New Rooms by Women Artists

Rosemarie Trockel, Lee Bontecou, Nancy Spero, Charlotte Posenenske, Annette Messager, Candida Höfer

October, 05, 2011 – April, 29, 2012
K21 Ständehaus

After «Intensif-Station» the K21 has continued to expand the collection’s focus on artist’s rooms. The next six rooms will be occupied without exception by women artists. Each month, a room will be opened with a special event.

We begin in October with ceramic works by Rosemarie Trockel at the same time, a room at the K20 will be installed with new, black wool pictures by the same artist. On view beginning in November will be a presentation of works by Lee Bontecou, who celebrates her 80th birthday this year. The Kunstsammlung already owns a major work by this artist, which was acquired in 1971 by Werner Schmalenbach. On view beginning in December will be the “War Series,” Nancy Spero’s artistic reflections on the Vietnam War.

A piece by Charlotte Posenenske follows in January, while Annette Messager’s recently acquired, room-filling installation "Sous vent" will be presented to the public in February. In March, the series will conclude with a work by Candida Höfer.

Exhibition card

Big Picture II (Time zones)

December 09, 2011 - April 01, 2012

Experiences of time and recollections of the past are foci in part two of this survey, which features installation works from the museum’s collection, and is presented in the redesigned basement level of the K21 Ständehaus.

Joining “temporalized images” in the form of film and video works are spatial installations; the selection offers a wide spectrum of forms through which time is visualized and experienced. Conceptions which register the passage of time in a seemingly neutral fashion are juxtaposed with narrative approaches that embrace historical time.

Selected loan works complement the thematic guideline of the collection.

Featured are works by
Danica Dakić, Hanne Darboven, Lucinda Devlin, Jochem Hendricks, Martin Honert, Nan Hoover, On Kawara, Dieter Kiessling, Korpys/Löffler, Angela Melitopoulos, Jason Rhoades, Hito Steyerl, Ana Torfs und Samuel Beckett

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Zvi Goldstein – Haunted by Objects

November, 13, 2011 - February, 26, 2012

This exhibition is the largest project to date of this conceptual sculptor and author, born in 1947, who has developed an artistic stance since the late 1970s which remains external to the western context, yet at the same time strongly linked to it. His work is a response to the challenges of our globalized world.

Assembled from more than 850 objects and images ranging from antiquity to the present day and originating from diverse cultures around the world, Haunted by Objects is a dense, complex, hybrid cosmos. The point of departure fort he work is a selection of 62 passages from Room 205, the artist newest book. Using a poetic language which incorporates a variety of elements, the book depicts a flashback lasting a single minute which is experienced by someone shortly after awakening in a hotel room. The text gives voice to a state of consciousness which reside between daydreaming, fantasy, and hallucination, and in which fragments of the protagonist’s ownlife are fused with artistic, cultural, and philosophical reflections in a kaleidoscopic fashion. In a large room with subdued illumination, eachtextual fragment appears surrounded by a clusterof objects which refers to its content in a varietyof ways, and which cover all of the walls. Thesheer abundance of objects and the richly associative language of the texts allow an infinite number of individual observations and interrelationships to emerge – albeit in the absence ofany preestablished system designed to provide a clear sense of orientation or to specify unambiguous connections. Some aspects present themselves with the greatest clarity, while othersslip away toward the margins of comprehensibility. In keeping with Goldstein’s artistic mission, "fantasy and theory, the conceptual and the aesthetic, context and ontology, biography andideology" combine on equal terms to form aunity which is found "between culturally centraland peripheral modes of existence."

As a whole, Haunted by Objects is the grandiose attempt byan artist to use cultural objects and the narratives and worldviews preserved in them to give voice to his own sense of fascination. At the same time, this work calls conventional museological ordering into question while successfully delineating an image of our multidimensional world in the era of globalization.

This exhibition was organized by The Israel Museum, Jerusalem. All of the objects seen in the installation are drawn from the Museum’sencyclopedic collections.


Grandes Dames Visitors to the Collection

October, 06, 2011 – January, 29, 2012
K20 Grabbeplatz

For the collection project Grandes Dames, we have adopted a critical and cautious approach to the following question: Which women artists are missing from the permanent collection, in particular from the realm of classical modernism? Which major positions received insufficient attention during the museum’s relatively brief collecting history, and hence remain unrepresented? A number of the gaps within the collection have been identified and marked by incorporating targeted works by women artists into the collection in the form of temporary loans. Among these are paintings and sculptures by Natalia Goncharova, Käthe Kollwitz, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Gabriele Münter, Meret Oppenheim, Lyubov Popova, and Marianne Werefkin.

To close gaps in a museum collection through loans is a widespread strategy. Ultimately, we are concerned here with a long-term examination of the version of the artistic canon that is conveyed by the collection. As the opportunity arises, revisions are to be affected through purchases and gifts. Illuminating as well is a retrospective analysis of the market: Which works were available, and when, and at which prices? This question is of particular interest against the background of current price increases for works by both important earlier and recently deceased women artists.

