In 2019, the Kunstsammlung presented the hitherto most comprehensive exhibition of Ai Weiwei in Europe at both locations, K20 and K21. Now, recently acquired works and a donation by the artist are on display in K21. Following the re-opening of K21 in 2018, the collection is now being almost completely reinstalled. More than half of the rooms are already completed and feature works by, among others, Ei Arakawa, Wolfgang Tillmans, Lutz Bacher, Margarete Jakschik, Jef Geys, Marcel Broodthaers, Ed Atkins, and Cao Fei.
The New Collection Rooms at K21
Among the highlights of the new presentation of the collection is the installation "Stool" (2014), the wallpaper piece "Odyssey" (2016), and the photo series "Study of Perspective" (1995–2011) by the activist and artist Ai Weiwei. The ensemble is complemented by Ai Weiwei’s work Stacked Porcelain Vases as a Pillar (2017), which the Friends of the Kunstsammlung are making available to the museum on permanent loan. The Kunstsammlung is particularly joyful over the artist’s donation of the large-scale installation "Laundromat" (2016). In the new presentation at K21, further acquisitions from the past three years are presented on the upper 3 floors of the K21.
On 1st floor, the Dorothee and Konrad Fischer Archive takes place. In the course of the acquisition of the collection of Dorothee and Konrad Fischer, the archive was also donated to the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen. Adjacent to the archive is Salon21. Installed as a new space in September 2018, Salon21 can be used for breaks, conversations, reading, and reflection. On selected evening dates, lectures, screenings, and discussions take place here.
Yours in Art. John Baldessari and Konrad Fischer
At Dorothee and Konrad Fischer Archive, July 21 – October, 2020
Under the title "Yours in Art. John Baldessari and Konrad Fischer", the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein Westfalen is commemorating one of the most influential representatives of American conceptual art in the Dorothee and Konrad Fischer Archive at K21 beginning on July 21, 2020.
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. In his conceptually conceived works, he combined visual and linguistic information with subtle wit to create profound commentaries on art and life. In 1969, Baldessari diagnosed: “The World Has Too Much Art I Have Made Too Much Objects What to Do?” He consequently decided to at least “no longer make boring art” and, in 1970, burned most of his early paintings. From then on, he worked with photography, text, collage, and film.
In 1971, Baldessari exhibited for the first time with Konrad Fischer. Since 1967, Fischer had been presenting positions of minimal and conceptual art in a gallery space on Neubrückstrasse in Düsseldorf. The selected correspondence between the artist and gallerist from the time they met in 1969 to the documenta in 1972 tells of their first joint projects, as well as of their friendly relationship. In addition, publications from the period, Baldessari’s first artist’s book, "Ingres and Other Parables", as well as the film "I Am Making Art" (1971), are also included in the presentation.
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