Each week our Arts.21 reporters scour Germany's cultural scene and present you with a selection of their best finds.
ImEx.Turning Point, Alte Nationalgalerie Berlin
Berlin's Alte Nationalgalerie is the perfect place for a rendezvous, especially with the Impressionists and the Expressionists hanging side by side. Witht he exhibition "Im-Ex: a Turning Point in Art," comparison brings insight. The subjects are the same -- including nights of carousing in the big city. In the 19th century, the delicate style of the Impressionists was revolutionary. Artists such as Monet suddenly painted al fresco. At the start of the 20th century, the Expressionists burst onto the scene. Bright, colorful, clearly contoured canvases reflect their raging drive to create. The exhibition features 160 works representing these extremely popular styles, Expressionism and Impressionism. It's a summer tete-a-tete in Berlin that's not to be missed.
Amnesty International Honors Joan Baez & Ai Weiwei
Amnesty International has named Joan Baez an Ambassador of Conscience 2015 along with Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei. The artist's son accepted the award in Berlin. His father was not allowed to leave China for the ceremony. Ai Weiwei has openly criticized the Chinese government for human rights violations. Even jail has failed to silence him. Joan Baez has always remained true to her political convictions. She and Bob Dylan became symbols of opposition to the US war in Vietnam. Baez raised her voice in song against apartheid and the death penalty. Her songs of protest have inspired millions. And she's still fighting for justice today. In Berlin she performed "Any Day Now" in the hope that Ai Weiwei will also soon be free.
China 8, Joint Exhibition Along Rhine and Ruhr
Now for Chinese art without Ai Weiwei: Nine museums in eight cities on the Rhine and Ruhr rivers are exhibiting art from China. The big event is called "China8". It features typical Chinese subjects, such as a pixillated image of late Chinese president Mao Tse Tung. There are also references to well-known western art, such as Albrecht Dürer's "Young Hare." The installations explore the areas where painting and video overlap. "China8" features young Chinese artists less interested in criticizing their political system than in making their mark on the European art scene.