Diving Deeper into Contemporary Art

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Finding Van Gogh

Close Up is exactly that – a closer take on a core theme in the Städel’s collection of contemporary art, as seen through the lens of a tight selection of works, each viewed and reviewed from different angles.

This approach deliberately sets itself apart from the typical one-size-fits–all collection display. The use of various analogue and digital media to explore original works of art allows viewers to formulate their own response to a burning issue in contemporary art. To enhance the viewing experience in front of the original artwork, Close Up also draws on the Städel Museum’s broad range of digital offerings in public engagement – from its Digitorials®, online courses, and exhibition videos, to the Digital Collection itself.

Each edition of Close Up presents a recurring, often veiled theme in contemporary art, exposing it to full view as if under a microscope.

The Current Edition of Close Up: 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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    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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    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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    Wolfgang Tillmanns, 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

Close Up Digital

The digital app for use in the museum enables visitors to delve deeper into the current topic: with interactive Q&As, audio clips from artists, and exhibition videos that augment the act of seeing the originals ‘in the flesh’. If something has caught their lasting attention, visitors can continue their own personal exploration of the topic later on, by checking out the Städel’s digital resources, such as Digitorials® on a particular theme or the online art history course.

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