four rooms
from 15.03.2024 to 05.05.2024

The Number Two

On doppel­gangers, pairs and twins in art

The number two is quite a handful! Yes or no, left or right – sounds clear enough. But two is also a figure of doubt – a pair or polarity, meaning sometimes identity, sometimes difference, theme and variation or original and forgery. Without twos, no stereo and no digitality. Knowing who we are depends to a large degree on seeing our double in the mirror. And the body stands more steadily on two legs than on one.

Artists down the ages have played with the number two. It found its own distinctive form in the diptych, while in contemporary art it often takes on puzzling forms, with pairs turning out to be fake twins or uncanny doppelgangers.
The crisis of binary thinking is increasingly calling into question the number that once divided man and woman, good and evil, beginning and end, the divine and the terrestrial. A selection of works from the Neues Museum collection takes visitors deep into the jungle of clones, duplicates and counterparts.


Come in pairs!

Bring someone with you when you come to the exhibition at this evening, as each pair of visitors gets two drinks for the price of one! There will also be a conver­sation between Thomas Heyden, who curated the show, and the Museum’s director Simone Schimpf – not a conventional opening, but a tête-à-tête.

Friday, March 22nd 2024, 7 p.m.
Admission free.