Eckhart Gillen

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Eckhart Gillen, 2015

Eckhart Gillen (* 1947 in Karlsruhe ) is a German art historian and curator . His main focus is the visual arts of Eastern Europe and especially Eastern Germany after the Second World War .

Live and act

Eckhart Gillen is a son of Otto Gillen and his wife Elisabeth geb. May. From 1966 to 1972 he studied art history , German and sociology at the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg . From the mid-1970s he began to be actively involved in art. In 1975 he presented works by painters from Cologne for the New Society for Fine Art in Berlin. Further exhibitions on 20th century art curated by him included “Between Revolutionary Art and Socialist Realism. Art debates in the Soviet Union from 1917 to 1934 ”(1979, with Hubertus Gaßner ),“ Art Documentation SBZ / GDR 1945−1990 ”(1996 in Cologne),“ Pictures of Germany - Art from a divided country ”(1997/1998 in Martin-Gropius in Berlin -Bau ), “Wahnzimmer Germany” (2002 in Leipzig, with Eugen Blume ) and “Das Kunstkombinat DDR. Caesuras in a failed art policy ”(2005 in Cologne) and“ Art and the Cold War. German Positions 1945–1989 ”in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nürnberg and German Historisches Museum Berlin (2009).

In the second half of the 1980s, he published the magazine Niemandsland together with Wolfgang Dreßen and Siegfried Radlach . Magazine between cultures .

In 2002, Eckhart Gillen at the University of Heidelberg with the work Difficulties in Searching for the Truth with the subtitle Bernhard Heisig in the conflict between “prescribed anti-fascism” and dealing with his war trauma. A study on the problem of anti-fascist and socialist art in the Soviet occupation zone, GDR 1945−1989 for Dr. phil. PhD .

Eckhart Gillen is a member of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA) and the Association of German Art Historians. He works as a research assistant at Kulturprojekte Berlin . Since 2013 he has been a member of the advisory board of the Poll Art Foundation , Berlin.

He is married and lives in Berlin with his wife Inge Maria.



  • with Hubertus Gaßner (ed.): Culture and art in the GDR since 1970. Anabas, Lahn-Gießen 1977, ISBN 3-87038-045-4 .
  • with Hubertus Gaßner: Between Revolutionary Art and Socialist Realism. Documents and commentaries, art debates in the Soviet Union from 1917-1934. DuMont, Cologne 1979, ISBN 3-7701-1116-8 .
  • with Jochen Boberg , Tilman Fichter (eds.): Parade ground for modernity - industrial culture in Berlin in the 19th century. , Beck, Munich 1984, ISBN 3-406-30201-7 .
  • with Jochen Boberg, Tilman Fichter (ed.): The metropolis - industrial culture in Berlin in the 20th century. Beck, Munich 1986, ISBN 3-406-30202-5 .
  • (Red.): Collection Berlinische Galerie. Art in Berlin from 1870 until today. Argon, Berlin 1986, ISBN 3-87024-101-2 .
  • (Ed.) Zone 5. Art in the four-sector city 1945–1951 Berlinische Galerie . Nishen, Berlin 1989, ISBN 3-88940-113-9 .
  • with Rainer Haarmann (ed.): Art in the GDR. Kiepenheuer and Witsch, Cologne 1990, ISBN 3-462-02068-4 .
  • Hans-Werner Schmidt (Ed.): InterZonale 1945. Texts by Eckhart Gillen and Antje von Graevenitz . Kunsthalle, Kiel 1995, ISBN 3-923701-69-1 .
  • with Günter Feist, Beatrice Vierneisel: Art Documentation SBZ / GDR 1945-1990. DuMont, Cologne 1996, ISBN 3-7701-3846-5 .
  • (Ed.): Pictures of Germany. Catalog for the central exhibition of the 47th Berliner Festwochen in the Martin-Gropius-Bau, September 7, 1997 to January 11, 1998. DuMont, Cologne 1997, ISBN 3-7701-3869-4 .
  • The GDR art combine. Caesuras in a failed art policy. Ed .: Museum Pedagogical Service Berlin and Federal Agency for Political Education. DuMont, Cologne 2005, ISBN 3-8321-7558-X .
  • (Ed.): Bernhard Heisig, the rage of images. On the occasion of the exhibition in the Museum of Fine Arts in Leipzig, March 20 - May 29, 2005. DuMont, Cologne 2005, ISBN 3-8321-7556-3 .
  • (Ed.): Sea, beach and sky as a destination and place of refuge for artists since Edvard Munch. On the occasion of the 15th State Art Show 2005 of the Mecklenburg and Western Pomerania Artists 'Association in the Mecklenburg Artists' House at Schloss Plüschow, July 23 to September 11, 2005. Hinstorff, Rostock 2005, ISBN 3-356-01111-1 .
  • Enemy Brothers? The Cold War and German Art 1945–1990. Nicolaische Verlagsbuchhandlung, Berlin 2009, ISBN 978-3-89479-565-8 .
  • (Ed.): Großgörschen 35 . Departure for the art city Berlin 1964 . Exhibition catalog with texts by Barbara Esch Marowski, Lothar C. Poll , Eckhard J. Gillen. Haus am Kleistpark in cooperation with the Poll Art Foundation , Berlin 2014.
  • with Andreas Beitin (Ed.): Flashes of the Future. The art of the 68s or the power of the powerless. Federal Agency for Civic Education, Bonn 2018, ISBN 978-3-8389-7172-8 .

Web links

Commons : Eckhart Gillen  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Online version of the dissertation (PDF; 2.8 MB)
  2. bpb press release of October 1, 2003