In cooperation with students of Kunstgeschichtliches Instituts, Ruhr-Universität Bochum.

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The Other Side of the Moon. Women Artists of the Avant-garde

October, 22, 2011 - January, 15, 2012

The exhibition The Other Side of the Moon focuses on eight female artists who made major contributions to the aesthetic renewal of Europe during the 1920s and 1930s. Through their high levels of artistic achievements, persistent attempts to establish contacts, and unconditional commitment, they continually generated networks at the very heart of the avant-garde community. For the first time in this constellation, this exhibition offers viewers an opportunity to become acquainted with the lives and works of Claude Cahun, Dora Maar, Sonia Delaunay, Florence Henri, Hannah Höch, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, and the less familiar artists Katarzyna Kobro and Germaine Dulac.

The spectrum of their collective creative activities encompasses the most divergent aesthetic tendencies, from Dada to Constructivism and Surrealism. Equally diverse are the artistic resources they utilized, from painting and photography to collage, film, and sculpture. The Other Side of the Moon is devoted to the female pioneers of the avant-garde, to early participants in the artistic movements of their era who contributed substantially to the establishment and dissemination of new stylistic directions. Exemplary of this cadre of pioneers was Sophie Taeuber-Arp (1889-1943). With her wide-ranging work, which linked Dada to geometric-abstract art, and even approached the margins of Surrealism, this "generator of alliances" par excellence belonged to the artist’s associations Cercle et Carré and Abstraction-Création. A cosmopolitan personality and member of the editorial staff of the French-American journal Plastique, she contributed together with Piet Mondrian and Theo van Doesburg to the establishment of Concrete Art in Europe, and functioned as an early networker of avant-garde culture.

Also belonging to this influential and gregarious circle of female artists was Hannah Höch (1889-1978), whose collages spurred on the establishment of Berlin Dada. Another trailblazer was Sonia Delaunay (1885-1979), who paved the way for pure painting in Paris and revolutionized the fashion industry with her own label. Florence Henri (1893-1982) was the representative in France of the New Vision.

Whether among the Futurists in Rome, the Surrealists in Paris, or at the Bauhaus in Dessau, the multilingual Henri, with her passion for travel, could be found wherever the avant-garde was in residence. Dora Maar (1907-1997) and Claude Cahun (1894-1954) were among the radical representatives of early Surrealism. Nearly all of the exhibited artists were at times closely linked to one another through friendships, while others were acquainted indirectly through their activities. Vividly illuminated through the circa 230 works of the exhibition are the biographies, interconnections, shifting friendships, and temporary partnerships of these artists – in short, the European-wide networks they created.

The exhibition was organized in collaboration with the Lousiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark (duration: 14 February to 28 May 2012). Our media partner is the Handelsblatt. The exhibition is kindly supported by Institut français Düsseldorf and the Polish Institut Düsseldorf.

Installation view at Schmela Haus,
Photo: Volker Bratke

Jordan Wolfson

September, 8, 2011 – January, 15, 2012

The American Jordan Wolfson, born in 1980, is often regarded as one of the most exciting artists of his generation. Presented in the framework of his solo exhibition at the Schmela Haus is a selection of new and old works which represents a welcome opportunity to become acquainted with the full range of his creative production. His work centers on an investigation of our cultural unconscious as well as our consumer culture, which he pursues via filmic, painterly, and photographic approaches.

In order to adapt this small survey to the very special setting of the Schmela Haus, Wolfson visited the building a number of times in recent months and has conceptualized a series of artistic interventions especially for this context, transforming our perceptions of the architecture and making a visit to the Schmela Haus — independently of the presentation of his works — into an enduring experience.

Media partner is the Handelsblatt. The exhibition is supported by Schlösser Alt.

Exhibition card

Big Picture (Orte / Projektionen)

March 19 – November 20, 2011

Big Picture is a work by Californian artist Jason Rhoades (1965–2006) whose title also means “large scale overview”. When Rhoades effects an ironic reversal by displaying a large garden on a small flatscreen, his gesture sets the tone for an exhibition of film and video installations which confronts viewers with the range of modes of operation adopted by cinematographic installations.

Shifts in perspective and leaps of scale and conception generate a filmic atmosphere which resides beyond cinema, one whose most powerful inventions include incisive images of journeys, landscapes and nature. The presentation revolves around a selection of 12 installations which are displayed in a specially designed architectural setting (Stadler Prenn Architekten, Berlin) that is designed to emphasize the spatial and physical aspects of the film projections. The exhibition includes six works from the collection as well as six international loans.

Artists: Jason Rhoades, Mark Lewis, Rodney Graham, Shirin Neshat, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Corinna Schnitt, Natacha Nisic, Paul Pfeiffer, Steve McQueen, Kimsooja, Thomas Steffl, Richard T. Walker

Media partner is the Handelsblatt.

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MOVE - Art and Dance since the 60s

July, 19 – September, 25, 2011

This exhibition MOVE – Art and Dance since the 60s provides an overview of the historical and current relationship between the fine arts, dance, movement, and choreography since the early 1960s. On view will be sculptures and installations by artists, dancers, and choreographers, all of which in some way influence the movements of exhibition visitors.

The exhibition explores how everyday movements have been a driving force in the development of both contemporary art and dance since the 1960s.  It examines how visual artists in the 1960s and 1970s used choreography as a means to encourage audiences to experience art with their whole body, whilst increasingly over the last two decades artists have used dance and performance to explore how everyday behaviour is choreographed and manipulated.

MOVE is curated by Stephanie Rosenthal, Chief Curator, Hayward Gallery in London, and includes works by Janine Antoni, Pablo Bronstein, Trisha Brown, Boris Charmatz, Lygia Clark, William Forsythe, Simone Forti, Dan Graham, Christian Jankowski, Isaac Julien, Mike Kelley, Maria La Ribot, Xavier Le Roy & Mårten Spångberg, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, João Penalva, Tino Sehgal, Franz Erhard Walther, and Franz West. In Düsseldorf, the exhibition will be expanded to include selected works from the permanent collection by artists such as Carl Andre, Robert Morris, Jackson Pollock, and others.

The exhibition integrates an interactive archive which sets the theme of art and dance into a wider historical context. The archive was developed especially for this exhibition in collaboration with André Lepecki, a professor of performance studies at NYU (New York University). The selection includes more than 170 films and videos of performances by Merce Cunningham, Allan Kaprow, Yvonne Rainer, Meg Stuart, Kazuo Shiraga, Atsuko Tanaka, Sasha Walz, and others.

Exhibition organised by the Hayward Gallery, London, in association with Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen.
media partner: Handelsblatt
Partner of the exhibition’s education programme: Stiftung Kunst, Kultur und Soziales der Sparda-Bank West

Exhibition card

Appeal for an Alternative

March 18 – July 17, 2011

With the exhibition Appeal for an Alternative / Aufruf zur Alternative the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen establishes the Schmela Haus as an arena for testing out experimental and interdisciplinary projects. The reactivation of this icon of modernist architecture is effected via the presentation of eight artistic positions by Shaina Anand, Luca Frei, Group Material, Christine und Irene Hohenbüchler, Jenny Holzer, Sora Kim, Sarah Pierce, and Kateřina Šedá, each distinguished by its poetic approach to social engagement.

A central theme in this context is the creation of social spaces through artistic resources including collaboration and communication. The spatial dimension of this presentation is reflected in its highly specific integration into the architecture of this building, designed by Dutch architect Aldo von Eyck and inaugurated in 1971.

Artists: Shaina Anand, Luca Frei, Group Material, Christine und Irene Hohenbüchler, Jenny Holzer, Sora Kim, Sarah Pierce und Kateřina Šedá. Sarah Pierce, Luca Frei and Christine und Irene Hohenbüchler present new site specific installations.

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Thomas Struth -
Photographs 1978 – 2010

February 26 – June 19, 2011

Düsseldorf and Berlin based artist Thomas Struth is among the major representatives of the German photo scene. Numerous exhibitions over the past 15 years in Europe, the US, Japan, China, have earned this native of Germany’s Lower Rhine region an international reputation. As early as 1992, Struth’s works were on view at the documenta IX in Kassel. While to date only individual work series have been presented publicly, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen now offers the first European representative survey of Struth’s production as a whole.

The exhibition was organized in collaboration with the Kunsthaus Zürich. The Swiss version will be supplemented to more than 100 motifs for the Düsseldorf presentation, which will feature a series of recent works, none of which have yet been shown publicly. A strong emphasis lies on the work of the past ten years. At K20 Grabbeplatz Struth has exclusively designed a new space-filling installation for one exhibition gallery.

Thomas Struth – who was trained at the Düsseldorf Art Academy, initially studying painting with Gerhard Richter, and photography with Bernd Becher beginning in 1976 – places exactitude of vision at the center of his aesthetic concerns. From the early Düsseldorf street scenes, to his images of the impenetrable undergrowth of the Asian jungle (“Paradises”), to the large-format museum pictures (“Audiences”), and all the way to the recent images of large-scale technical facilities: Struth repeatedly thematizes the relationship between beholder and subject. He avoids any obvious dramatization of his motifs, which he discovers on trips throughout Europe, the Americas, East Asia, and Australia. At a time when we are assaulted daily by a veritable flood of imagery, Thomas Struth is among the small number of outstanding artists who have succeeded in investing the photographic medium with a new intensity and potency.

Additional exhibition venues are London (Whitechapel Gallery, 06.07. - 16.09.2011) and Porto (Museu Fundação Serralves, 14.10. 2011 - 29.01. 2012)

The exhibtion is supported by NATIONAL-BANK.
Media partner is Handelsblatt.

Thomas Struth in collaboration with Frank Bungarten – Musik

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

A project highpoint is formed by master classes taking place in the Labor and given by highcaliber musicians in the presence of the public.