Arpad Dobriban, WARTESYSTEM 7, 2016, Handstempeldruck auf Papier, Courtesy der Künstler, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2016

Arpad Dobriban –

September 11, 2016 – January 22, 2017
K21 Ständehaus

For a period of four months, the artist Arpad Dobriban (*1957 Komlo, Hungary) will be setting up his workshop in the former Pardo Bar, where he will prepare special dishes for museum visitors. Arpad Dobriban – who was a master student of Nam June Paik’s at the Düsseldorf Art Academy – has chosen cooking as his artistic medium. He works with foodstuffs that feature singular qualities, to some extent producing basic ingredients himself.

In producing his ingredients, Dobriban allows each one its uniquely appropriate time interval. His recipes are drawn from various cultures, and their flavors testify to the attentiveness and care that is devoted to their preparation. Dobriban’s aim as an artist is to make visible the transformation of various living organisms into palatable food dishes and to allow us to experience the various forms of food processing.

Offered in day-to-day operations will be a small selection of simple, regularly alternating culinary offerings. Arpad Dobriban will be showing objects and videos about his work, and inviting guest lecturers. At the four-part event series »Essay Dinner«, held on various evenings, the artist will provide an inside view of his concept.

Exhibition catalog "eye watching"

"My Phantasies" –
New Paintings, Drawings, Sculptures, Videos and Installations at the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen 2009 – 2016

September 11, 2016 – January 15, 2017
K21 Ständehaus

Over the past eight years, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen has acquired numerous important works by prominent German and international artists; these paintings, drawings, sculptures, video works, installations, and artists' rooms strengthen existing focuses while also augmenting the collection with new artists, media, themes, and perspectives.

Unter the title My Phantasies, a reference to the names of two works by Rosemarie Trockel purchased in 2012, a selection of acquisitions during the tenure of Marion Ackermann (2009 to 2016), the departing director of the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, will be shown at the K21 Ständehaus.

This exhibition will demonstrate how the state of the North Rhine-Westphalia, the frinds of the museum, its supporters, sponsors, and not least artists have contributed to the expansion and enrichment of the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen with their enormous dedication in recent years.

With works by:

Gerhard Altenbourg, Katharina Fritsch, Julian Göthe, Sabine Groß, Nan Hoover, Axel Hütte, Jürgen Klauke, Alicia Kwade, Kris Martin, Pauline M'Barek, Gerhard Merz, Dieter Roth, Wilhelm Sasnal, Wael Shawky, Nancy Spero, Thomas Struth, Rosemarie Trockel und Gillian Wearing.

Wolfgang Tillmans,
Life Is Astronomical (Installation 2001 - 2012)

New installation at the Bel Etage in the framework of the exhibition My Phantasies.

Exhibition poster

Cloud and Crystal:
The Dorothee and Konrad Fischer Collection

September 24, 2016 – January 8, 2017
K20 Grabbeplatz

With the exhibition "Cloud and Crystal: The Dorothee and Konrad Fischer Collection", the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen celebrates the acquisition of the collection of this important Düsseldorf gallerist couple. Through it, the state gallery dramatically expands its previous inventory of outstanding US-American postwar painting with epochal works of Conceptual Art and Minimalism.

In this exhibition, the paintings of Jackson Pollock or Robert Rauschenberg, which address the emotions, are juxtaposed with – and this will be the case at the Kunstsammlung in the future as well – more 'refractory' works of Conceptual Art. This confrontation makes clear that parallel to the sociopolitical transformations transpiring around 1968, a radical upheaval occurred in the realm of creative form as well. Emerging alongside advanced positions in painting was an art that opposed the conceptual, the idea, to the subjective painterly gesture – and moreover as a valid work of art that need not necessarily be materialized in an object.

