Ignasi Aballi, Peterli Abbing, Berenice Abbott, Ebtisam Abdulaziz, Kim Abeles, Margitta Abels, Maike Abetz, Jochen Abraham, Ivor Abrahams, Jo Achermann, Rene Acht, Thomas Achter, Udo Achterholdt, Herbert Achternbusch, Franz Ackermann, Max Ackermann, Peter Ackermann, Susanne Ackermann, Thomas Ackermans, Norman Ackroyd, G. P. Adam, Valerio Adami, Norman Adams, Robert Adams, Hans Peter Adamski, Silja Addy, Karl-Heinz Adler, Leonore Adler, Adochi, Affandi, Shahin Afrassiabi, After Bowles, Lewis After Nash, Duamier After und Philpon Aubert, Yaakov Agam, Valerio Agnetti, Pep Agut, Nina Ahlers, Frank Ahlgrimm, Jörg Ahrnt, Christiane Ahrweiler, Craigie Aitchison, Genpei Akasegawa, Yuji Akatsuka, Murat Akay, Mehmet Aksoy, Jaber Al Azmeh, Jan Albers, Josef Albers, Hermann Albert, Uwe Albert, Petra Albrecht, Ursula Albrecht, Pierre Alechinsky, Ingmar Alge, Sonja Alhäuser, Shirin Aliabadi, Eckard Alker, Olga Allenstein, Edward Allington, Fabio Cardoso, de Almeida, Carolina Antich, Ron Aloni, Pablo Alonso, Kamrooz Aram, Murshida Arzu Alpana, Otmar Alt, Navjot Altaf, Gerhard Altenbourg, Ernest Altes, Kai Althoff, Heiner Altmeppen, Martina Alt-Schäfer, Tariq Alvi, Getulio Alviani, Francis Alÿs, Gregory Amenoff, Gesa Amfelde, Ponirin Amin, Vanessa Anastassopoulos, Juan Carlos Andereggen, Michael Andrews, Degenhard Andrulat, Peter Angermann, Thomas Ankum, Adam Antes, Horst Antes, Emanuel Anthropelos, Birgit Antoni, Annapia Antonini, Ian Anüll, Richard Anuszkiewicz, Karel Appel, Dieter Appelt, Josef Apportin, Filippow Andrej Apressowisch, Shusaku Arakawa, Nobuyoshi Araki, Yusuf Arakkal, Emanuel Araujo, Manezinho Araujo, Allan d' Arcangelo, Elsbeth Arlt, Arman, Kenneth Armitage, John M. Armleder, Bettina von Arnim, Leonie von Arnim, Ludwig Arnold, Ulrike Arnold, Hans Arp, Eduardo Arroyo, Art & Language, Isabelle Arthuis, Richard Artschwager, Ewgenij Asanov, Young Ash, Dan Asher, Dieter Asmus, Martin Assig, Christina Assmann, Mustafa Ata, Christian Ludwig Attersee, Pidder Auberger, Walter Aue, Frank Auerbach, Gabriele Aulehla, Gerhard Ausborn, David Austen, Charles Avery, Jim Avignon, Joannis Avramidis, Gillian Ayres
Tang Da Wu, Reinhard Dachlauer, Ahmed Dahi, Isa Dahl, Karl Fred Dahmen, Walter Dahmen, Walter Dahn, Salvador Dalí, K. H. Dallinger, Arnold Mario Dall'O, Volker Damedde, Gunter Damisch, Bernd Damke, Klaus Däniker, Michael Danner, Anisio Dantas Filho, Hanne Darboven, Frank Darius, Volker Darnedde, Sunil Das, Gabriela Dauerer, Jiri David, Alan Davie, John Davies, Brad Davis, Ronald Davis, Verne Dawson, John Day, Biren De, Allan de Souza, Richard Deacon, Dead Chickens, Jacques Decaux, Christian Deckert, Dega-Komitowska, Anna Degenkolb, Helmut C. Degn, Michael Deistler, Jonathan Delafield Cook, Bruno Delahays, Robert Delaunay, Sonia Delaunay, Dellbrügge & de Moll, Christiane Dellbrügge, Alberto Delmonte, Nancy Delouis, Hippolyte Camille Delpy, Thomas Demand, Elke Denda, Karl Heinz Denning, Brigitte Denninghoff, Daniel Depoutot, Susan Derges, Martin Dessecker, Daniel Dessent, Hilke Verena Dettmers, Regula Dettwiler, Ilka Deutesfeld, Johannes Deutsch, Walter Dexel, Albert Dharmasiri, Rini Dhumal, Jessica Diamond, Antonio Dias, Christa Dichgans, Georg Dick, Bernd Dicke, Reinhard Dickel, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Bert Didillon, Hans-Jürgen Diehl, Dagmar Diekmann, Ulrich Diekmann, Rolf-Gunter Dienst, Burkhard Dierks, Gudrun Differenz, Renike Dijkstra, Sukriye Dikmen, Michael Dillmann, Braco Dimitrijevic, Jim Dine, Manfred Dinnes, Babette Dinstuhl, Wolfgang F. Dirtinger, Martin Disler, Thilo Distel, Hannelore Dittrich, Reinhard Dittrich, Otto Dix, Jan Dobkowski, Arpad Dobriban, Atul Dodiya, Boris Doempke, Walter Dohmen, Peter Doig, Jiri Georg Dokoupil, Christina Doll, Günter Dollhopf, Mirta Domacinovic, Gerald Domenig, Diego Donner, Piero Dorazio, Friedrich Dörffler, Johannes Dörflinger, Volker Dormann, Antje Dorn, Mortiz Dornauf, Helmut Dorner, Frank Dornseif, Sándor Dóró, Christiane Dörrich, Ugo Dossi, Stan Douglas, Ann Dowker, Tom Drake Bennett, Joseph Drapell, Marie Dréa, Klaus Drechsler, Margarete Dreher, Peter Dreher, