MAMMA ANDERSSON, CARL ANDRE, RICHARD DEACON, LUDGER GERDES, ZVI GOLDSTEIN, HUBBARD & BIRCHLER, HUBERT KIECOL, HARALD KLINGELHÖLLER, FABIAN MARCACCIO, BRUCE NAUMAN, CLAES OLDENBURG, BLINKY PALERMO, HERMANN PITZ, SIGMAR POLKE, NORBERT PRANGENBERG, DAVID RABINOWITCH, GERHARD RICHTER, THOMAS SCHÜTTE, ALAN UGLOW
With their jubilee exhibition Gifts, the Freunde der Kunstmuseen Krefeld e.V. (Friends of the Kunstmuseen Krefeld – formerly Fördererkreis für das Kaiser Wilhelm Museum e.V.) are looking back on 30 years of collecting. Right from the outset, the foremost goal of the association has been to provide the museum in a cash-strapped city with more leeway to keep on building up its collection. Unlike the Heinz and Marianne Ebers Foundation, which was set up in 1997 purely with the aim of assisting the museum in this one essential task, the ‘Friends’ association combines the acquisition of art with a broad concept of support that extends to almost every area of the museum’s work. It includes exhibition projects and publications, art and architectural education, and even the field of conservation. For some four years now the Freunde has received support for its art acquisitions from the Fond Wirtschaft.
In 1984, just a year after its inauguration, the Friends acquired its first artwork. Six watercolours (1977/78) by Gerhard Richter that formed the foundation stone of a collection which has grown to encompass around 150 works that form the perfect addition to the holdings of the Kunstmuseen Krefeld. A broad selection of this collection will now be presented in Museum Haus Lange, with special emphasis being placed on the work of painter Sigmar Polke. A large number of his prints from the years 1967 to 2002 give a profound insight into his overall work. Together with the Kulturstiftung der Länder and the Kunststiftung NRW, in 2006 the Friends managed to purchase Polke’s painting Im Westen nichts Neues, Himmelstoß (2004/05), which numbers among the true highlights of the Kunstmuseen Krefeld. With its by all means political orientation, it will be shown in the current presentation opposite one of the collection’s most recent acquisitions: the dazzling and almost monstrous work Eric and Dylan (2011) by the Argentine painter Fabian Marcaccio, which stirs up memories of the killing spree at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado on 20 April 1999.
Major works by artists such as Thomas Schütte, Harald Klingelhöller, Zvi Goldstein and Hermann Pitz mark a particular focus in the art of the 1980s and early 1990s. They have been juxtaposed in the exhibition with minimalist approaches from the 1960s onwards – more specifically sculptures and paintings by Carl Andre, David Rabinowitch and Alan Uglow. The spectrum of works in the collection also includes a large number of contemporary prints, photographic works (Candida Höfer, Thomas Ruff / not in the exhibition), and also video art, such as for instance the large-scale projection Eight by Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler.
The exhibition will be accompanied by an extensive catalogue of the collection published by Kerber Verlag, Bielefeld/Berlin, complete with a number of large plates and brief texts by Beate Ermacora, Martin Hentschel, Thomas Janzen and Sabine Röder. Museum price, 24 euros; retail, 35 euros.