Female Global Modern
from July 17, 2023
The Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen is renowned for its significant collection of early modern and post-war art. Presently, numerous recent acquisitions are being showcased within the collection galleries of the K20. These additions serve to enrich the art historical canon and initiate a process through which the museum is embracing a more polyphonic, plural, and inclusive narrative of modernism.
Apr 1 – Jul 16, 2023
Born in Beirut, Etel Adnan (1925-2021) is an important representative of modernism. Her artistic and literary work is characterized by a broad and vibrant exchange between the Arab and Western worlds. The work of the poet, journalist, painter and philosopher, who spent her life between Lebanon, France and California, combines very different art forms, media, languages and cultures.
Mar 11 — Aug 6, 2023
Starting March 11, 2023, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen will present a sweeping exhibition of the internationally celebrated American artist Jenny Holzer (b. 1950). Since the 1970s, Holzer has been renowned for her thought-provoking use of text in various media and her pioneering adaptation of new technologies.
Oct 29, 2022 — Feb 12, 2023
Many know the painter Piet Mondrian (1872–1944) as the creator of formally stringent geometric compositions with black and white lines and fields of color in red, yellow, and blue. However, the fact that, in first decades of his career, the Dutch artist focused primarily on landscapes and other representational motifs and often staged these with surprising colorfulness is hardly known among the general public. The Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen presents Mondrian’s path from the early naturalistic paintings to the late abstract works and traces the formal connections that exist between paintings spanning five decades.
Sep 3, 2022 — Jan 22, 2023
Reinhard Mucha’s work, in terms of its redefinition of sculpture, photography and installation, is considered to be one of the most important positions in contemporary art. At its two locations K20 and K21, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen combines installations by Mucha (b. Düsseldorf 1950) in this exhibition that have not been seen for many years, featuring works from each one of his creative phases and thus creating a panorama that spans over forty years of the artist’s work.
Apr 9, 2022 — Sep 25, 2022
How are cultural and historical processes of transformation reflected in the medium of photography? With more than 500 photographic works from Africa, its diaspora, and Europe, the exhibition “Shifting Dialogues. Photography from The Walther Collection” traces the development of photography as a history of transnational parallels and contradictions: showcasing the beginnings of ethnographic images during the colonial era, self-determined studio photography – and politics of self-fashioning – from the 1940s onwards, and the potent visual activism practiced by a constituency of contemporary artists in the present. The photographic and lens-based media artworks assembled here systematically reveal the ambivalent – and shifting – relationship between image and self-image, portraiture and social identity, representation and performance.
Mar 19 — Jul 17, 2022
The Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen is dedicating its first solo exhibition in Germany to the Brazilian avantgarde artist, Lygia Pape (1927–2004). Titled “The Skin of ALL,” the exhibition presents the artist’s multifaceted, interdisciplinary oeuvre, which, based on her irrepressible love of experimentation, was developed continuously over five decades.
“Rethinking and Re-envisioning the Collection”
Feb 8, 2022 – Winter 2022
In the Course of Time
Dealing with Colonial Thought and Tradition
In view of the transformations in our globalized world, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen is expanding the presentation of its own collection and reflecting on the role of the museum. With the goal of opening up the art-historical canon to new perspectives, a specifically designated room in the K20 collection will be used to raise contemporary questions about works of classical modernism and historically position the emergence of individual works. In this context, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen addresses the interactions between art and politics, liberation and appropriation, fascination and racism, Expressionism and colonialism.
Dec 18, 2021 — Apr 24, 2022
In his work spanning six decades, Gerhard Richter (b. 1932) has, on numerous occasions, engaged with the vexed subject of the Holocaust and how Nazi atrocities can, if at all, be depicted. It wasn’t until his “Birkenau”-Paintings, made in 2014, that Richter found an angle on and a form for this troublesome subject matter. The work is based on four photographs that were secretly taken by prisoners, at great personal risk, in the Auschwitz/Birkenau concentration camp.
Nov 13, 2021 — Feb 13, 2022
For the second OPEN SPACE, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen will again transform an exhibition hall into an indoor public space. Under the title “Nothing but the Future,” the focus is now on the Anthropocene, a scientific term for the present age of the earth, in which humankind has become a force of nature. In collaboration with local and international partners, a transdisciplinary program has been developed that turns OPEN SPACE into a space for negotiating questions about the present and the future.
Oct 16, 2021 — Feb 13, 2022
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye (b. London 1977) makes figurative paintings drawn from a variety of source materials including life studies, photography and scrapbooks of found images. The figures are fictitious, inhabiting enigmatic settings that are often abstract or nondescript. There is a timelessness to the works; people recline, walk, watch, dance, speak, laugh and confer amongst themselves, much as people do and always have done.
Oct 9, 2021 — Feb 6, 2022
With the exhibition “Marcel Odenbach. So oder so”, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen presents a comprehensive overview of a multi-faceted oeuvre that looks back on forty-five years of contemporaneity. Marcel Odenbach’s cinematic collages, installations, and performances have contributed to making video art a key medium of international contemporary art. Parallel to this, Odenbach created an extensive body of works on paper over the course of more than four decades. With a selection of roughly sixty video works and works on paper, the exhibition at K21 sheds light on how Odenbach always views art and culture from a socio-political perspective and at the same time relies on the sensual-aesthetic strength of images.
