Back to the Present

New Perspectives, New Works – The Collection from 1945 to Today

About the presentation

Almost a decade after the opening of the Garden Halls, the Collection of Contemporary Art was presented in a completely new way for the first time. Through several narrative strands, the new presentation provides a refreshing access to art after 1945 which consciously enables an experience of the collection based not on chronology but rather on specific themes. Starting from the central space of the Garden Halls and beginning with major works by the younger and youngest generation of contemporary artists, a history of art after 1945 are unfolded. Works from various schools, styles and groups facilitate surprising comparisons, perspectives and visual axes between the immediate present and its roots in past decades. In the newly conceived arrangement, the main narrative strands of the Collection of Contemporary Art in the Städel are continued and linked in a new and more complex way. Wolfgang Tillmans’ formless, gestural photography thus hangs next to works by K. O. Götz and Raymond Hains, while the sculptures by Jessica Stockholder and Isa Genzken are juxtaposed with a fabric painting by Blinky Palermo and a sponge relief by Yves Klein. Daniel Richter’s abstract-figurative painting is interlinked with a portrait by Francis Bacon and Carsten Nicolai with Victor Vasarely’s op art. Dirk Skreber’s seemingly photorealistic painting meets Thomas Demand’s constructed, photographically captured spaces. The result is a journey through seven decades of contemporary art which enables visitors to understand their own art history in an individual way and according to their own interests. In total, the new presentation comprises roughly 230 works by 170 artists on nearly 3,000 square metres of exhibition space. The presentation includes recent acquisitions and donations, such as works by Victor Vasarely and Miriam Cahn. Most of them were acquired for the Collection of Contemporary Art by the Städelkomitee 21. Jahrhundert in 2007.

The Garden Halls were opened in February 2012 for the presentation of the Städel’s Collection of Contemporary Art. This extension was made possible by the support of the citizens of Frankfurt and the commitment of the Städel Museums-Verein, the cities of Frankfurt and Eschborn, the State of Hesse, the Hertie Foundation, as well as other foundations and numerous companies. The Städel Museum’s Collection of Contemporary Art is continuously expanded through generous donations from private patrons and acquisitions by the Städel Committee for the 21st Century and has received important works as loans from the corporate collections of Deutsche Bank and DZ BANK.

Curator: Martin Engler (Head of the Contemporary Art Collection, Städel Museum)
Project Management: Svenja Grosser (Graduate Trainee, Städel Museum)
Media Partner: Monopol Magazin für Kunst und Leben

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