Gray-black fields forming a floor plan

Emily Hass

Altonaer Strasse (SIDES Berlin)2008

Arrangement of gray-black fields

The "Altonaer Strasse" series reconstructs the architectural plans and construction drawings that the artist researched in the Berlin State Archive. The exhibition "How German is it? 30 Artists' Notions of Home?" presents several of these works.

For the "Altonaer Strasse" series, Hass traveled to Berlin in 2006 to trace the history of her father, who was forced to flee the city in 1938. She was the first person in her family to do so. She accompanied her father on a trip to the city two years later. Her series was inspired by the buildings in Altonaer Strasse where her father lived as a child.

 "With New York SIDES I was interested in the lives of buildings, their (seemingly) erased history.  I started thinking about buildings as an entry point into a history, or a conversation, and I began to think about Berlin. … It is important to me that the paintings in my Berlin series are true to the architectural plans that inspire them and that, even if abstracted, the shapes are accurate.  My intention is for the work to also stand alone without the context of a specific historical narrative."] (Emily Hass in the catalogue for the exhibition "How German is it? 30 Artists' Notion of Home")

Emily Hass was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1970 and lives and works in New York. Her website can be visited at