Sep 25, 2021 — Jan 23, 2022
The Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen pays tribute to Georges Braque as a pioneering artist of the French avant-garde, an artist who has hitherto received too little attention in Germany. The exhibition focuses on the most important years of his oeuvre, on his particularly fascinating and turbulent early work between 1906 and 1914.
“Lines and Lines” Sol LeWitt and Konrad Fischer
27.7.2021 — Summer 2023
Under the title “Lines and Lines. Sol LeWitt and Konrad Fischer. Traces of a Close Cooperation”, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen pays tribute to the inventor and influential representative of American conceptual art in the Dorothee and Konrad Fischer Archive at K21 from July 27, 2021 until the end of the year.
Isa Genzken. Here and Now
May 8 — Nov 1, 2021
With two parallel exhibitions dedicated to Isa Genzken (b. 1948), Here and Now and Works from 1973 to 1983, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen offers a special look at the work of one of the most important contemporary women artists worldwide. The focus is on two work phases from her career spanning five decades. On the bel étage current works from the last decade are on view on. In parallel, on the lower floor of K21, the emphasis is on her visionary early work—a period that has never before been honored to this extent in any other exhibition. This exciting compilation draws attention to developments within the oeuvre, as well as to Isa Genzken’s attitude towards the world.
Isa Genzken. Works from 1973 to 1983
May 8 — Sep 5, 2021
With two parallel exhibitions dedicated to Isa Genzken (b. 1948), Works from 1973 to 1983 and Here and Now, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen offers a special look at the work of one of the most important contemporary women artists worldwide. The focus is on two work phases from her career spanning five decades. On the lower floor of K21, the emphasis is on her visionary early work—a period that has never before been honored to this extent in any other exhibition. In parallel, current works from the last decade are on view on the bel étage. This exciting compilation draws attention to developments within the oeuvre, as well as to Isa Genzken’s attitude towards the world.
Apr 24 — Oct 17, 2021
Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen is presenting Christoph Schlingensief’s (1960 – 2010) multimedia installation “Kaprow City”, which has been completely preserved as one of the few artistic works by the filmmaker, theater and opera director, talk show host, and political action artist. Originally conceived as an accessible stage set for the Volksbühne in Berlin, Schlingensief transferred “Kaprow City” to the Migros Museum in Zurich in 2007 as an art installation. The expansive work of art is now being presented for the first time in a museum in Germany.
Mar 27 — Aug 15, 2021
As a draftsman, sculptor, teacher, politician, and activist, as well as action and installation artist, Joseph Beuys (1921, Krefeld – 1986, Düsseldorf) fundamentally changed the art of the twentieth century. His influence can still be felt today in artistic and political discourses. His centennial in 2021 is an occasion to rediscover and critically question both his complex work and his international appeal.
Opening the Space
Mar 27, 2021 — Aug 1, 2021
Nature and landscape have always been beheld, approached, and negotiated as objects in art. Artists are defined by the scientific and sociopolitical discussions and discourses of their time. Leading up to the project OPEN SPACE. Nothing but the Future (Nov 13, 2021 – Feb 13, 2022), which will explore the consequences of human intervention in all aspects of life on Earth, the exhibition establishes a thematic link to the Museum’s collection.
Feb 12 — Mar 21, 2021
In February 2021, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen is continuing its popular cooperation by featuring young artists who completed their studies at the Düsseldorf Academy of Art in 2020. At K21, the 69 participating artists will present new works in a museum context.
Sep 26, 2020 — Jan 10, 2021
The artist, filmmaker, and author Hito Steyerl (b. 1966) is currently one of the most important positions when it comes to reflecting on the social roles of art and museums, experimenting with media forms of presentation, and critically examining the use of artificial intelligence. K21 provides an overview of Steyerl’s work with the comprehensive exhibition “I Will Survive”, developed in cooperation with the Centre Pompidou, Paris.
Sep 12, 2020 — Jan 24, 2021
Parallel to Thomas Ruff’s exhibition, a selection of photographic and filmic works from the collection sheds light of various forms of artistic transformation. The exhibition revolves thematically around pictorial techniques, surfaces, and the shifting of visibility: from Dara Birnbaum’s video Technology Transformation. “Wonder Woman” (1978) to Akram Zaatari’s essayistic video installation “On Photography, Dispossession and Times of Struggle” (2017).
Sep 12, 2020 — Feb 7, 2021
Thomas Ruff (b. 1958) is one of the internationally most important artists of his generation. Already as a student in the class of the photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher at the Düsseldorf Academy of Art in the early 1980s, he chose a conceptual approach to photography, which continues to determine his handling of the most diverse pictorial genres and historical possibilities of photography to this day.
Simon Denny. Mine
Sep 5, 2020 — Jan 17, 2021
“[Surveillance Capitalism is] a new economic order that claims human experience as free raw material for hidden commercial practices of extraction, prediction, and sales”
Shoshana Zuboff, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power, 2018
With his context and research-based work, Simon Denny investigates how profoundly our perception and experience of culture is changed by the transformation of technology and politics. He examines the organizational structures, rhetoric, and visual language of high-tech companies, as well as the people behind them. Thanks to this ongoing interest, it becomes possible to understand how the mood towards the high-tech world has changed in recent years.
John Baldessari and Konrad Fischer
July 21, 2020 — January, 3, 2021
John Baldessari, the conceptual artist born on the West Coast of the USA in 1931 and deceased in early 2020, was strongly convinced that art is above all communication.
