Carmen Herrera
Lines of Sight

02 December 2017 – 08 April 2018
K20 Grabbeplatz

The Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen presents the largest exhibition to date devoted to the Cuban-American artist Carmen Herrera, featuring works drawn from a span of 70 years. Herrera is among the pioneers of geometric abstraction in the United States. This wide-ranging presentation includes circa 70 works and involves paintings, works on paper, and sculptures produced between 1947 and 2017. Herrera – who is now 102 years old – was long ignored by the art world: she sold her first picture at the age of 89. Up to the present, this New York-based artist continues to create powerful, eye-catching works.

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Akram Zaatari
Against Photography. An Annotated History of the Arab Image Foundation

18 November 2017 – 25 February 2018
K21 Ständehaus

Central to the artistic praxis of the Beirut-based artist Akram Zaatari (born in Saida/Lebanon in 1966) is  photography. His video installations, films, and photographic objects, reflect upon the multiple lives of photographs. As a co-founder of the Arab Image Foundation (1997 in Beirut) and as a principle contributor to its expanding collection, Zaatari’s oeuvre represents an uncompromising contribution to the discourse on photography and its changing function over the years. This first exhibition of Zaatari in a museum in Germany presents an artist’s perspective that takes an archeological approach, at a distance from collecting, preservation and organizational practices.

Exhibition organized by the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) and the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA), in collaboration with Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen.

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Maria Hassabi
STAGING: Solo #2

9 December 2017 – 21 January 2018
K20 Grabbeplatz

The compelling performances and live installations of the New York based artist and choreographer Maria Hassabi (born in Cyprus in 1973) are austerely composed choreographies which involve the unfolding of decelerated movement in space. Her works, which have been featured internationally in museums, at festivals, in galleries, in theaters and public spaces, explore the intricate relationship between body and image, using extended duration and precise micro-movements to develop a radical sculptural corporeality. Here, the transitions between the slowly enacted movements of the dancers, and the time intervals that separate moments of prolonged stillness, emerge as the actual space of experience.

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Schmela Haus

Futur 3: Annäherung an die ungekannte Zukunft

2013 – 2017

The Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen invites everyone with an interest in art and culture to engage in dialogue, debate, and discussion at the Schmela Haus. At 7 p.m. on Thursday evenings (except holidays), international guests explore questions concerning the future – of the museum, the city, society, art, and science – in various constellations and with differing thematic emphases. The Düsseldorf sculpture Andreas Schmitten responded with seductive opulence to Aldo van Eyck’s architecture in his installation Ein Set für das Schmela Haus. Bar und Saal (A Set for the Schmela Haus: Bar and Lounge; 2013), which extends throughout two stories, and functions as a fusion of futuristic hotel bar, cabaret, and lounge.



Otto Dix – The Evil Eye

11 February – 28 May 2017 (extended)
K20 Grabbeplatz

Otto Dix (1891 - 1969) – the celebrated painter and notorious enfant terrible – spent the intensively creative years 1922 - 1925 in Düsseldorf. During this period, as a member of the revolutionary artist’s group Das Junge Rheinland (Young Rhineland), he developed the critical handwriting that made him an unmistakable figure within 20th century art.

The exhibition Otto Dix – The Evil Eye is devoted to this decisive phase of his career. On view will be approximately 200 paintings, watercolors, and prints from German and international collections.

When the destitute Dix left Dresden for Düsseldorf for the first time in October 1921, he hoped to be welcomed in the Rhineland with exhibition opportunities and lucrative portrait commissions. During the ensuing three years, driven by singular ambition and enormous perseverance, he evolved from an expressive-realist Dada artist into a portraitist who emblematized the Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity). Mercilessly, he fixed his contemporaries’ features on canvas. In 1925, when he moved to Berlin, having matured now as a man and an artist, he was preceded by his reputation as a harsh critic of society.

For the first time, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen presents with the exhibition Otto Dix – The Evil Eye a monographic exhibition that focuses on these crucial years in Dix’s development. Afterwards the exhibition will be shown at Tate Liverpool.

Curator: Dr. Susanne Meyer-Büser

Afterwards the exhibition was shown at Tate Liverpool.


