German and American Painting - works from the Frieder Burda Collection
Museum Frieder Burda
Lichtentaler Allee 8 b, D-76530 Baden-Baden
October 20, 2007 - January 6, 2008
About 60 masterpieces shown in Baden-Baden: from Katz and Rothko to Schönebeck, Baselitz and Eitel
Baden-Baden. The Frieder Burda Collection embraces a comprehensive range of German and American paintings. Once a year, the Frieder Burda Museum endeavers to present core paintings from the collection in alternating exhibitions. This year, from October 20, 2007 to January 6, 2008, painters from Germany and the United States are in the focus of interest. The collection currently encompasses approximately 800 paintings, sculptures and drawings. Main emphasis is put on Classical Modernism and contemporary art. This new show comprises around 60 of the most important works from Germany and the United States.
Willem De Kooning and Clyfford Still
There are but few German museums and collections that provide such a huge number of high quality works by American abstract expressionists. Mark Rothko, Willem De Kooning as well as Alex Katz, Malcolm Morley, Damian Loeb and William Copley are only some of the American painters, the Frieder Burda collection can draw on.
Alex Katz, the lone wolf
Alex Katz, who was born in 1927, can definitely be called a lone wolf. He always stayed on the border of Pop Art. His fantastic, mostly large-scale paintings capture tender but unspectacular moments, giving them significance and duration. The four exhibited large-scale sceneries demonstrate Katz’s subtile way of reproducing the effects of light and shadow and reflections on water. An isolated cottage on the banks of a lake, an undisturbed clearing in winter, the lonely lights of an American City at night – all represent his predilection for removed atmospheres.
While Katz rejects photography as an aid for his protracted work process, Malcolm Morley (born in 1931) and Damian Loeb (born in 1970) don’t even try to hide the photograhical roots of their paintings. Though they get very close to photorealistic art, their conception of art is different. Malcolm Morley’s main interest is the act of painting. The afghane girl in front of a refugee tent (Tent and child, 2002) or the view on a halfway pulled down house in Brooklyn (House in Brooklyn, 2003) capture our interest above all. The fact that colour outranks motif becomes even more evident in the recently acquired painting Alice (2007), that has never been shown so far.
Damian Loeb and his references to movies
Damian Loeb (born in 1970) is the benjamin among the exhibited artists. His paintings recall video stills, to which he attaches a specifique presence by means of painting. Loeb’s intentionally irritating and erotic motifs instill fear and horror, as in Jersey Shell (1999), where the idyllic scenery is disturbed by a young girl that animal-like penetrates the apparent suburban calm.
Another artist who features extensively in this show is William Copley (1919–1996), undoubtedly one of the most individual and excentric artists of the 20th century. To differentiate from the sometimes meditative philosophy of color field painting, he imports a playful and ironic technique into his painting that professes his affinity to Pop Art and to Surrealism à la Max Ernst or René Magritte. In the last few years, the collection could be complemented by some important Copley-works, such as Nuit puerto ricain (1978) refering to a Francis Picabia painting.
Schönebeck, the rare specimen
Works from Eugen Schönebeck, Georg Baselitz and Dieter Krieg are shown in the upper floor of the museum. All three of them are Art celebrities with individual painting techniques and artistic understanding. Though, due to the fact that they grew up with a similar socio-cultural background in post-war Germany, they complement each other.
One will likewise find abstract and figurative elements. In the early 60s, Schönebeck and Georg Baselitz formed a successful partnership, they worked together and organized joint exhibitions. But then, in 1966, Schönebeck suddenly stopped painting. Therefore, Schönebeck’s large-scale paintings Mao Tse-Tung and Majakowski count among the most important and rarest examples of an œuvre that comprises only 30 paintings.
Young German painters: Tim Eitel, Eberhard Havekost and Frank Bauer
One of Frieder Burda’s main fields of interest is contemporary German painting. For several years now, the Baden-Baden collector has dedicated himself to the art of the young painter generation. Thus, about 100 works by young German painters have been acquired between 2002 and 2007, among them the exhibited Tim Eitel, Eberhard Havekost and Frank Bauer.
German artist Dieter Krieg (1937–2005) attributes an exaggerated importance to trivial objects of ordinary life. Bags, soaps, chimneys – they all gain an abstract dimension by his pastose way of painting.
Der Hirte (The Herder) by Baselitz
The exhibition also displays a small but exquisite selection of Georg Baselitz’s various work periods. The troubled and irritating art of earlier Baselitz is shown in Der Hirte (The Herder) from 1966. The artist’s oversized figurative motifs – „heroes“, herders, foresters – are seen as protagonists reflecting German history, as survivals within a world of chaos and destruction.
Collector Frieder Burda: „More than hundred years ago, Baden-Baden was known as Europe’s summer capital. My greatest wish today is to creat a centre of art that attracts and pleases as many people as possible and initiates them into art.“
At the same time as the exhibition of German and Americain painters, an exhibition of André Cadere, with works dating from 1971 to 1978, is shown in the neighbouring National Art Gallery (October 27, 2007 to January 6, 2008).
German and American painting
The Collection Frieder Burda
(October 20, 2007 to January 6, 2008)
The exhibition is accompagnied by a catalogue.
Baden-Baden, 7th August 2007
Announcement: Gerhard Richter (from January 19, 2008)
Due to the success of the huge Polke-retrospective in 2007, that combined three private collections in the Frieder Burda Museum, the museum decided to organize further exhibitions based on the same conception. From January 19 to May 25, 2008, a huge Richter show with important works from the internationally renowned private collections will be presented in Baden-Baden. The Baden-Baden show will be curated by Gerhard Richter himself. 60 exhibited works will provide an insight in more than 40 years of creativity, reflecting German post-war history as well as the notion of painting itself. The show will present the whole range of Richter’s excessive œuvre, from the photorealistic paintings to his large-scale abstract compositions with their fascinating colours and technical perfection, focusing on all the different painting techniques Richters excels in.
The exhibition is accompagnied by a catalogue published by Götz Adriani.