May 30 — Aug 2, 2020
With this survey exhibition, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen is paying tribute to the work of a remarkable and radically consistent artist of the post war period. In the 1960s, parallel with American Minimalism and the emerging Conceptual Art, Charlotte Posenenske (1930–1985) developed an impressive body of minimalist works within just twelve years, thus demonstrating her innovative understanding of art. Although the artist, who worked in Frankfurt am Main, exhibited during her lifetime together with artists such as Carl Andre, Donald Judd, and Sol LeWitt, and, in 1967, had an exhibition in the gallery of Konrad Fischer in Düsseldorf, which had opened only shortly before, her contribution to the discourse of Minimalism and Conceptual Art remained largely ignored for a long time.
Pablo Picasso. The War Years
Feb 15 — July 26, 2020
“I have not painted the war because I am not the kind of a painter who goes out like a photographer for something to depict. But I have no doubt that the war is in these paintings I have done.” Picasso, 1944
The exhibition “Pablo Picasso. The War Years 1939 – 1945” provides insight into the artist’s work during the Second World War. Paintings, sculptures, drawings, and documents from the years 1939 to 1945 tell of Picasso the man and the contradictions of everyday life during these times.
In order of appearance.
Feb 8 — Mar 8, 2020
For the second time, the Kunstsammlung at K21 is featuring current works by graduates of the Düsseldorf Art Academy. All 77 participating artists completed their studies in 2019 and now, roughly one year later, are presenting new works of art in a museum. The exhibition reveals the young artists’ preoccupation with the topics of our time and brings together works from the entire spectrum of artistic media: paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs, prints, videos, and performances.
I’M NOT A NICE GIRL!
Jan 18 — June 28, 2020
The exhibition conceived for the spaces of the Bel Etage and for the Archive Dorothee and Konrad Fischer in K21 presents works by four first-generation Conceptual artists: Eleanor Antin, Lee Lozano, Adrian Piper, and Mierle Laderman Ukeles. To this day, their work deals with relevant sociopolitical and feminist themes, such as institutional critique, racism, identity and gender politics, as well as ecological issues.
Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker
Oct 29 — Nov 10, 2019
The internationally renowned Belgian choreographer and dancer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker (*1960) is one of the most important representatives of the international dance scene and has been making a decisive contribution to the development of contemporary dance for many years with her award-winning works. She has now developed an adapted version of her today iconic choreography “Fase, Four Movements to the Music of Steve Reich” (1982) for the Grabbe Halle of K20.
Oct 12, 2019 — Mar 1, 2020
With approximately 140 works that have rarely if ever been exhibited in Germany, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen presents the “unknown” Edvard Munch (1863–1944) at K20. These paintings, prints, and sculptures were selected by Karl Ove Knausgård (*1968).
Sep 28, 2019 — Jan 19, 2020
The exhibition provides an overview of the work of the artist and musician Carsten Nicolai, who has been working at the interface of visual art, music, and science since the early 1990s.
Jul 6 — Nov 10, 2019
At the center of her exhibition at K21, Banu Cennetoğlu presents two sprawling installations that reflect on the formation, circulation and archiving of private and public information and the underlying political, social, and cultural mechanisms
Jun 5 — Jul 7, 2019
Since 1969, the Gesellschaft der Freunde (Association of Friends) of the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen e.V. has been an invaluable and reliable supporter of the museum. Through purchases, the Freundeskreis has expanded the collection, andhas assisted with the financing of exhibitions. By covering the greater portion of the building costs, the Freundeskreis has made possible extension structures such as the Klee Halle and the Henkel Galerie, of such enormous importance to the Kunstsammlung. For a half century now, the museum and the Freundeskreis have been “Best Friends.” We celebrate this partnership now by presenting major acquisitions made by the Freundeskreis, including works by Amedeo Modigliani, Max Ernst and Francis Bacon, by Ad Reinhard, Robert Rauschenberg, Ellsworth Kelly and Agnes Martin, by Gerhard Richter and Günther Uecker, by Bernd and Hilla Becher, Thomas Struth, and many others.
Jun 5 — Sep 1, 2019
“Everything is art. Everything is politics”: with these words, the internationally acclaimed contemporary artist Ai Weiwei encapsulates the basic principle of his working approach. This motto is also the leitmotif of his largest exhibition in Europe to date, which will be on view simultaneously at the K20 and the K21 of the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen.
Feb 12 — Jun 16, 2019
Ed Atkins (*1982, Oxford) is at the vanguard of a new generation of artists reflecting on the profound changes in our reality caused by the rapid development of digital media. He gained critical acclaim for his computer-generated animations, in which he questions the promises, potential, and ideologies of the technologies he uses.
Planet 58 — Absolvent_innen der Kunstakademie Düsseldorf 2018
Feb 8, 2019 — Mar 31, 2019
The exhibition “Planet 58” features new works by graduates of the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (Düsseldorf Art Academy). All of the participating artists concluded their studies at the renowned art academy in 2018, and each presents between one and three works in the museum.The show, which occupies the entire exhibition space in the basement level of the K21, follows no thematic principle,instead displaying nearly 60 artistic contributions in their entire breadth and variety.
100 Jahre Alfred Schmela
Nov 24, 2018 — Jan 20, 2019
On November 23, 2018, Alfred Schmela – the founder of the pioneering Galerie Schmela in Düsseldorf – would have celebrated his 100th birthday. To mark the occasion, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen has organized an exhibition devoted to this influential and charismatic art dealer.