Marcel Broodthaers.
A retrospective

04 March – 11 June 2017
K21 Ständehaus

Marcel Broodthaers. A Retrospective presents a major overview of the multifaceted oeuvre of the Belgian artist Marcel Broodthaers (1924 –1976), who formulated an idiosyncratic artistic position within the milieu of Pop, Minimalism, and Conceptual Art. When he was 40 years old, Broodthaers turned from poetry toward visual arts, and soon received acclaim within Europe's avant-garde scene for his displays and cinematographic works, with their stringent criticism of institutions.

This exhibition, which includes more than 400 works in the most diverse genres and media, has been organized meticulously over a period of more than four years by The Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid. The show finishes in Düsseldorf, a city that did much to promote Broodthaers' brief but highly productive artistic career. Broodthaers not only lived in Düsseldorf (from 1970 – 1972), he also received, assimilated, and reciprocated decisive impulses from the local art scene, which was networked internationally to an optimal degree.

A number of works and exhibitions came to fruition in Düsseldorf, among them the legendary show "Section des Figures" (Section of Figures), organized in 1972 at the Städtische Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, and a component of Broodthaers’ principal work, the Musée d’Art Moderne, Département des Aigles (Museum of Modern Art, Department of Eagles) (1968 –1972).

This long-awaited retrospective of the works of Marcel Broodthaers initiates viewers into a fascinating aesthetic universe – one that regards poetry as a "disturbance of the world order" and an "indirect political question," and that advocates a radically open-ended and processual approach to interpreting art, and hence represents a contribution to an understanding of art that remains valid today.

Organized by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid.


The exhibition was organized by Christophe Cherix, The Robert Lehman Chief Curator of Drawings and Prints, The Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Manuel J. Borja-Villel, Director, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía; with Francesca Wilmott, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Drawings and Prints, The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

In K21, Düsseldorf, the show was curated by Doris Krystof.

Installation view, photo: Achim Kukulies

Leunora Salihu
Gravity on a journey

31 March – 24 September 2017 (extended)
K21 Ständehaus, Bel Etage

Although Leunora Salihu’s sculptures have an austere composition, they are light and permeable. The artist creates her works from a multitude of materials, like clay, plaster, metal, and multiplex boards, playing with their contrasting characteristics to assemble new, extraordinary combinations.

Their titles – like Trichter, Tunnel, or Treppe (Funnel, Tunnel or Staircase) – hint at a possible technical or functional origin. On closer inspection, however, all apparent usefulness disappears. The sculpture Propeller is a prime example of this. Its structure of stacked MDF boards and a fragile ceramic core refers to the rotating movement of a propeller. On another level, the sculpture also deals with many  purely artistic issues, like the relationship between difference and repetition, three-dimensional forms, gravity, and dynamics.

Leunora Salihu was born in 1977 in Prishtina (Kosovo).

Wael Shawky, Cabaret Crusades, The Secrets of Karbalaa, 2014, installation view, photo: Achim Kukulies, © Wael Shawky

real sets / fictional sets
Videos and Photographs

Selected Works from the Permanent Collection

02 August – 08 October, 2017
K21 Ständehaus

In the basement level of the K21, real sets / fictional sets features videos and photographs from the permanent collection that take the stage/film set as the point of departure for the most diverse scenarized spatial arrangements, an approach that offers fields of play for a variety of scenes, plots, and narratives. On view will be works by Bruce Nauman, William Kentridge, Rosemarie Trockel, Richard T. Walker, Heimo Zobernig, and Wael Shawky, supplemented by a selection of photographs by Candida Höfer.

Exhibition page



Rupture, War and Surrealism
in Egypt (1938 – 1948)

15 July – 15 October 2017
K20 Grabbeplatz

This is the first comprehensive museum exhibition about the largely forgotten Cairo based group Art et Liberté ("art and liberty", "jama’at al-fann wa al-hurriyyah"). The exhibition presents more than 200 works from around 50 collections in 12 different countries, including paintings, works on paper, prints, photographs, films, books, and archival documents. At the dawn of World War II and during Egypt's colonial rule by the British Empire the surrealist collective of artists and writers was engaged in its defiance of Fascism, Nationalism and Colonialism.

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