On the second floor of the Kaiser Wilhelm Museums the Kunstmuseen Krefeld present a selection of works from their 21st-Century Collection. The most recent acquisitions by contemporary artists, designers and architects were largely created in site-specific contexts for exhibitions at the Kaiser Wilhelm Museum or at Haus Lange/Haus Esters. They express the traditionally close relationship between temporary exhibitions and the permanent collection at the Kunstmuseen Krefeld, as well as the now four-year interdisciplinary focus on art, design, and everyday life. The presentation features works by Richard Artschwager, matali crasset, Banz & Bowinkel, BLESS, Franck Bragigand, Michael Craig-Martin, Christian Falsnaes, Peter Halley, Tobias Hantmann, Herbert Hamak, Anton Henning, Annette Kelm, raumlaborberlin and David Reed. The Artist Rooms by Joseph Beuys are open to visitors as well.
The artistic examination of quotidian objects is confronted with pieces of furniture. Digitality, simulation and trompe-l'œil effects collide with physical materiality. In addition to purchased works and donations by artists and patrons, the acquisitions by the Association of Friends of the Kunst Museen Krefeld and the Heinz und Marianne Ebers-Stiftung demonstrate the tremendous impact that civic commitment has on the museum collection.
It was in this way that the collection obtained several works from the exhibition project Alternatives for Living which marked the Bauhaus centennial and evolved over the course of three acts in 2019. These include two pieces purchased by the Friends of the Kunstmuseen Krefeld: the multifunctional installation by the architect collective raumlaborberlin, which makes direct reference to the architects of Haus Lange and Haus Esters, and a semi-virtual work by the artist duo Banz & Bowinkel which features an avatar prancing across a carpet. The designer furniture by matali crasset, generously donated by the Parisian manufacturer Domeau & Pérès, is now displayed together with a painting by Peter Halley. A staged act of art demolition entitled Icon by the Danish artist Christian Falsnaes, which caused an uproar at the Kaiser Wilhelm Museum in 2018, can now be viewed again as a large-scale video projection. Other pieces on display include purchased items from the Collection Satellite #3 by the artist Ola Vasiljeva. Which brings visitors full circle to the Collection Satellite #5 by Ignacio Uriarte. In addition to the featured contemporary artists, visitors can also admire several 20th-century pieces by Richard Artschwager and David Reed.