“I found this theatrical nonsense taking place
during the Wall's time to be interesting.” – K.H.Hödicke
“I found this theatrical nonsense taking place during the Wall's time to be interesting.” – K.H.Hödicke
When walking down the streets of Berlin’s most historic district, Berlin-Mitte, and exploring the illustrious buildings lining up one after the other on the sidewalks, there is one that can’t be missed: the former telegraph office located at the corner of Oranienburger- and Monbijoustraße. Adjacent to Museumsinsel, the neo-baroque building once was an important center of communication and now houses a hotel, a restaurant, and, since December of last year, the second Berlin branch of KÖNIG GALERIE. The new location, KÖNIG TELEGRAPHENAMT, opened its doors with a solo exhibition by Karl Horst Hödicke, honoring the artist’s biographical connection to Berlin and its history.
As one of the most important representatives of German Neo-Expressionism as well as the co-founders of the Neue Wilde movement, Hödicke has made Berlin and its ever-changing landscape a central motif in his work. With broad brushstrokes and a bold color palette, Hödicke visualizes places from across the city, lending his works the feeling of seeing a place through memory. The infamous bar "Exil," the lobby of the hotel Esplanade, or the corner of Dessauer Straße and Bernburger Straße, where Hödicke once witnessed an accident, are all depicted in paintings on view in the exhibition 030 at KÖNIG TELEGRAPHENAMT. With its long history and significance for the German capital, Telegraphenamt appears to be the perfect location to showcase Hödicke’s work, spanning four decades of paintings as well as sculptural works.
From the middle of the 19 century, the building housed Germany’s central postal and communications center before it was transformed into the main telegraph office in 1916. Containing one of the largest and most modern pneumatic tube systems in the world, the telegraph office was Germany’s central intersection for communication. Although the building was bombarded during World War II, the basic structure could be preserved and continued to be used as the main telegraph office during the GDR. The telegraph office was used as such until 1992, which was when all operations finally stopped. Since then, the building has remained a protected historical site. Having been respectfully renovated, it officially reopened as Forum an der Museumsinsel in 2023 and, since then, has been an important cultural addition to the city.