K21 Collection


  • Installation view, Lutz Bacher, 2022, photo credit: Achim Kukulies
  • Installation view, Hito Steyerl, 2022, photo credit: Achim Kukulies
  • Installation view, Carsten Nicolai, 2022, photo credit: Achim Kukulies
  • Installation view, Ed Atkins, 2022, photo credit: Achim Kukulies
  • Installation view, Simon Denny, 2022, photo credit: Achim Kukulies
  • Installation view, Fritsch, 2022, photo credit: Achim Kukulies
  • Installation view, Isa Genzken, 2022, photo credit: Achim Kukulies
  • Salon21, photo credit: Sebastian Drüen

K21 presents international contemporary art from the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen’s collection. The third floor has a particular focus on acquisitions of recent years; works by Ed Atkins, Lutz Bacher, Simon Denny, Sabrina Fritsch, Isa Genzken, Carsten Nicolai, Hito Steyerl, and the Raqs Media Collective are on display. Also included in the exhibition are photographs by Thomas Struth, which, like the expansive installations by Reinhard Mucha and Tomás Saraceno, have long been a part of the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen’s holdings.

The New Collection at K21

The diversity of contemporary art from the 1980s onwards can be discovered through the various rooms of the collection, in no particular order. Among the highlights of the exhibition is the multimedia installation “SocialSim”  (2020) by the internationally acclaimed video artist Hito Steyerl. The work, created for her exhibition “I Will Survive” (2020) at K21, critically examines information overload on the Internet, the potential of digitality, social simulation, and artificial intelligence in times of increasing social dislocation under pandemic conditions. Simon Denny’s augmented reality artwork “Amazon Worker Cage” (2019) is also among the museum’s latest acquisitions, which refer to the theme of digitality across various mediums and perspectives.

Documents and artwork from the archive of Dorothee and Konrad Fischer can be viewed on the first floor. This exhibition not only reveals the pioneering work of the Düsseldorf-based gallery, but also sheds light on the working methods of outstanding artists from the second half of the twentieth century. Adjacent to the archive is “Salon21.” Exhibition-related lectures, screenings, and public discussions take place here alongside the new discourse program “K21 Encounters.”


Please take note: The Düsseldorf-based artist Reinhard Mucha is currently one of the most important protagonists of contemporary art. Starting September 3, 2022, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen will dedicate a comprehensive exhibition to him in both K20 and K21. Due to extensive construction work, the second floor of K21 will remain closed until the exhibition opens. During this time, Mucha’s installation “Das Deutschlandgerät” (The Germany Device), which was first displayed at the German Pavilion in Venice in 1990, will remain open to visitors at K21.

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