Nov 10, 2018 — Mar 10, 2019
OPEN SPACE, an accessible space configured by the Kunstsammlung and raumlabor Berlin, will accompany the exhibition “museum global” while opening up the museum to the larger urban society: for the first time, access to the K20 becomes possible from Grabbeplatz as well.
Oct 13, 2018 — Mar 10, 2019
In 1960, the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia acquired 88 paintings, watercolors, and drawings by Paul Klee. This purchase represented an act of atonement toward an artist who had been dismissed from his professorship at the Düsseldorf Art Academy by the National Socialists in 1933.
Oct 6, 2018 — Jan 13, 2019
The Chinese artist Cao Fei (*1978) is regarded as a pioneer of a generation of artists, for whose members digital media and network technology are simply aspects of everyday life. This Beijing-based artist elaborates her multifaceted artistic oeuvre through an imperative confrontation with the latest medial innovations.
Sep 7, 2018 — Jan 6, 2019
The American artist Lutz Bacher – who has concealed her identity beneath a masculine pseudonym throughout her career – works conceptually in a range of media. A longtime resident of California who now lives in New York, the artist has based her work since the 1970s on found objects as well as texts and images pulled from the minutiae of popular culture.
Jun 9 — Sep 9, 2018
Anni Albers (1899–1994) was a multifaceted artist who established weaving as an art form and united this ancient cultural technology with modern artistic practices. This retrospective exhibition offers deep insight into the achievement of the artist, craftswoman, designer, author, and teacher Anni Albers, from her beginnings at the innovative Bauhaus in Weimar and Dessau, to her time at the legendary Black Mountain College, and up until the 1980s.
Raqs Media Collective
Apr 21 — Aug 12, 2018
The investigation of time, language, and history is central to the artistic activities of the Raqs Media Collective. Founded in 1992 by Jeebesh Bagchi (*1966), Monica Narula (*1969) and Shuddhabrata Sengupta (*1968), Raqs practices at the intersection of contemporary art, historical enquiry, philosophical speculation, and fictive play. The foundation of Raqs’ practice lay in documentary filmmaking. Subesquently, they ventured into the field of contemporary art, first as artists, then as institution builders, curators, authors, and educators. Their hybrid practice is acute in its political presence, and occupies a field of tension between diverse inheritances, and between analytical and visionary impulses. Processes founded by the group have become influential forces in contemporary intellectual and cultural life in Delhi, the city where the artists live and work, as well as globally.
Apr 14 — Aug 19, 2018
The internationally acclaimed Scottish artist Douglas Gordon (*1966) presents his striking, largescale video installation “k.364”, 2010 in the Grabbe Halle of the K20 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen. In this 50-minute work, which is projected onto a pair of two-sided screens, the artist follows two Israeli musicians of Polish-Jewish heritage on their journey by train from Berlin to Warsaw, where they are scheduled to perform Mozart’s “Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola, and Orchestra in E flat Major, KV 364” in the National Philharmonic.
Dec 9, 2017 — Jan 21, 2018
The compelling performances and live installations of the New York based artist and choreographer Maria Hassabi (born in Cyprus in *1973) are austerely composed choreographies which involve the unfolding of decelerated movement in space. Her works, which have been featured internationally in museums, at festivals, in galleries, in theatres and public spaces, explore the intricate relationship between body and image, using extended duration and precise micro-movements to develop a radical sculptural corporeality. Here, the transitions between the slowly enacted movements of the dancers, and the time intervals that separate moments of prolonged stillness, emerge as the actual space of experience.
Dec 2, 2017 — Apr 8, 2018
Carmen Herrera was born in Havana in 1915. Her father was the editor of the newspaper El Mundo, her mother was a journalist and author. Herrera studied architecture in Havana, where she met the American Jesse Loewenthal. After marrying, the couple moved to New York in 1939, where she studied painting at the Art Students League in 1942 / 1943. Herrera became friends with Barnett Newman, and moved in the circles of a newly emergent Abstract Expressionism. From 1948 until 1954, Herrera lived with her husband in Paris. In 1949, she became a member of the group Salon des Réalités Nouvelles, where she became acquainted with Sonia Delaunay, among others, and had numerous encounters within the most fashionable artistic and literary circles of postwar era. During this phase, Herrera’s work alternated between Abstract and Lyrical Expressionism. In 1952, she produced her first radically geometric abstractions, including a series of black-and-white stripe paintings.
Nov 18 — Feb 25, 2018
Photographic objects have been the centre of Akram Zaatari’s (born in Saida /Lebanon in *1966, lives and works in Beirut) artistic practice since 1995. Photographic formations or emergences, as he calls them, are the focus of this exhibition: enigmatic objects that bear traces of past events and accompany people through key moments in their lives. Cherished at times, destroyed at others, photographs are capable of provoking diverse and extreme reactions. Initially, capturing instances, they change over time. The perception of an image changes, but sometimes the physicality of the object itself is also altered as a result of its contact with the natural, social and political environment.
Art et Liberté: Umbruch, Krieg und Surrealismus in Ägypten (1938–1948)
Jul 15 — Oct 15, 2017
The exhibition presents more than 200 works from around 50 collections in 12 different countries, including paintings, works on paper, prints, photographs, films, books, and archival documents. At the dawn of World War II and during Egypt’s colonial rule by the British Empire the surrealist collective of artists and writers was engaged in its defiance of Fascism, Nationalism and Colonialism.
Marcel Broodthaers: A Retrospective
Mar 4 — Jun 11, 2017
“Marcel Broodthaers: A Retrospective” presents a major overview of the multifaceted oeuvre of the Belgian artist Marcel Broodthaers (1924–1976), who formulated an idiosyncratic artistic position within the milieu of Pop, Minimalism, and Conceptual Art. When he was 40 years old, Broodthaers turned from poetry toward visual arts, and soon received acclaim within Europe’s avant-garde scene for his displays and cinematographic works, with their stringent criticism of institutions.
Otto Dix – Der böse Blick
Feb 11 — Mai 28, 2017
Otto Dix (1891-1969), a famous painter and notorious enfant terrible, spent the intensive creative period lasting from 1922 until 1925 in Düsseldorf. During these years, as a member of the artists group Das Junge Rheinland (Young Rhineland), he developed a painterly style that would make him an unmistakable figure within German 20th century art.
“Cloud & Crystal“. The Collection of Dorothee and Konrad Fischer
Sep 24, 2016 — Jan 8, 2017
With the exhibition “Cloud & Crystal”. The Dorothee and Konrad Fischer Collection, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen celebrates the acquisition of the art collection formerly owned by the celebrated Düsseldorf gallerist couple Dorothee and Konrad Fischer. These works of Conceptual Art and Minimalism represent a decisive complement to the collection of US postwar paintings already owned by the Kunstsammlung.
Andreas Gursky – nicht abstrakt
Jul 2, 2016 — Dec 6, 2016
Next to a number of known works, the artist presents seven new photographs made especially for the exhibition. Images of tulip fields (Untitled XVIII, 2015), a landscape blanketed with solar panels (Les Mées, 2016), and commercial venues (Mediamarkt, 2016; Amazon, 2016) explore issues related to the representation of light, texture, and colour. Viewers learn about the meaning of abstraction in Gursky’s work and trace the development of his specific visual idiom across the decades of his creative career.
Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, 1887 – 2058
Apr 23, 2016 — Aug 7, 2016
In the art of Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster (*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.
Henkel – Die Kunstsammlung
Apr 8, 2016 — Aug 14, 2016
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, on view at the K20 from April 8 to August 14, 2016, is abstract painting, as exemplified by works of classical European modernism and USAmerican 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.
Alberto Burri. Das Trauma der Malerei
Mar 5, 2016 — Jul 3, 2016
With his instantly recognizable paintings constructed from materials such as iron, burlap, and plastic, the Italian Alberto Burri (1915–1995) was among the most influential artists of the postwar era. In Germany, however, his work has remained largely unknown. In cooperation with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in New York, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen in Düsseldorf hosts the comprehensive retrospective Alberto Burri: The Trauma of Painting, on view beginning March 5 (until July 3, 2016).
Cyprien Gaillard: Nightlife
Jan 30, 2016 — Apr 3, 2016
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; fireworks above Berlin’s Olympiastadion; a bare oak tree in the searchlight of a helicopter – these nocturnal outdoor shots from the film Nightlife (2015) feature places that are devoid of people, yet teeming with life.
THE PROBLEM OF GOD
Sep 26, 2015 — Jan 1, 2016
The exhibition THE PROBLEM OF GOD explores the multifaceted and ambivalent ways used by contemporary artists to incorporate elements of Christian iconography, which are Omnipresent in our collective visual and textual memory. A remarkable number of these artworks resist a straightforward reading of Christian signs and symbols through complex narratives and images in which the artists engage with Christian motifs and themes in a differentiated and profound manner.
Miró. Malerei als Poesie
Jun 13, 2015 — Sep 27, 2015
With his outwardly cheerful, naïve motifs, the Spanish painter Joan Miró (1893-1983) is a familiar figure worldwide. Populating his pictures are dancing stars and fanciful symbols of every kind. Now, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen in Düsseldorf invites art-lovers to rediscover this popular artist: Miró. Painting as Poetry is a wide ranging exhibition that seeks – for the first time – to illuminate the intimate interplay between the Spaniard’s art and the avant-garde literature of his generation. Approximately 110 paintings, drawings, and artist’s books from all phases of Miró‘s career will be on view from June 13 until September 27, 2015, at the K20 Grabbeplatz.
Imi Knoebel – Malewitsch zu Ehren
Apr 9, 2015 — Aug 30, 2015
Imi Knoebel (*1940) is one of the most important contemporary abstract artists internationally. Since the 1960s, this Düsseldorf based artist has continuously developed his emphatically minimalist oeuvre. Beginning in 1964, when he was a student of Joseph Beuys, his analytical work series have reflected a growing concern with the interplay of color and form.
Feb 7, 2015 — May 10, 2015
In this exhibition, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen explores various facets of Günther Uecker’s wide-ranging oeuvre from a contemporary perspective. This native of Mecklenburg (*1930 in Wendorf) has been an artistic protagonist of the cultural upheavals of a formerly divided postwar Germany, as well as their eyewitness and observer. The presentation illuminates the complex artistic stance of this extraordinary creative personality. A concentrated selection drawn from various work series seeks to render the sheer abundance of his achievement more approachable. It also makes possible deeper insights into Uecker’s dynamism, his transformation of language into imagery, his global orientation, and his inexhaustible energy.