Carl Andre, Daniel Buren, Dan Flavin, Sol LeWitt, Bruce Nauman, and many others artists who are represented in the Fischer Collection work or have worked with drawings, texts, photography, documents, and industrially prefabricated materials. Works by Hanne Darboven, Jan Dibbets, Gilbert & George, On Kawara, and Lawrence Weiner demonstrate the way in which the concept alone can constitute the work of art. Lothar Baumgarten, Bernd and Hilla Becher, and Italian practitioners of Arte Povera such as Jannis Kounellis, Mario Merz, and Giuseppe Penone have made singular contributions to the art of their time. Gregor Schneider, Thomas Schütte, and Paloma Varga Weisz have continued the development of installation art up to the present. The Dorothee and Konrad Fischer Collection testifies to the manifold activities of these gallerists up to the present. Many of the works in the ensemble were produced as a result of friendly relations with the contributing artists.

Curator: Dr. Anette Kruszynski

The exhibition "Cloud and Crystal: The Dorothee and Konrad Fischer Collection", organized to mark the occasion of this acquisition, has received generous support from the Terra Foundation for American Art, while the accompanying program of the Education Department is being sponsored by Provinzial Rheinland Versicherung.

Exhibition poster

Andreas Gursky
not abstract

July 02 – November 06, 2016
K20 Grabbeplatz

The exhibition Andreas Gursky – not abstract provides an initial look at new works by the renowned Düsseldorf photoartist, all of them created especially for this project and presented here alongside selected earlier works.

In his recent works, Andreas Gursky explores the abstract potential of the photographic medium. From early in his career, abstraction has served Gursky as a resource for compositional freedom, and in his view, establishes the closest possible proximity between painting and photography. Nevertheless, explains the artist, photography is never completely abstract: it is always bound up with the object. The exhibition at the K20 features the diverse forms of abstraction that have appeared in this artist's oeuvre.

Accompanying the photographic works is a minimalist sound installation by the Canadian producer and DJ Richie Hawtin. Concept 1 was published by Hawtin in 1996 as a series of minimalistic tracks that pursue ideas concerning rhythmic abstractness in music.

Curator: Marion Ackermann
Curatorial Assistant: Noura Dirani

The Exhibition is supported by: Emirates, Stadtwerke Düsseldorf AG, Pinsent Masons Germany LLP
General Partner: das Fashion- und Lifestyle-Unternehmen Breuninger
Media partner: Handelsblatt
Funded by: Ministerium für Familie, Kinder, Jugend, Kultur und Sport des Landes

Exhibition poster

Henkel – The Art Collection

April 8 - August 14, 2016
K20 Grabbeplatz

For the very first time, the exhibition Henkel – The Art Collection offers a public viewing of works of art that were expertly assembled by the Düsseldorf patron and collector Gabriele Henkel over a period of decades. The focus of the presentation is abstract painting, as exemplified by works of classical European modernism and US-American art. For the show, Gabriele Henkel has selected works by Robert Delaunay, Amédée Ozenfant, Ellsworth Kelly, Mary Heilmann, and Frank Stella, as well as by German artists such as Gerhard Richter, Konrad Klapheck, and Imi Knoebel. These works enter into an enthralling dialogue with the fascinating, often abstract ornamentation of the non-European textile works in the collection. They also testify to this collector's cosmopolitan perspective, which transcends cultural boundaries.

Up until this point, the collection – which encompasses high-quality works by internationally known artists, as well as ethnographic objects from around the world – has been accessible almost exclusively to  employees and visitors of the Düsseldorf corporate headquarters. From the beginning, a priority of this internationally active collector, art critic, professor, artist, and patron of recent art, who has cultivated friendships with many artists, was to make these works accessible to all company employees, and to integrate them into the work environment as self-evidently as possible. To date, the works chosen for the exhibition at the K20 have been displayed in shifting constellations in the offices, corridors, staircases, and conference rooms of the Düsseldorf headquarters of this globally active enterprise, providing insight into art  from around the world in a singular way.

With around 40 works, the exhibition at the K20 – which Gabriele Henkel is curating herself – presents highlights from the collection in a spacious, open arrangement. The unifying leitmotiv is abstraction in conjunction with the ornamental.

