K21 Kunstsammlung im Ständehaus

Silent Revolution

27 Feb - 13 Jun 2010

Paloma Varga Weisz
Leiche II, 1999
Lindenholz, bemalt
7 × 64 × 16 cm
Foto: Nic Tenwiggenhorn, Berlin 2010,
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2010
A new presentation of the museum’s permanent collection

27 Feb 2010 – 13 June 2010

Before the masterpieces from Picasso to Klee, and from Pollock to Warhol return to the rooms of the Kunstsammlung am Grabbeplatz on 10 July 2010, a selection of works from the museum’s own Classic Modernism collection will be shown at the Ständehaus.

Since the presentation at Grabbeplatz has always consisted mainly of paintings, and the one at the Ständehaus primarily of installation, sculptural, photographic, and video works, this exchange also takes place between two and three dimensions.

The outcome is a contest between media: what can painting offer, with its dense surface arrangement, and what is offered by film, which unfolds in temporal succession?
These works will be juxtaposed with paintings, sculptures and installations by contemporary artists from the collection. Unexpected encounters, confrontations and surprising affinities define this exchange between the past and the present.

The arrival of the panel paintings, moreover, calls for an altered approach to the architecture of the Ständehaus.

For this presentation of the collection, the building’s arcades will be occupied by “immaterial” art forms: with sound installations that conceptualize the phenomenon of time in various ways.

Silent Revolution, the title of this presentation, was borrowed from a work by Georg Herold, one that engages in dialogue with paintings by Jasper Johns and Georges Braque.

The classical modernism foundation of the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen is featured in the 1st level of Silent Revolution in a series of striking, dialogic juxtapositions.

Belgian artists Marcel Broodthaers and René Magritte joined forces with contrasting interrogations of the museum and of truth; Jeff Wall and Wassily Kandinsky visualize the antagonism between chaos and order; Max Beckmann and William Kentridge draw up résumés of their lives; Paul Klee and Nam June Paik are preoccupied with the universal languages of art and music.

In the second upper story of the Ständehaus, key works of Cubism, Neue Sachlichkeit, and Surrealism provoke commentary in the form of contemporary sculptures by Thomas Schütte, Katharina Fritsch, Paloma Varga Weisz, and others.

One such juxtaposition is that between Beckmann’s brutally dispassionate depiction of murder in “Die Nacht” (The Night) and Thomas Hirschhorn’s model of a two-family house, which exemplifies the kind of involuntary proximity of contrary attitudes.

In the 3rd upper story are works by Piet Mondrian, Marcel Duchamp, Otto Dix, Kurt Schwitters, Gerhard Richter, and Francis Bacon.

Here, our circuit finds its preliminary terminus in a room containing black pictures – before the dialogic principle continues in the light-flooded dome space. More than 30 three-dimensional works have been assembled to form a densely configured sculpture garden – installed with assistance from Düsseldorf artist Markus Karstieß – where viewers are invited to stroll and linger.

Pablo Picasso’s bronze head of “Fernande” encounters John Chamberlain’s painted sculpture, while works in plaster by Max Ernst mingle with recent artistic positions, including loans designed to complement the collection in striking ways.

Tags: Francis Bacon, Max Beckmann, Georges Braque, Marcel Broodthaers, John Chamberlain, Otto Dix, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Katharina Fritsch, Georg Herold, Thomas Hirschhorn, C.T. Jasper, Jasper Johns, Wassily Kandinsky, William Kentridge, Paul Klee, René Magritte, Piet Mondrian, Nam June Paik, Pablo Picasso, Gerhard Richter, Thomas Schütte, Kurt Schwitters, Jeff Wall, Andy Warhol, Paloma Varga Weisz