Annette Messager, Exhibition / Exposition
Sep 27, 2014 — Mar 22, 2015
Annette Messager is a key figure on today’s international art scene, an artist whose oeuvre prepared the ground for contemporary French art. Nonetheless, her last solo show in a German museum took place almost 25 years ago. Now, the exhibition Annette Messager: Exhibition / Exposition at the K21 Ständehaus provides art lovers with an opportunity to rediscover her. On view are works dating from the late 1980s to the present.
Nach Ägypten! Die Reisen von Max Slevogt und Paul Klee
Sep 6, 2014 — Jan 4, 2015
Egypt, the Land of the Pharaohs, has fascinated humankind for millennia. In the wake of Napoleon’s campaign at the turn of the nineteenth century, the country along the Nile became a favored destination for educational and cultural tourism. Until today, the Orient retains its allure of strangeness and mystery. Its shimmering light and unique landscapes fired the imagination of many artists. Like other non-European or lost cultures, Egypt came to be seen as the quintessence of the primordial, and was associated with the search for an alternative to the increasingly industrialized societies of the north. Among travelers to Egypt were the Impressionist painter Max Slevogt (1868–1932) and Paul Klee (1879–1940), a leading representative of the artistic avant-garde. In the exhibition To Egypt! The Travels of Max Slevogt and Paul Klee, approximately 130 paintings, watercolors, and drawings – all produced in connection with their Egyptian travels – elucidate the upheavals that occurred during the transition from Impressionism to Classical Modernism.
Wael Shawky: Cabaret Crusades
Sep 6, 2014 — Jan 4, 2015
In his first major museum exhibition in Germany Egyptian artist Wael Shawky (*1971) presents his film trilogy “Cabaret Crusades”, in which marionettes cabaret-like reenact the history of the medieval crusades. Shawky’s multiple awarded films explore the ways in which projections and manipulations of the foreign, as well as confrontations with it, actually function. What lies behind the multi-faceted mechanisms of constructing and telling history?
Katharina Sieverding, mal d’archive
May 10, 2014 — Sep 21, 2014
Katharina Sieverding’s Stauffenberg-Block (I–XVI / 1969), from the permanent collection of the Kunstsammlung, forms the center of this exhibition in the Bel Etage of the K21. Due to its enormous dimensions, this ensemble – consisting of 16 large-format color photographs of the artist – can be shown only infrequently. The title refers to Claus von Stauffenberg, the resistance fighter who was executed in 1944 after a failed assassination attempt against Hitler.
Kandinsky, Malewitsch, Mondrian – Der weiße Abgrund Unendlichkeit
Apr 4, 2014 — Jul 6, 2014 (Quadrinale Düsseldorf)
With the exhibition Kandinsky, Malevich, Mondrian – The Infinite White Abyss the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen takes up the multifaceted theme of the white surface in the works of three major modernist masters. For these avant-garde pioneers, white was not merely an element of their color palettes: it was a symbol representing the world of the future. “The white, empty abyss, infinity lies before us” proclaimed Kazimir Malevich in 1919, coining a metaphor that was seminal for his art.
Olafur Eliasson – Dein Ausstellungsguide
Apr 4, 2014 — Aug 10, 2014 (Quadrinale Düsseldorf)
A daily flood of images tends to dull our senses; in a museum, we often take just a few seconds to contemplate a work of art. The Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson attempts to counteract such perceptual desensitization through his latest project: with Your exhibition guide, Eliasson encourages users to take in their environments – whether in a museum or in everyday life – in fresh ways. We are called upon to experience encounters with art in unfamiliar and fundamentally different ways.
With Beneath the Ground. From Kafka to Kippenberger
Apr 5, 2014 — Aug 10, 2014 (Quadriennale Düsseldorf)
With Beneath the Ground. From Kafka to Kippenberger, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen devotes a wide-ranging exhibition to the theme of the subterranean. During the twentieth century, the motif of displacing human habitation below the Earth’s surface was strongly associated with both utopian and anti-utopian projects. By the late nineteenth century, the idea of an inhabitable realm below the surface of the earth had evolved into a much-favored literary topos.
Gerhard Richter. Die Kunst im Plural
Feb 15, 2014 — Mar 9.2014
Gerhard Richter is one of the most eminent German artists of the present day. His paintings, sculptures, and installations are represented in numerous museums and private collections around the world. Alongside works in these genres, he has also produced editions, that is to say prints, photo editions, multiples, editions of paintings, artist’s books, and posters.
Susan Philipsz – The Missing String
Dec 9, 2013 — Apr 6, 2014
In recent years, the Scottish artist Susan Philipsz – who refers to herself as a sculptor – has earned an international reputation for her striking sound installations. With The Missing String, Philipsz – a recipient three years ago of the prestigious British Turner prize – will be a guest in the bel etage of the K21 of the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen from November 9, 2013 until April 6, 2014. This will be the first time this artist – who was born in Glasgow in 1965, and lives today in Berlin – has had an exhibition at the Kunstsammlung.
Alexander Calder – Avantgarde in Bewegung
Aug 7, 2013 — Jan 26, 2014
The Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen mounts a major exhibition of works by Alexander Calder (1898–1976), one of the most important American sculptors of the 20th century. It will be the first large museum exhibition devoted to this innovative artist in Germany for more than 20 years. The selection, consisting of approximately 70 works, will focus on the 1930s and 1940s and will trace Calder‘s path toward abstraction.
Zilvinas Kempinas: DARKROOM
Sep 5, 2013 — Jan 26, 2014
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.