An exhibition sponsored by Henkel AG & Co. KGaA.
Corporate partner: the Breuninger Fashion and Lifestyle Enterprise
Media partner: Handelsblatt
Also supported by the Ministry for Family, Children, Youth, Culture, and Sports of the
Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Exhibition poster

Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster
1887 – 2058

April 23 August 07, 2016
K20 Grabbeplatz

In the art of Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster (born in 1965 in Strasbourg, lives in Paris and Rio de Janeiro), everything revolves around experiences of and reflections on spaces and times. Using often minimal resources, she evokes places, people, and things that exist in one form or another in our collective memory. Her themes may be as diverse as the influence of hippiedom during the 1970s, the film director Rainer Werner Fassbinder, the urban utopia of Brasilia, King Ludwig II, psychoanalysis, a tropical rainstorm, or the prospects for the year 2066.

Using just a few elements, she constructs spaces, uses specially created sounds, produces films, or  appears herself as a historical figure. A recurring point of reference in all of these activities is literature.  It is not a question of creating the perfect illusion of a certain moment in time or a certain individual, but instead of a state of suspension between recognition and astonishment, memory and speculation. The exhibition title names two specific works, at the same time suggesting that for Gonzalez-Foerster, time is a flowing continuum.

The exhibition in the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen is organized jointly with the Centre George Pompidou in Paris. With approximately 15 labyrinthine spaces occupying two exhibition halls of the K20, it is the largest exhibition devoted to this artist to date, and offers a retrospective overview of her work of the past 25 years.

A spectacular supplement to the Paris version of the exhibition is the installation K.2066 in the Grabbe Halle of the K20. Animated by the extraordinary dimensions of the space, the artist decided to create a new version of a work she realized in 2008 for the gigantic Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern in London. The space becomes a sanctuary for works of art and people after life changes caused by years of rain. Alongside numerous bunkbeds on which books featuring negative and utopian themes are laid out opened for reading purposes, sculptures from the vicinity of the Kunstsammlung NRW have been brought to safety here: works by Henry Moore and Alexander Calder, Claes Oldenburg and Joel Shapiro, Johannes Brus and Katharina Fritsch, each enlarged in scale by one third.

The second supplemental work relates to the opening and terminus of the exhibition: it begins with a passageway, now immersed entirely in a pink that is familiar from the façade of Benrath Palace in Düsseldorf. In the mid-1980s, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster studied briefly at the city’s art academy. At the end of the exhibition, visitors again encounter a wall covered in this color. Hanging on it is a painting by Paul Klee, Black Prince (1927), from the collection of the Kunstsammlung. This work plays a central role in a story by the Spanish author Enrique Vila-Matas, who is not only a good friend of the artist’s, but who also occasionally mentions her and her works in his texts.

This exhibition of works by Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster calls attention to a  creative personality who has been neglected in Germany to date, who together with other French  artists such as Pierre Huyghe and Phillipe Parreno, but also international figures such as Douglas Gordon, Liam Gillick, and Rikrit Tiravanija, has shaped contemporary art globally in decisive ways since
the 1990s.

An exhibition organized by the Centre Pompidou, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris, in association with the Stiftung Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf.

This exhibition is sponsored by Schwarzkopf (Henkel Beauty Care).
With generous support from the Institut français.

Corporate partner: The Breuninger Fashion and Lifestyle Enterprise
Media partner: Handelsblatt
Sponsored by the Ministry of Family, Children, Youth, Culture, and Sport of the Federal
State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Curator: Julian Heynen

Exhibition poster

Alberto Burri.
The Trauma of Painting

March 05 - July 03, 2016
K21 Ständehaus

Despite being less known in Germany, the Italian artist Alberto Burri (1915 – 1995) – who created works consisting of industrial materials such as iron, jute, and plastic – was one of the most influential postwar European artists. The retrospective Alberto Burri. The Trauma of Painting was organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in New York on the occasion of the artist's centenary and will now be displayed at K21. As early as 1966, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen acquired a Sacco by Burri. It is one of the few collections in Germany where his work can be viewed - yet another reason to pay tribute to Burri in a comprehensive way. As the first German museum exhibition on Burri in almost 20 years, this presentation invites viewers to rediscover his distinctive oeuvre.

