Special exhibition from August 22, till October 25, 2020


The Association of Berlin Female Artists (VdBK) was founded as early 1867 and has acted as amotor, network and showcase for women artists ever since. It has been committed to professional women artists in a variety of ways and according to historical needs. Many well-known female modern artists had close ties with the professional association, either as members, aspupils, as teachers or as participants in the Association’s exhibitions.


Today the VdBK unites 54 female artists from all over the world, whose life and work is centred in Berlin. Although it is one of the oldest cultural institutions in Berlin, it does not currently have a permanent exhibition venue. Now it is for the second time a guest in the Käthe-Kollwitz-Museum.

Käthe Kollwitz counts as one of the most important members of the VdBK 1867. The Association played an significant role in her life, for example, it enabled Kollwitz to receive professional training in its drawing and painting school, founded in 1868 -at a time when women were forbidden to study at the state art academies. Kollwitz in turn returned to herplace of trainingin 1898 and headed the graphic arts class for five years. She regularly took part in the exhibitions of the Association and fought as a member to achieve its goals for more than four decades.

The special exhibition “Black + White” features eight female artists from the current members oft he Association, whose works primarily make use of the colours black and white. The monochrome working method has a long tradition and finds an unprecedented exclusivity in Kollwitz’s work. Kollwitz used this way of working to develop her view of the world, whether in charcoal or graphite drawings or in prints. The strength of these works lies in her concentration on the essential. Kollwitz presented her works regularly in the „Black and White Exhibitions“ of the Berlin Secession, which were held from 1901.

Viola Schill, Manchmal verändern sich die Größenverhältnisse (2019), Foto: Rainer Jordan


While Kollwitz mostly used black lines and flat areas on white paper, the contemporary artists sound out the varied possibilities of dealing with the non-colours black and white as well as all the shades of grey in between. All manner of techniques, such as charcoal drawings, collages, photographs, sculptures, installations and mirror boxes are represented in this exhibition. The confrontation with the visual power of the reduced colour palette takes place in a very individual way. The abstinence from colour challenges the viewer to reflect on his or her patterns of perception in our world of colour. The artistic positions are different, and yet, like an orchestral piece, this presentation of works results in an overall sound that is both harmonious and haunting.



  • Silvia Klara Breitwieser
  • Ines Doleschal
  • Hannah Dougherty
  • Friederike Klotz
  • Maja Rohwetter
  • Heike Ruschmeyer
  • Viola Schill
  • Nadja Siegl

Friederike Klotz, Ohne Titel, 2020, Foto: Friederike Klotz

Nadja Siegl, Signifiers 1-12, 2019, Foto: Nadja Siegl

Ines Doleschal, Serie: Form Folgt, Blatt 13, 2020, Foto: Ines Doleschal