Das Kind, die Stadt und die Kunst – Aldo van Eyck, Nils Norman, Yto Barrada
Apr 19, 2013 — Okt 15, 2013 (at Schmela Haus)
The playground as an urban, aesthetic, and political space forms the focus of the exhibition Das Kind, die Stadt und die Kunst (The Child, the City, and the Art), which will be on view at the Schmela Haus of the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen beginning on 19 April. The show’s point of departure is the oeuvre of Dutch architectural visionary Aldo van Eyck (1918–1999), who realized 700 playgrounds in Amsterdam between 1947 and 1978. Van Eyck was one of the first architects to explicitly integrate the perspectives of children into his aspirations toward the socially conscious reconfiguration and redesign of urban space. Juxtaposed
against the historic presentation of plans and designs by this architect are artworks by Nils Norman and Yto Barrada which thematize the playground as a place of community and of transformation from a contemporary perspective.
Feb 3, 2013 — Okt 9,2013
The Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen in Düsseldorf is presenting a wide-rangin overview of the oeuvre of photographer Wolfgang Tillmans. On view is a selection of works from the past 25 years by this extraordinary transgressor of boundaries in the field of photography. The artist himself has configured this presentation as an integrated installation specifically for the exhibition spaces found in the expansive basement level of the K21. Moreover, Tillmans will be showing early graphic and other works from the late 1980s for the first time anywhere.
Die Bildhauer. Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, 1945 bis heute
Feb 20, 2013 — Jul 27, 2013
Since 1945, sculptors who have studied or thought at the renowned Düsseldorf Art academy have been responsible for a series of decisive and influential artistic impulses. Professors such as Ewald Matare, Erwin Heerich, Joseph Beuys, Kauls Rinke, Irmin Kamp, Fritz Schwegler, Rosmarie trockel, Hubert Kiecol, Katharina fritsch, and Rita McBride have influenced highly productive debates and discussions with the Academy and beyond. Like many other of their colleagues and former students, they have contributed through their work to the development of sculpture over the past 70 years.
Katarzyna Kozyra, Master of Puppets
Okt 26, 2012 — Mar 10, 2013 (Schmela Haus)
The exhibition Master of puppets is the newest project of internationally renowned artist from Poland Katarzyna Kozyra. Born in 1963 in Warsaw, she studied sculpture at the local Academy of Fine Arts. Today Kozyra is definitely one of the most appreciated female artists in Poland. Kozyra`s works fluctuate between sculpture, photography, video art, performance, theatre and music and are presented in a humorous but provocative manner.
100 x Paul Klee – Geschichte der Bilder
Sep 29, 2012 — Apr 21, 2013
The purchase in 1960 of 88 works by Paul Klee (1879–1940) by the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia furnished the impetus for founding the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen in Düsseldorf. Today, the Klee collection – which has grown to include 100 works – is one of the most comprehensive by this artist in Germany, and the focus of international attention. Now for the first time, all of these works will be presented to the public together at K21.
Jun 16, 2012 — Sep 9, 2012
The work Wattwanderung / Low Tide Wandering – whose title underscores notions of roaming and discovery – consists of 138 separate etchings which are suspended from taut wires. Images of the sea are associated with ebbs and flows and with the transition from one picture to the next. The most common motifs are the portrait, women, and flowers, themes consistently present for years in the works of Thomas Schütte (born in *1954, lives in Düsseldorf).
Sep 8, 2012 — Jan 6, 2013
In her work, the British artist Gillian Wearing (*1963 in Birmingham, lives and works in London) investigates the relationship between public and private, fiction and reality, as well as between artist and viewer. The performative photographs and films of this 1997 Turner Prize recipient are based on personal revelations, private fantasies, and psychological trauma.
Fresh Window. Fenster-Bilder seit Matisse und Duchamp
Mar 31, 2012 — Aug 12, 2012
For centuries, the window has been found among the most favored artistic motifs. The picture of a “room with a view” in which the window marks the threshold between exterior and interior has long fostered reflections on the medium of painting itself. The observation that a painting resembles a view through an open window dates all the way back to 1435, when it entered a treatise on painting written by the Renaissance scholar Leon Battista Alberti. He coined a metaphor which has for centuries shaped our understanding of the picture which is organized according to the rules of central perspective and which – like a window – reveals to us a delimited segment of the world.
Roman Ondák – Within Reach of Hand or Eye
Feb 25, 2012 — May 28, 2012
At the latest since his much-acclaimed work for the Czech and Slovakian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale of 2009, Roman Ondák (born *1966, lives in Bratislava) has been regarded as a key figure among younger artists who have taken up and developed the traditions of conceptual, process-oriented, and installation art in strikingly independent ways. His often subtle interventions into everyday situations assume the most varied forms, ranging from brief or more extended appearances by individuals to objects, drawings or notations, and even the participation of the public.
Wojciech Bąkowski – Piotr Bosacki, DA SIĘ WYTRZYMAĆ IT’S BEARABLE
Feb 3, 2012 — Jun 10, 2012
This duo of Polish artist, born respectively 1979 and 1977 in Poznan/Poland, where both still live, have collaborated in particular on literary and musical themes. Bąkowski’s art is rooted in spoken literature. To date, he has produced numerous works on paper, animated films, at times interactive sculptures and installations, as well as performances. He conceptualizes penetrating works of striking directness, floating worlds located somewhere between everyday observations and hallucinations. With his point of departure in geometric and other systems of rules, Bosacki develops compositions, animated films, but also objects which present themselves as paradoxical constructions: exhibiting extreme rationality on the one hand, they seem trivial or even defective on the other. Typically for their generation, both artists pursue a confrontation with a reality apparently devoid of plan or aim, while at the same time maintaining an existential commitment characterized by philosophical and poetic penetration.
