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Close Up
Diving Deeper into Contemporary Art

Close Up is exactly that—a closer take on a core theme in the Städel’s collection of contemporary art. Discover the current CLOSE UP “Self & Portrait” on site in the museum or expand your knowledge online with the digital application. In the exhibition space, you can enhance your viewing of the original works of art with the help of texts, the digital application, and our guided tours.

Self & Portrait

Maria Lassnig, Selbstporträt mit Affen (Geliebte Vorväter), 2001

Maria Lassnig
Selbstporträt mit Affen (Geliebte Vorväter), 2001

Gabriele Stötzer, Vibration curve (Performance Birgit Bronnert), 1982

Gabriele Stötzer
Vibration curve (Performance Birgit Bronnert), 1982

Jonathan Meese

Francis Bacon, Three Studies for a Self-Portrait, 1980

Francis Bacon
Three Studies for a Self-Portrait, 1980

It is not only since the emergence of social networks and platforms such as Instagram or TikTok that self-portrayal has become an important part of social interaction. Who am I, and how do I present myself to others? People have been concerned with their own image since ancient times. Under the title ‘Self & Portrait’, the new CLOSE UP is dedicated to the examination of the perception of the self in art. Four works by Maria Lassnig (1919–2014), Francis Bacon (1909–1992), Jonathan Meese (b. 1970), and Gabriele Stötzer (b. 1953) reveal how artistically diverse the preoccupation with the self can be.

Discover the thematic focus online and on site at the museum.

Art & Politics

Armin Boehm, Untitled (Zhwar Kili), 2007

Armin Boehm
Untitled (Zhwar Kili), 2007

Dierk Schmidt, Xenophob - Schiffsbruchszene, gewidmet 353 ertrunkenen Asylsuchenden im indischen Ozean, 19. Oktober 2001, am Morgen, 2001 – 2002

Dierk Schmidt
On a case of intensified refugee politics, 2001 – 2003

Bettina Semmer
Olympia (German disasters series), 1985

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, theydirectly or indirectlyactively call upon us to take a stand ourselves.

Honoured with the DigAMus Award 2023.

Discover the thematic focus online.

Painting & Photography

Jörg Sasse, 7127, 2003

Jörg Sasse
7127, 2003

Wolfgang Tillmans
paper drop (window), 2006

Sigmar Polke
Ohne Titel, 1975

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.

Discover the thematic focus online.

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