The 20th century collection is characterised by epochal singular works as well as outstanding ensembles of works – for example by Paul Klee, Max Beckmann, Pablo Picasso, Oskar Schlemmer and Wilhelm Lehmbruck. With more than 2.500 works, the internationally renowned collection encompasses all important styles in their media diversity: painting, sculpture, photography, installation and media art.
One focal point is the collection of Classical Modernism, which, in addition to the above-mentioned ensembles of works, includes major works by Amedeo Modigliani, Henri Matisse, Egon Schiele and Nataliya Goncharova, among others, which trace the development of the European avant-gardes. The collection on German Expressionism with works by Paula Modersohn-Becker, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Emil Nolde, Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc paints a picture of a generation of artists striving for artistic and social renewal, while repeatedly focusing on the spiritual content of their works.
Art after 1945
The collection Art after 1945 places a strong focus on American positions, especially Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art. European abstraction is represented in its diversity with works by Willi Baumeister, Ernst-Wilhelm Nay, Wols and Yves Klein, to which Francis Bacon, Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke, Georg Baselitz and Anselm Kiefer respond with a return to representationalism. Since 1985, the Staatsgalerie has housed one of the largest Marcel Duchamp collections in the German-speaking world. The collection also includes major representatives of Conceptual, Land and Minimal Art such as Richard Serra, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, Richard Long, Joseph Kosuth and On Kawara. The importance of media art, which the Staatsgalerie was one of the first museums in Germany to collect from the 1970s onwards, can be seen in important works by Nam June Paik and Bruce Nauman. The Staatsgalerie also owns the last room Joseph Beuys set up himself during his lifetime, with which he aimed for a new relationship between the work, the viewer and the museum space. As early as the end of the 1970s, important works by female artists such as Rebecca Horn, Katharina Fritsch, Isa Genzken, Rosemarie Trockel and Pia Stadtbäumer entered the collection, which has recently been expanded with works by Ulrike Ottinger and Maria Lassnig in order to close specific gaps in this part of the collection.