Each week our Arts.21 reporters scour Germany's cultural scene and present you with a selection of their best finds.
Willi Baumeister, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart
Willi Baumeister cast a stern eye on art - and he didn't like what he saw. This master of the abstract, who called himself the "chief of modernism," broke free of convention, reducing his work to color, lines, dots. An exhibition in Stuttgart shows how surprisingly international he was in how he thought and lived. In the 1920s, Baumeister moved to Paris, where he counted artist Fernand Léger among his idiosyncratic friends. Baumeister traveled and networked until the Nazis proclaimed his art to be "degenerate" and he was reduced to fearfully painting small, sad pictures. The end of the war liberated Baumeister, and his work exploded with color. He was one of the first Germans to exhibit internationally. He died in 1955, with his paintbrush in hand.
"Nach Europa", Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg
The novel "Three Strong Women" by Marie Ndiaye has been adapted for the stage. White actress Bettina Stucky plays Khady Demba, a Senegalese woman who wants to get to Europe. But Europe lies behind a wall. Her way there is threatened by death, gangs of human traffickers and prostitution. Khady Demba is continually thwarted by Fortress Europe, watched over by the Frontex border protection agency. Director Friedericke Heller shows a PR video by the European Unions border patrol - merging fiction and reality. It's a clever move. In the end, only Khady's spirit can penetrate the wall. This wonderful play, Nach Europa, is now on in Hamburg.
Pedro Almodóvar, European Achievement in World Cinema Award
Pedro Almodóvar - no one explores and exposes our neuroses and obsessions with such wonderfully wacky humor as this Spanish filmmaker! Now his contribution to world cinema is being honored as part of the European Film Awards. The Oscar-winner's melodramas, with their knowing insights into the world of women are cult favorites worldwide. Tragedy, or comedy? To Almodóvar, they can be one and the same! His latest film, set aboard a troubled airliner, is a parable about the Spanish economic crisis. "I'm So Excited!" has been nominated for two European Film Awards - and we're so excited for Pedro Almodóvar!