appreciation of a greater diversity of significant contemporary art practice.

Back in the GDR: Online Exhibition

I am not a German citizen. I did not live in the German Democratic Republic (1949 -1990). But I am a historian. The past for me, is a country I continue to live in. The past informs my present and from the early days of opening an art gallery in Berlin, the GDR has deeply interested me.

In 2012, whilst visiting Berlin, I was most fortunate to view the incredibly profound exhibition, The Shuttered Society: Art Photography in the GDR 1949-1989. This was the first comprehensive exhibition of art photography, in relation to communist East Germany. Shuttered Society comprised hundreds of photographs from 34 photographers which critically reflected on the GDR. Shuttered Society was profound in its humanity. Profound in its documentation of how other people, Communist Germans, lived a low-tech life on the brink of dissolution. Profound in the way people can lead everyday lives, with humour and dignity, amidst a brutal ideological surveillance and yet remain at core people we recognise.

The Shuttered Society percolated into memory to the point that my colleague Laura Thompson, former Director of the Berlin gallery and I started collecting Flea Market photographs, depicting as they often do, personal moments and humorous images of life under the old GDR. These GDR images are almost Polaroid moments from a society that did not use the instant, throw away technology that was early Polaroid. The images are all black and white. This is not art photography, but it is people photography. They are photographs of moment and mood; of a time of some foreignness and collective dignity.

We do not know the photographer. We do not know the subjects. However, we believe these anonymous personal moments are deserved of further observation and another life.

– Michael Reid OAM

  • Hans-Joachim Spremberg
    “Mädchen mit Kamera” (Girl with camera), 1964, 1964

    41 × 39 cm
    $600
  • Hans-Joachim Spremberg
    Berlin Friedrichsfelde, Hans Loch Viertel, 1967, 1967

    34 × 39 cm

    SOLD

  • Hans-Joachim Spremberg
    Berlin Kettenkarussell, date unknown

    42 × 48 cm

    SOLD

  • Hans-Joachim Spremberg
    Berlin Mitte, Rummelplatz, 1964, 1964

    57 × 47 cm

    SOLD

  • Hans-Joachim Spremberg
    “Junge Pioniere” (Young Pioneers), date unknown

    47 × 56 cm
    $480
  • Artist unknown
    Brandenburg gate with GDR flag, date unknown

    34 × 42 cm

    SOLD

  • Artist unknown
    Beehive Roller, date unknown

    34 × 40 cm
    $420
  • Helfried Strauß
    The Way of the Wind, date unknown

    33 × 40 cm

    SOLD

  • Thomas Kläber Cottbus
    Breakfast Friend II, date unknown

    33 × 40 cm
    $380
  • Thomas Kläber Cottbus
    Breakfast Friend I, date unknown

    39 × 32 cm
    $480
  • Thomas Kläber Cottbus
    The Tour de No Where, date unknown

    31 × 39 cm
    $380
  • Thomas Kläber Cottbus
    The Kiss, date unknown

    18 × 24 cm
    $380
  • Thomas Kläber Cottbus
    The Dance, date unknown

    34 × 39 cm

    SOLD

  • Thomas Kläber Cottbus
    Mens Hens, date unknown

    32 × 39 cm
    $420
  • Helfried Strauß
    Always Watching, date unknown

    32 × 39 cm

    SOLD

  • Artist unknown
    France Football in the GDR, 1963

    30 × 35 cm
    $420
  • Artist unknown
    Beach Guard Calisthenics, date unknown

    10 × 7 cm

    SOLD

  • Artist unknown
    Triumph of the Sky, date unknown

    25 × 27 cm

    SOLD

  • Artist unknown
    Telecommunications group, date unknown

    23 × 23 cm
    $300
  • Artist unknown
    Brandenburg Gate, Berlin Winter, GDR, date unknown

    6 × 9 cm

    SOLD

  • Artist unknown
    Calisthenics to accordion music I, date unknown

    23 × 26 cm
    $380
  • Artist unknown
    Calisthenics to accordion music II, date unknown

    23 × 26 cm
    $380