Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía

More than a catalogue

15 Oct 2015 - 04 Apr 2016

Marcel Broodthaers
Fig 1. Mönchengladbach, Städtisches Museum Mönchengladbach, 1971. Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen collection e. V., Stuttgart / Centre for Artists’ Publications, Weserburg, Bremen. © Marcel Louis Jean Broodthaers, VEGAP, Madrid, 2015
The catalogue-boxes of the Museum Abteiberg-Mönchengladbach (1967-1978)
15 October 2015 - 4 April 2016

By virtue of the renewed conceptions of art which developed in the 1960s and 1970s, museums were forced to renovate their way of presenting art works, and also their idea of what art publications could be. In this context, Johannes Cladders, director of the Städtisches Museum Abteiberg Mönchengladbach (Germany) at the time, developed an exceptional publishing project: a series of “Kassettenkataloge”, or catalogue-boxes, which managed to attract the attention of the international art world.

This exhibition, curated by Guy Schraenen, is devoted to the outstanding originality of this series of grey cardboard boxes, with which Johannes Cladders provided an unconventional and pertinent overview of the international vanguard art of the period, including seminal movements such as Conceptual Art, Fluxus, Arte Povera, Pop Art, etc. Made between 1967 and 1978 in limited and numbered editions, these boxes are unique in their conception. Their design was entire responsibility of each of the invited artists, and results of their complicity with the museum. All of them have similar sizes (ca. 21 x 17 x 3 cm), but each one is different in content and form. Some of them include posters, booklets, documentation and texts, while others comprise multiples: for example, the plastic rose by Jasper Johns, a series of four boxes by Marcel Broodthaers, a ca. 15 meter long parcel string by Panamarenko, and a huge, black, crumpled silk paper with gold print by James Lee Byars, enclosed in a golden box. Further boxes include original pieces such as the felt piece cut by Joseph Beuys, and the hand-painted inside of the box by Gerhard Richter.

These few examples give an overview of the richness of this collection of 33 different pieces (the 34th box, by stanley brouwn, exists only as a concept), which nowadays are considered rarities, and occupy a prominent place in international collections, among them the Library and Documentation Center of the Museum Reina Sofía.

Catalogue-boxes in the exhibition:
Joseph Beuys, 1967 - Erwin Heerich, 1967 - Beleg, 1968 - Bernd y Hilla Becher, 1968 -Carl Andre, 1968 - Hanne Darboven, 1969 - George Brecht / Robert Filliou, 1969 - Panamarenko, 1969 - Piero Manzoni, 1969 - Hans Hollein, 1970 -
stanley brouwn (en su realización conceptual), 1970 - Richard Long, 1970 - Daniel Buren, 1971 - Jasper Johns, 1971 - Marcel Broodthaers, 1971 - Reiner Ruthenbeck, 1972 - Jan Schoonhoven, 1972 - Beleg II (Heinz Mack, Palermo, Ulrich Rückriem), 1972 - Rationale Spekulationen, 1972 - Palermo, 1973 - Programm Zufall System (François Morellet), 1973 - Ulrich Rückriem, 1973 - Lawrence Weiner, 1973 - Archiv J & J (Jacques Caumont / Jennifer Gough-Cooper), 1974 - Gerhard Richter, 1974 - Braco Dimitrijevic, 1975 - Joel Fisher, 1975 - Daniel Buren, 1975 - Jonas Hafner, 1976 - Räume, Beleg III (Carl Andre, Marcel Broodthaers, Daniel Buren, Hans Hollein, Bruce Nauman, Gerhard Richter, Ulrich Rückriem), 1976 - Giulio Paolini, 1977 - James Lee Byars, 1977 - Georg Ettl, 1977 - Jannis Kounellis, 1978

Tags: Carl Andre, Joseph Beuys, George Brecht, Marcel Broodthaers, Stanley Brouwn, Daniel Buren, James Lee Byars, Hanne Darboven, Braco Dimitrijevic, Georg Ettl, Robert Filliou, Joel Fisher, Erwin Heerich, Hans Hollein, C.T. Jasper, Jasper Johns, Jannis Kounellis, Richard Long, Heinz Mack, Piero Manzoni, François Morellet, Bruce Nauman, Panamarenko, Giulio Paolini, Gerhard Richter, Ulrich Rückriem, Reiner Ruthenbeck, Lawrence Weiner