The division of Germany after 1945 also resulted in a different development of art in East and West Germany. While abstract art enjoyed a triumphal success in the West, the doctrine of socialist realism initially reigned in the East.
With the end of Stalinism, however, a wide range of artistic positions became possible. Based on the classical training offered in East German art academies, figurative art in the tradition of Expressionism and New Objectivity continued to dominate artistic production, whereas avant-garde and abstract artists had to find their niche. In addition to Berlin and Dresden, the Leipzig School was an important center of art.