photo: Jens Willebrand

Exhibitions and Projects of the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen 2015

Download pdf

K21 Ständehaus

Artists’ Rooms in the K21

An almost unique situation on the international art scene: selected contemporary artists have the opportunity to configure their own separate room within the museum. Displays alternate regularly, and each offers the visitor an intense encounter with  contemporary art.


F3 Schmela Haus
Every Thursday
at 7 pm

(except summer holidays and Christmas holidays)

Futur 3: Approaching an unknown Future:

A Program in the Schmela Haus




K21 Ständehaus
09 May – 30 August, 2015

Imi Knoebel – Honoring Malevich

Imi Knoebel (born in 1940) is one of the most important contemporary abstract artists internationally. Since the 1960s, this Düsseldorf-based artist has continuously developed his emphatically minimalist oeuvre. Beginning in 1964, when he was a student of Joseph Beuys, his analytical work series have reflected a growing concern with the interplay of color and form. This was foundational for his meanwhile long-term preoccupation with the works of the Russian Suprematist Kazimir Malevich. In particular Malevich’s celebrated Black Square – first exhibited in 1915 and regarded as the embodiment of a zero state of painting – has proven a productive point of departure for Knoebel’s own approaches. In the 1960s, after a series of line paintings and projected light images, Knoebel began producing purist black-and-white works and created his celebrated Room 19. The first series of abstract multicolored works date from the 1970s. On view in the Bel Etage of the K21 will be Knoebel’s new wall and three-dimensional pieces alongside Suprematist works by Malevich.

K20 Grabbeplatz
13 June – 27 September, 2015

Miró –
Painting as Poetry

This exhibition is devoted to Joan Miró’s lifelong interest in literature. Miró not only cultivated friendships with major 20th-century poets. The reading of literature allowed his sense of artistic fantasy to take wing – he saw himself as a »painter poet« and made absolutely no distinction between the various arts. On his canvases, word and image enter into ambiguous associations. In collaboration with his poet friends, moreover, Miró created numerous elaborately designed artist’s books. This presentation illuminates this theme in a comprehensive way for the first time, and showcases Miró’s achievement from a new perspective.

K21 Ständehaus
26 September, 2015 – 24 January, 2016


The exhibition features works by contemporary artists who seek to come to terms with Christian motifs, themes, and issues  using a variety of approaches. As an element of our collective image and text memory, Christian iconography surfaces in contemporary works of art in multifarious and ambivalent ways. The spectrum ranges from fundamental existential questions to humorous and critical approaches, from specific aspects of religion and faith to current sociopolitical themes.

K20 Grabbeplatz
07 November, 2015 – February, 2016

Agnes Martin.
A Retrospective

This retrospective of paintings and drawings by Agnes Martin (1912–2004) pays tribute to the artistic achievement of one of the most remarkable female artists of the 20th century. From the experiments of the 1950s all the way to ripe late works, her  soft-spoken oeuvre, with its commitment to abstraction, evolved in the milieu of Abstract Expressionism and minimalist  tendencies. Organized by the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein- Westfalen in cooperation with Tate Modern in London, the LACMA in  Los Angeles, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, this exhibition offers profound insights into Martin’s paintings, along with an extraordinary visual experience.

K20 Grabbeplatz, Labor
September, 2015 – January, 2016

Wiebke Siem in the LABOR

For the LABOR, the sculptress Wiebke Siem has developed an interactive installation that relates to the collection of the K20.  With keen irony and from a woman’s perspective, this work by a recipient of the Goslar Kaiserring Prize (2014) addresses  artistic modernism, against which background she arrives at a wholly independent position. Among the essential aspects of her
activities are the role of art and its relationship to non-art, the transformation of the familiar into the strange, and the modes of collecting and presentation.