Currently on show outside Berlin’s New National Gallery are four piles of blue coloured fake manure.
‘The Oriel of the Blue Horses’ by Martin Gostner was created as an ingenious tribute to and wonderful reminder of German Expressionist Franz Marc’s seminal work, ‘The Tower of Blue Horses’, which was confiscated by the Nazi party in 1937.
As with many of the other works of art seized by the Nazis, it is not known whether Marc’s masterpiece, bought in 1919 by the then director of the New National Gallery and added to its permanent collection, still exists or was destroyed. Prior to 1949 there were various sightings in Germany, there were also unconfirmed reports it had been stored in a Swiss bank safe.
Gostner’s work is pleasingly yet powerfully simple, a uniquely articulate response to a lost artistic inheritance.