Born in Città di Castello in Umbria, Alberto Burri studied medicine before enlisting as a military doctor during World War II. His unit was captured in Tunisia in 1943, and Burri was sent to a prisoner of war camp in Hereford, Texas, where he began painting. After his return to Italy in 1946, Burri gave up medicine to devote himself exclusively to art – a decision that was directly influenced by his immediate impressions of the war and the defeat of Italy.

Burri translated his experiences into a powerful visual language that annihilates the substance of traditional panel painting, redefining it in essential ways. He exchanged oils and canvas for unorthodox materials and artistic techniques through which he extended the pictorial surface into the viewer's space. In series that are named according to the materials or procedures, Burri investigated the possibilities of this new way of painting. He assembled his works from burlap sacks (Sacchi), created reliefs from charred wood veneer (Legni) and welded steel plates (Ferri), and melted plastic sheeting using a torch (Combustioni plastiche). This show features the work of a highly individualistic artist, one who enjoyed great and early success on the international art scene, but who deliberately established his own foundation in his hometown of Città di Castello, at a remove from major artistic centers. While it is normally necessary make a pilgrimage to see Burri's works, the Düsseldorf presentation offers viewers a unique opportunity to view the full breadth of his oeuvre.

Concurrent with the retrospective – which features approximately 70 loans from European and US-American museums and private collections –, a separate installation in the museum will include examples of materialbased art from the permanent collection of the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen. A dialogue with works by artists such as Lucio Fontana, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jannis Kounellis highlights the centrality of Burri's contribution to postwar abstraction and his sustained influence on later artistic tendencies. Against the background of heightened interest in material questions in recent contemporary art, Burri's work seems astonishingly current – as confirmed by some artist's rooms on view at the K21.

Curators for the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen:
Valerie Hortolani and Nóra Lukács.

The Exhibition is organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York.

The Kunstsammlung NRW thanks the Fondazione Palazzo Albizzini Collezione Burri, Città di Castello, for the support. Under the patronage of the Embassy of Italy, Berlin. Supported by Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Cologne

Exhibition card

Wiebke Siem – What Things Dream

February 4 – June 19, 2016
K20 Grabbeplatz, Labor

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.
For the last ten years, the artist has been arranging her sculptures in interiors of old furniture, creating a kind of stage set. Recently, Siem began constructing figures out of everyday objects, which she collects in large numbers. By processing these objects and changing their form, she alienates them from their original function and transforms them into protagonists of a strange kind of puppet theater. Thus, while the idea of a collection still provides inspiration for Siem’s oeuvre, it no longer serves as a topic, but as a reservoir for her sculptural works.
In our Labor, Wiebke Siem provides visitors with various components for a group of sculptures, inviting them to use this assembly kit to create their own configurations. In this way, visitors become the artist’s accomplices in a creative process, which, as we all know, is associated with both pleasure and pain, as eventually a final decision about form must be made.

The Labor is sponsored by the Sparkassen-Kulturstiftung Rheinland and the Stadtsparkasse Düsseldorf.

Exhibition card

Cyprien Gaillard: Nightlife

January 30 – April 3, 2016 (extended)
K20 Grabbeplatz

Rodin’s famous bronze sculpture The Thinker, standing in front of the Cleveland Museum; exotic Hollywood Juniper trees in the urban milieu of Los Angeles, blown by the wind; fire­ works above Berlin‘s Olympiastadion; a bare oak tree caught in the search-light of a helicopter – these nocturnal outdoor shots from the film Nightlife(2015) feature places that are devoid of people, yet teeming with life. This cinematic composition, underlain by a suggestive sound mix (»I was born a loser«), will be presented as a wall-filling 3D projection in the K20.

Taking the form of a continuous loop, it is a continuation and crowning conclusion of a solo exhibition by the French artist Cyprien Gaillard (* 1980, lives in Berlin and New York) currently on view at the Julia Stoschek Collection, Düsseldorf (extended until July 31, 2016).