Room installations

Imi Knoebel, Genter Raum, 1979/80, 449 lackierte Holzteile in variabler Anordnung, Maße variabel, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, © Imi Knoebel/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

The artists' rooms and installations are priorities of the collection of the Kunstsammlung, and both areas have been expanded continuously in recent years.

The installation Section Publicité du Musée d’Art Moderne, Département des Aigles (1972), by Marcel Broodthaers (1924–1976) serves as an introduction by focusing on the representational character of art. Originally created for documenta 5 in Kassel, the work emphasizes the spatial character of verbal and visual signs. As a further example, Imi Knoebel’s (*1940) monumental Genter Raum (1979/1980) may be mentioned; a work made up of 449 varnished wooden parts that indicates a preoccupation with the Suprematism of Kazimir Malevich and illustrates the transfer of the painting into the third dimension.

During the last years, many room installations from the collection have been shown at K21 Ständehaus where arcaded passages on three floors lead to 22 artist rooms which form a circuit around the building: The European version of TV-Garden (1972/77-2002) by Nam June Paik (1932-2005), El Caso (1988) by Christian Boltanski (*1944), My Grandfather's Shed (1994) by Ilya Kabakov (*1934), works by Paul McCarthy (*1945) and Thomas Schütte (*1954) or Plaza (1996) by Juan Muñoz (1953–2001), a room-filling arragngement of 27 figures, that seem to communicate with each other and at the same time to keep the viewer at a great distance.

The installation Das Deutschlandgerät (1990/2002) by Reinhard Mucha (*1950), which the artist presented as the German contribution at the 44th biennale in Venice, is shown in the former plenary hall of K21 Ständehaus since 2002.

Since 2010, the artists' rooms at K21 Ständehaus shift the focus on room installations with a selection of works from the collection that are enhanced by loans and installations created specifically for the location.

The concept of the K21 artists' rooms can be traced back to the exhibition Intensif-Station which took place in 2010 parallel to the re-opening of the K20. Here the Kunstsammlung's room installations were presented to the public in greater density than had previously been the case in the past. In particular the eponymous work Intensif-Station (2010) by Thomas Hirschhorn, a large-scale installation which extends across two rooms, left its mark on the latest concept: all artists who are invited should install their works themselves, thereby gaining an attitude to the architecture and to the history of the building and in turn allowing these impressions to flow into the realization of their ideas.

The presentations switch periodically, you can find an overview of the current artists' rooms here: