on focus
from 12.05.2020 to 13.03.2022

Mixed Zone

Dialogues between art and design

About the Exhibition

The new permanent exhibition on the ground floor undertakes a bold experiment. For the first time in the twenty-year history of the Neues Museum, artworks and design objects will be shown side by side.

Today, the borders between art and design are more open than ever before and hierarchies between art and design practices no longer exist. Correspondingly, at some points in the exhibition there will be uncertainty about the status of exhibits: Is this art or design? Ultimately, however, this question is no longer of any consequence.

For the exhibition architecture, the Museum found an ideal partner in Tilo Schulz, whose own work also oscillates between art and design.

In this joint show by Neues Museum Nürnberg and Neue Sammlung, our longstanding partner for design, various fields are outlined. The interplay of art and design dispenses with art-historical categories, creating an inspiring associative dialogue.

While the new permanent exhibition was being developed, nine thematic clusters emerged. They show that art and design face very similar issues and challenges.
The rooms have titles pointing to the criteria for selecting works and objects in each case. They range from fundamental dimensions of form to various specific aspects of our civilization.

The shaping of society by architectural principles is examined in the “Constructions” section. The themes of “Existence” and “Prospects” follow on from this, expanding the field to include views of the future with aspects of work and the environment. The latter is also highlighted in the “Resources” section as a reflection on self-critical action. The objects in the “Territories” section show the tensions created by national identities and interests, tensions often negotiated via conflict. The themes of “Geometries”, “References” and “Bodies” highlight the structures and strategies running through aesthetic creativity in both fine and applied art, showing the proximity between the two disciplines.

A special role is played by the room entitled “Interactions” where a trailer designed by the Nuremberg artist Winfried Baumann acts as a centrepiece and stage for art education events. This, too, is new: dialogue with the museum’s visitors is given a visible location in the midst of the exhibition, itself becoming a subject of the show.

Curators of the new permanent exhibition: Thomas Heyden, Eva Kraus, Angelika Nollert, Xenia Riemann-Tyroller, Kristin Schrader and Josef Straßer

Co-curator and designer: Tilo Schulz