The Silver Show
09 Oct - 20 Nov 2011
25 JAHRE NAK
October 9 – November 20, 2011
Unter der Schirmherrschaft von Oberbürgermeister Marcel Philipp
Aids-3D, Joachim Bandau, Nina Canell, Jacques Charlier, Mel Chin, Walter Dahn, Raphael Danke, Tobias Danke, Felix Droese, Simon Dybbroe Møller, Michaela Eichwald, Matias Faldbakken, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Morgan Fisher, Diango Hernández, Christian Jankowski, Kris Martin, Rodney McMillian, Jonathan Meese, Klaus Merkel, Anselm Reyle, Johanna Roderburg, Daniel Roth, Albrecht Schäfer, Ulrich Strothjohann, Anne-Mie van Kerckhoven, Johannes Wohnseifer and others
In July 1964 the legendary Fluxus Festival was held in the Audimax at the RWTH, signaling the beginning of a noteworthy tradition in Aachen of an interest in and support for contemporary art. The now famous event took place at the instigation of student representative Valdis Abolins, and achieved its renown not least because Joseph Beuys had his nose bloodied in a fight with a student from the university. Germany’s first exhibition space for contemporary art followed in 1968, Gegenverkehr – Zentrum für aktuelle Kunst e.V., and served as a venue for presenting trailblazing avant-garde exhibitions.
Against the backdrop of these developments, the Neuer Aachener Kunstverein was founded in 1986 by a group of art-enthusiast Aachen residents. In the beginning, the numerous and rapidly changing exhibitions focused mainly on local and regional artists. Over the years, more and more international artists were integrated into NAK’s exhibition program. Finally, with a full-time director, the NAK was professionalized and developed into an internationally-renown institution for exhibiting contemporary art. Its primary focus then, as now, are solo presentations of contemporary artistic positions, including, for instance, Morgan Fisher, Michael Stevenson, Nairy Baghramian, Lucy McKenzie, and Fiona Banner.
With its founding in 1986, the NAK occupies a special position within the history of the German Kunstvereine [Art Associations], since most of Germany’s Kunstvereins are products of a nineteenth century forward thinking citizenry. In Germany, the internationally unique model of the Kunstverein has consistently succeeded in fulfilling new societal functions.
The NAK has now organized an anniversary exhibition dedicated to its comparatively more recent history: to the artists who have exhibited here over the past twenty-five years—young or under-represented talents who, following their presentations, often quickly achieved greater relevancy, becoming important points of reference within the international field of contemporary art.
Presented in a group exhibition on the ground floor is a selection of works from various generations of artists, such as Walter Dahn and Felix Droese, who exhibited at the NAK in the early 1990s. Also featured are Jonathan Meese, Kris Martin, Matias Faldbakken, and Anselm Reyle, whose extraordinary visual and formal language promptly led to their international success following their solo exhibitions at NAK. This also applies to artists like Simon Dybbroe Møller, Johannes Wohnseifer, Nina Canell, and Albrecht Schäfer, whose post-conceptual approaches have set important benchmarks for art in the early 2000s. International names like Christian Jankowski, Anne-Mie van Kerckhoven, Michaela Eichwald, and Hans-Peter Feldmann, important reference points in the global field of art, are also represented with works in THE SILVER SHOW. And alongside Aachen-based artists like Joachim Bandau, Johanna Roderburg, and Tobias Danke, further significant programming highlights from NAK history are also featured, including Raphael Danke, Diango Hernandez, Ulrich Strothjohann, and Klaus Merkel.
On view on NAK’s upper level is documentation from the past twenty-five years. Here numerous documents, publications, and archive materials provide a glimpse into the Verein’s exciting history. In addition, NAK Jahresgaben (annual editions) are presented both for perusal as well as purchasing.