Last week I spent 3 days in Düsseldorf, attending the Medica trade show. But I do not want to bore you with that. I’d rather tell you what I did after the trade show closed every day.
Since Düsseldorf is a city that I know well, I decided to concentrate in its museums and art galleries. I could not have picked a more perfect time!
At the Kunsthalle I attended the excellent exhibition titled “Wool and water”, with: Lili Dujourie, Isa Genzken, Astrid Klein, Mischa Kuball, Aron Mehzion, Reinhard Mucha, Sturtevant, Rosemarie Trockel, and Gerhard Richter; curated by Gregor Jansen. An absolutely “can’t miss” exhibition. Alluring and exciting. I could not remember the last time I was so excited about an exhibition. I felt like clapping, like calling the curator and the artists and showing my respect and admiration.
I also visited both the K20 and K21 at the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen (KNW).
The K20 Grabbeplatz was exhibiting “Cloud and Crystal: The Dorothee and Konrad Fischer Collection”. Quite an amazing collection including works by: Carl Andre, Richard Artschwager, Lothar Baumgarten, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Joseph Beuys, Marcel Broodthaers, Stanley Brouwn, Daniel Buren, Alan Charlton, Hanne Darboven, Jan Dibbets, Dan Flavin, Gilbert & George, Douglas Huebler, Stephen Kaltenbach, On Kawara, Harald Klingelhöller, Jannis Kounellis, Jim Lambie, Sol LeWitt, Richard Long, Konrad Lueg, Robert Mangold, Piero Manzoni, John McCracken, Mario Merz, Juan Muñoz, Bruce Nauman, Giuseppe Penone, Manfred Pernice, Ulrich Rückriem, Robert Ryman, Gregor Schneider, Thomas Schütte, Niele Toroni, Paloma Varga Weisz, and Lawrence Weiner.
But the complete shock was at the K21 Ständehaus, a very special venue for young international artists and for the contemporary portions of the KNW permanent collection.
The underground level was showing “My Phantasies”, with works by: Gerhard Altenbourg, Katharina Fritsch, Julian Göthe, Sabine Groß, Nan Hoover, Axel Hütte, Jürgen Klauke, Alicia Kwade, Kris Martin, Pauline M’Barek, Gerhard Merz, Dieter Roth, Wilhelm Sasnal, Wael Shawky, Nancy Spero, Thomas Struth, Rosemarie Trockel and Gillian Wearing. Only OK. Some interesting pieces, but not worth going out of your way for. BUT the Artist’s Rooms in the three above ground levels were just absolutely stunning.
Traversing three levels, 22 rooms offer intensive up-close encounters with painting, sculpture, photography, film, and in particular with spatially-oriented art. Selected contemporary artists are invited to display works for a period of one year, thereby engaging in dialogue with other works in the collection. What I was privileged enough to enjoy was:
- Imi Knoebel
- Christian Jankowski
- Bill Viola
- James Turrell
- Ibrahim Mahama
- Antonia Low [until end of October, 2016]
- Alexandra Bircken [from end of November, 2016]
- Hans-Peter Feldmann
- Diango Hernández
- Bertold Stallmach / Nina Fischer & Maroan el Sani
- Tomás Saraceno
- Franz West [under construction]
- Janet Cardiff/George Bures Miller
- Chiharu Shiota
- Anna Oppermann [temporarily closed]
- Christian Boltanski
Please, if you can go to Düsseldorf, or you’re already there, do make sure to visit “Wool and water” at the Kunsthalle and the Artist’s Rooms at K21 Ständehaus. Absolutely awesome.