Diving Deeper into Contemporary Art

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Film series „Meinungsbilder“

Close Up is exactly that – a closer take on a core theme in the Städel’s collection of contemporary art, as an art and mediation space on site and as a digital application. The use of various analogue and digital media to explore a tight selection of original works of art, allows viewers to formulate their own response to a burning issue in contemporary art.

Shifting Points of View

This offer is part of “Shifting Points of View. Seeing Differently. Understanding One Another,” an education initiative by the Städel Museum.

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Art & Politics

New: Art & Politics

How do artists process political events from the immediate present? The current CLOSE UP focuses on three works by Bettina Semmer, Armin Boehm and Dierk Schmidt from the Städel Museum’s Collection of Contemporary Art. They are representative of the artistic treatment of current events in the field of painting – contemporary history painting, so to speak. Despite their different approaches, the artists have one thing in common in regard to their approach: They change and expand the historical model with the means of painting. They confront the viewer, make the invisible visible, and point out various perspectives. The boundaries between objective reproduction and subjective influence or statement are fluid. Their painting leaves the realm of documentation and develops its own narrative. With the means of art, they – directly or indirectly – actively call upon us to take a stand ourselves.

Honoured with the DigAMus Award 2023.

More about the CLOSE UP format on Art & Politics

In the innovative art and mediation space CLOSE UP, visitors are invited to conduct their own research in front of the original works: How do we deal with images of terror? What is the role of the media, and what role can a painting play? How do artists relate to their works: Are they activists, mediators, or neutral entities?

The focus is on topics related to the culture of memory and collective memory, as well as on the power and role of images as carriers of information or means of reproducing political and social events. To these ends, CLOSE UP relies on the interplay of original artworks, wall texts, and a digital application.

The broad spectrum of digital mediation – from exhibition films and interviews with artists from the collection to the Digital Collection – complements the encounter with the originals in the museum space. The activating digital application is available on site and as a mobile version for the user’s own device, now also for use at home. Furthermore, guided tours complement the offer in CLOSE UP. They include the various modules and encourage a joint discussion about the various artistic approaches.

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    Armin Boehm, Untitled (Zhwar Kili), 2007

    Armin Boehm
    Untitled (Zhwar Kili), 2007
    Oil on canvas
    195.0 x 250.0 x 5.0 cm
    Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
    Property of Städelscher Museums-Verein e.V.
    © Armin Boehm

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    Bettina Semmer, Olympia (German disasters series), 1985

    Bettina Semmer
    Olympia (German disasters series), 1985
    Oil on canvas
    200.0 x 155.0 cm
    Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
    © Bettina Semmer

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    Dierk Schmidt, SIEV-X - Zu einem Fall verschärfter Flüchtlingspolitik, 2001-2003

    Dierk Schmidt
    SIEV-X - To a case of intensified refugee policy, 2001-2003
    Various measures
    Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
    Property of Städelscher Museums-Verein e.V.
    © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021

Photography & Painting

Photography & Painting

The relationship between photography and painting forms the subject of the first presentation: By taking Sigmar Polke, Wolfgang Tillmans, and Jörg Sasse as examples, we examine in detail the fertile cross-pollination between these two supposedly competing media. The three works in the room can be viewed under different ‘lenses’, bringing to light hidden threads between art and society, in the past and present.

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    Jörg Sasse, 7127, 2003

    Jörg Sasse
    7127, 2003
    130,0 x 200,0 cm
    DZ BANK Art Collection at the Städel Museum
    Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
    © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020

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    Sigmar Polke, Ohne Titel, 1975

    Sigmar Polke
    Ohne Titel, 1975
    Photograph and acrylic on canvas
    40 x 50 cm
    Deutsche Bank Collection at the Städel Museum
    Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
    © The Estate Sigmar Polke, Cologne / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020

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    Wolfgang Tillmans, paper drop (window), 2006

    Wolfgang Tillmanns
    paper drop (window), 2006
    C-print in the artist's frame
    145,0 x 200,0 cm
    Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main, Property of the Städelscher Museums-Verein e.V.
    © Wolfgang Tillmans