Wiebke Siem

Installation view at the Labor, photo: Achim Kukulies, Düsseldorf 2016

What Things Dream

Wiebke Siem, who was awarded the Kaiserring Goslar in 2014, explores modernism through ironic  breaks. In the past, her work focused on forms of collection and display, and she presented her objects in rows and on shelves in the fashion of a museum archive or a store showcase.


Günther Uecker

Installation view, photo: Achim Kukulies

Letters to an Unknown Person

The written word plays an essential role in Günther Uecker’s oeuvre. In the artist’s eyes, writing is just as important as his visual artworks. Like many of Uecker’s “letters,” the Installation Brief an Peking (Letter to Beijing) from 1994 inhabits a special place within his work. Brief an Peking expresses the artist’s view on China in the form of 19 linen sheets that have been painted, written on, and hung on clotheslines like laundry.


Katharina Hinsberg

Installation view: Katharina Hinsberg: Fields (Colors), K20 Grabbeplatz, Labor, September 4th 2014 - January 11th 2015, Photo: Achim Kukulies, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2014

"Fields (Colors)"

The artist Katharina Hinsberg (born 1967 in Karlsruhe, lives and works in the Raketenstation Hombroich near Neuss) creates room-filling installations that explore different aspects of painting. These installations are often in the form of clear, dynamic structures that combine the spatial situation with the conditions created by the artist as well as the audience’s actions. The results are spatial concepts that fundamentally change our perception of the exhibition space while also frequently offsetting the impermanent and fragile qualities of the materials she employs.


Olafur Eliasson

Installation view: Olafur Eliasson: Dein Ausstellungsguide, K20 Grabbeplatz, Labor, April 05th – August, 10th 2014, Photo: Achim Kukulies

Dein Ausstellungsguide

In collaboration with the Kunstsammlung and in direct reference to the exhibition "Kandinsky, Malevich, Mondrian: The Infinite White Abyss," (ended on 6 July 2014) Olafur Eliasson has developed an unusual project that prepares visitors for the presentation in astonishing ways. Through his fusion of large-scale installation and digital app, Eliasson opens up a space of experience – an exploratorium that strives to counteract the progressive mummification of our senses by a ceaseless daily flood of images and information.


Zilvinas Kempinas

Studio Zilvinas Kempinas, 2013, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2013, Photo: Zilvinas Kempinas


Especially for the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Kempinas has created a new installation that allows objects and structures – now bathed in red light – to appear as images in the darkroom of an old photographer. This association alludes to a condition that is suspended between dissolution in light and materialization at a secret location. The clarity of these forms, assembled from aluminum and video strips, also evoke experiences of irritation or confusion.



"Dingfest": Sculpture by Leunora Salihu, Photo: Wilfried Meyer

Tactile Sculptures in the Laboratory

"… Just as painting is perceived by the eye, sculpture should be perceived by the hand, as something tactile," claimed Ewald Mataré in 1928. The laboratory, the exhibition space of the Department of Education, embraces this challenge in a presentation that parallels the exhibition Sculpture at the Düsseldorf Art Academy from 1945 to the Present. Visitors are invited to touch and to probe selected sculptures by Hede Bühl, Tony Cragg, Hubert Kiecol, Ewald Mataré, Wilhelm Mundt, and Leunora Salihu.


Tómas Saraceno

Installation view: Tómas Saraceno, K20 Grabbeplatz, Labor, September 16th, 2011 - December 2012, Photo: Achim Kukulies, © Tomás Saraceno

The "realizable utopias" of Tomás Saraceno defy common conceptions of space, time, and gravity. A glimpse into his world of thoughts and the complex process involved in creating the artwork for the exhibition In den Umlaufbahnen (In Orbit) at K21 in 2013 can be seen in the education space, Labor.


Thomas Struth

Thomas Struth, Paradise 9, Xi Shuang Banna, China, 1999, (Detail), chromogene deduction, 269,4

in collaboration with Frank Bungarten 


In collaboration with guitarist Frank Bungarten, Thomas Struth presented Musik in the Labor, the exhibition space of the Department of Education. This project ran parallel to the exhibition and provided a striking acoustic counterpoint to the varied visual impressions encountered in the exhibition. Musik promoted a heightened experience of the works in the permanent collection. Audible was a selection of music chosen by Struth and Bungarten which united pieces from a variety of cultures and genres.

Karin Sander

Installation view: Karin Sander: Museumsbesucher 1:8, K20 Grabbeplatz, Labor, July 10th, 2010 – Jan 16th, 2011, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2010, Photo: Achim Kukulies

Museumsbesucher 1:8 (Museum Visitor 1:8)

3D body scans of living individuals

Launched to coincide with the museum’s reopening and set in the Labor, the new presentation space of the Department of Education, will be an exhibition series featuring contemporary artists who seek to come to terms with the museum context and with the role of the visitor. Exhibitions will choreograph the participatory interplay – even to the point of role reversal – between beholder, work, and artist.


Labor – Exhibition series in education space

"Labor" with artist Tomás Saraceno, 2012, photo: Martin Larius

Launched to coincide with the museum's reopening in 2010 and set in the "Labor", the presentation space of the Department of Education, has been an exhibition series featuring contemporary artists who seek to come to terms with the museum context and with the role of the visitor (from 2010 until 2016). Exhibitions will choreograph the participatory interplay – even to the point of role reversal – between beholder, work, and artist.

»Open for Construction«

Photo: Achim Kukulies

»Open for Construction«
The Renegotiation of an Art Collection

The »Open for Construction« project lets visitors and people interested in the museum engage with modernist artworks and explore the art historical canon. As focus groups, they can work within the exhibition architecture especially designed for this purpose and develop their own ways of accessing the works they have selected from the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen’s collection and from outside the Western canon. A series of workshops provides them with the opportunity to study and comment on artistic content as well as forms of presentation and mediation. In the end, they present their perspectives to the museum and the public in the form of an exhibition promoting further discussion.

»Open for Construction« is part of the museum global research project, which will continue for the next several years at the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen. The project’s goal is to question and reevaluate the museum’s collection of classical modernist works, which primarily represent European and North American art, using different perspectives.