In August 1945, Galerie Gerd Rosen opened at Kurfürstendamm 215 as the first exhibition space for modern and contemporary art in post-war Berlin. Its founders were the bookseller Gerd Rosen, the businessman and art collector Max Leon Flemming, and the painter Heinz Trökes. The writer Ilse-Margret Vogel was also involved in building it. Trökes acted as artistic director until 1946, followed by the sculptor Hans Uhlmann until 1947 and Rudolf Springer until summer 1948, who then became self-employed. From 1948 to 1951 the artist Wolfgang Frankenstein was director of the Galerie Gerd Rosen.
The gallery’s artists included Alexander Camaro, Werner Heldt, Hannah Höch as well as Juro Kubicek, Jeanne Mammen, Hans Thiemann and Mac Zimmermann. Prominent works by the sculptors Karl Hartung, Bernhard Heiliger, Louise Stomps and Hans Uhlmann were also shown. In addition to individual presentations, group exhibitions were also on view. The shows of French modernism with works by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Georges Braque were particularly pioneering. German modernism, ostracized by the National Socialists, was now given prominence with works by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Paul Klee and Emil Nolde.
The most important period of the Galerie Gerd Rosen lasted until 1948 on Kurfürstendamm. In 1949 the gallery moved to Hardenbergstrasse 7. Even though important exhibitions were held until 1951, the Cold War and the emerging division of Berlin with its ideologization of modern art left their marks. Not at least due to the effects of the currency reform and the Berlin blockade, the Galerie Gerd Rosen was already said to be bankrupt in 1948. Wolfgang Frankenstein continued the activities, but the dealing with antiquarian books as well as book auctions got increasingly prominent.
At the beginning of the 1950s, gallery activity came almost completely to an end. In 1955 the exhibitions and art trade were revived with less avant-garde positions. A year after Gerd Rosen’s death in 1961, the gallery and the bookshop were finally closed.
With »75 years of Galerie Gerd Rosen«, the Kunsthaus Dahlem honors this famous exhibition site for modern and contemporary art after the end of World War II and twelve years of propaganda by the Nazi regime. Around 30 works are shown, which were exhibited at Galerie Gerd Rosen in the first five years after their founding. Some of the works can be seen now for the first time since they have been shown at Galerie Gerd Rosen.