Lutz Bacher, Hair, 2010

Lutz Bacher
What's love got to do with it

from 07. September 2018
K21 Ständehaus (Bel Etage)

The US-American artist Lutz Bacher – who has concealed her identity since the inception of her career under a misleading masculine pseudonym – works in a conceptual manner in a variety of media. Beginning in the 1970s, the Berkeley California native, who is based in New York, has drawn in her works upon found objects and visual material from popular culture. Excerpts from dime novels, porn magazines, self-help books, and paparazzi photos are incorporated into her works alongside discarded objects from the consumer world. Through rearrangement, distortion, and de-familiarization, she deconstructs seemingly familiar image worlds, unmasking them as medial fictions. Central to her artistic oeuvre are questions of identity, of the human body, as well confrontations with power and sexuality. In the first solo museum exhibition devoted to this artist in Germany, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen presents early and current works that span Bacher's career, which meanwhile extends across four decades.


Photo: Katja Illner

K21 Permanent Collection

from 07 September, 2018
K21 Ständehaus

Following a period of closure in summertime, the K21 will reopen on September 6 as the totally modernized Museum of Contemporary Art of the Kunst­sammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen. The presentation of the collection on the 2nd and 3rd upper stories will feature the art of the late 1980s (Marina Abramović, Paul McCarthy, Robert Gober, Maria Lassnig, Manfred Pernice, Rosemarie Trockel, Thomas Ruff, Thomas Schütte, Wael Shawky, Ana Torfs, among many others). After comprehensive restoration, Reinhard Mucha's key work Das Deutschlandgerät (The Germany Device) will be on view again, while found in the bel etage will be an exhibition devoted to the mysterious US-American artist Lutz Bacher. The 1st upper story will become an accessible space for immersion and exchange. Installed here on a permanent basis, for example, is the Dorothee and Konrad Fischer Archive.


Cao Fei, Haze and Fog, 2013, Courtesy the artist and Vitamin Creative Space

Cao Fei

06 October 2018 – 13 January 2019
K21 Ständehaus

The K21 is presenting the first comprehensive exhibition in Germany devoted to the Beijing-based artist Cao Fei. The featured videos, photographs, and multimedia installations by this pioneer of the post-internet-generation are representative of her artistic oeuvre as a whole. Oscillating between reality and fiction, her art reflects upon China's societal and urban situation, characterized today by continual and massive change. Cao Fei (*1978) draws upon her local and personal milieu in Beijing, at the same time integrating traditional Chinese rituals into her work. She exploits the latest digital media for projects that alternate visually between the aesthetic realms of documentary, feature film, and virtual reality.

In cooperation with MoMA PS1, New York, and the Julia Stoschek Collection, Düsseldorf/Berlin.



Lasar Segall, Encontro, ca. 1924, Acervo Museu Lasar Segall – IBRAM/MinC, © Museu Lasar Segall

museum global.
Microhistories of an Ex-centric Modernism

10 November 2018 – 10 March 2019
K20 Grabbeplatz

With a point of departure in a critical engagement with our own collection, museum global – a research and exhibition project of the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen – focuses on selected instances of a transcultural modernism that is situated beyond the Western canon.

With microhistories from Japan, Brazil, Mexico, China, India, Lebanon, or Nigeria (1910 to 1960), the museum interrogates not just a Eurocentric version of art history, but our own perspectives as well. Via a lively forum, the museum is opening itself up toward urban society and initiating a discussion involving diverse communities, art, scholarship, and research.


Schmela Haus

Schmela Haus, photo: Achim Kukulies

Alfred Schmela: A Centenary Exhibition

24 November, 2018 – 20 January, 2019
Schmela Haus

On November 23, 2018, the famous Düsseldorf galerist Alfred Schmela would have celebrated his 100th
birthday. To mark the occasion, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen is organizing an exhibition that
illustrates the widely ramified network of this pioneer of the art scene in the Rhineland. The setting for the exhibition, assembled by Schmela's granddaughter, the curator Lena Brüning, is Schmela's architectonically incisive gallery building, located in Düsseldorf’s old town. Designed by Aldo van Eyck and inaugurated in 1971, it serves today as one of the three locations of the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen. Selected works by renowned artists who worked with Alfred Schmela when launching their careers will be presented
in conjunction with documentary materials. The exhibition illustrates the international spectrum of the  gallery's program and focuses on central protagonists of and tendencies in the art of the second half of the 20th century – among them Joseph Beuys, Nouveau Réalisme, Pop Art, and ZERO – to whose dissemination and success Alfred Schmela made an essential contribution.