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 collection of the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen: On the third floor, the focus is on new 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 shown in individual rooms. Also included in the collection presentation are photographs by Thomas Struth, which, like the expansive installations by Reinhard Mucha and Tomás Saraceno, have long been part of the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen’s holdings.

The New Collection Rooms at K21

The tour does not follow a predetermined order. Room by room, the diversity of contemporary art from the 1980s onwards can be discovered in various constellations. Among the highlights of the new collection presentation 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 the information overload of the Internet, the potential of digitality, social simulation, and artificial intelligence in times of increasing social dislocation under pandemic conditions. The augmented reality artwork “Amazon Worker Cage” (2019) by Simon Denny is also among the latest acquisitions of recent years, which refer to the theme of digitality in different media and from various perspectives.

Featured on the first floor are, among other things, documents and artworks from the archive of Dorothee and Konrad Fischer. These not only make the pioneering work of the Düsseldorf-based gallery visible, but also shed light on the working methods of outstanding artists of the second half of the twentieth century. Adjacent to the archive is “Salon21.” On selected dates, exhibition-related lectures, screenings, and public discussions take place here alongside the young discourse program “K21 Encounters.”


Please take note: The Düsseldorf-based artist Reinhard Mucha is one of the most important protagonists of contemporary art working today. From September 3, 2022, onwards, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen is dedicating a comprehensive survey exhibition to him in 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 presented in the German Pavilion in Venice in 1990, will remain open to visitors to K21.

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