Zvi Goldstein – Haunted by Objects, Weltreisen im Innern meines Kopfes
Dec 11, 2011 — Feb 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.
Die andere Seite des Mondes. Künstlerinnen der Avantgarde
Okt 22, 2011 — Jan 15, 2012
The exhibition “The Other Side of the Moon” focuses on eight female artists who contributed substantially to the creative upheavals occurring in Europe during the 1920s and 1930s. Alongside Hannah Höch, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Sonia Delaunay, Claude Cahun, and Dora Maar, we encounter Florence Henri, Katarzyna Kobro, and Germaine Dulac, artists whose works and biographies are less familiar, and who many visitors will discover for the first time through this exhibition.
Aug 8, 2011 — Jan 15, 2012 (at Schmela Haus)
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.
MOVE – Kunst und Tanz seit den 60ern
Jul 19, 2011 — Okt 25, 2011
This exhibition provides an overview of the multifarious relationships existing between the fine arts, dance, movement, and choreography since the early 1960s. On view will be objects and installations by artists, dancers, and choreographers, all of which in some way influence the movements of exhibition visitors.
Big Picture (Orte / Projektionen)
Mar 19, 2011 — Dec 20, 2011
“Big Picture” is a work by recently-deceased 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.
Aufruf zur Alternative
Mar 18, 2011 — Jul 17, 2011 (at Schmela Haus)
On March 18, 2011, with the exhibition Aufruf zur Alternative, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen inaugurates the Schmela Haus as a new project space in Düsseldorf’s historic district. Eight contemporary works by Shaina Anand, Luca Frei, Group Material, Christine & Irene Hohenbüchler, Jenny Holzer, Sora Kim, Sarah Pierce, and Kateřina Šedá reactivate the former gallery building as an exhibition space.
Thomas Struth – Fotografien 1978 – 2010
Feb 26, 2011 — Jun 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.
Joseph Beuys. Parallelprozesse
Sep 11, 2010 — Jan 16, 2011 (Quadrinnale Düsseldorf)
Joseph Beuys was one of the most internationally innovative and influential artists of the 20th century. As the initiator of momentous new artistic forms of expression, he had a lasting and immediate effect on countless artists. JOSEPH BEUYS.
Auswertung der Flugdaten: Kunst der 80er. Eine Düsseldorfer Perspektive
Sep 11, 2010 — Jan 30, 2011
The exhibition “Auswertung der Flugdaten” throws a spotlight on the art of the 1980s from a Düsseldorf perspective. Featured are works by 10 internationally recognized artists who emerged from the milieu of the Düsseldorf Art Academy. The presentation is supplemented with a selection of works by seven artists from various countries having shared attitudes, aims, and working approaches. On view will be nearly 70 sculptures, installations, and photographs, including multipart works, by Richard Deacon, Katharina Fritsch, Andreas Gursky, Reinhard Mucha, Thomas Schütte, Jeff Wall, and others.
“Intensif-Station” – 26 Künstlerräume im K21
Jul 10, 2010 — Sep 4, 2011
Parallel to the reopening of the K20 at Grabbeplatz, the K21 Ständehaus opens the exhibition “Intensif-Station” – 26 Künstlerräume im K21 / “Intensive Care” – 26 Artist’s Rooms in the K21. Not unlike the simultaneous presentation of the permanent collection, entitled Silent Revolution, which confronts classical modernist works with contemporary positions, the focus of “Intensif-Station” too remains on works from the collection. In the 26 rooms of the Ständehaus, permanent installations and groups of works engage in dialogue with new site-specific rooms created on location by contemporary artists.
Wiedereröffnung K20 Grabbeplatz am 10.7.2010
Jul 10, 2010
In July 2010, after two years of renovations and an expansion project measuring 2000 m², the Kunstsammlung Nordhrein-Westfalen am Grabbeplatz reopens its refurbished building to the public. The architectural office of Dissing + Weitling (Copenhagen) has realized the extension: this structure, which completely avoids distracting pillars and is equipped with cutting-edge exhibition technology, offers a superb setting for displaying works of art.
Monika Sosnowska: The Staircase / Die Treppe, 2010
Apr 24, 2010 — Feb 28, 2013
With Monika Sosnowska’s project Ohne Titel, 2010 (Untitled, 2010), the imposing interior courtyard of the K21 Ständehaus is made available to an artistic intervention for the first time. At two-year intervals beginning in 2010, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen will be inviting internationally acclaimed artists to use the “airspace” above the piazza as the site of a contemporary intervention, each designed to heighten awareness of the museum as a “house of art” in the eyes of entering visitors.
Ana Torfs. Album/Tracks A
27.02.2010 — 18.7.2010
Representation and visualisation, reality and fiction form the cornerstones of Ana Torfs’ installations which consist of projected images and texts. In precisely choreographed audio-visual constellations Torfs brings to life literary, historical and political material. With five large-format slide projections, several photo series, and a song project for the Internet, K21 Ständehaus presents the first museum-based overview of the work of Belgian artist Ana Torfs (born 1963, lives and works in Brussels).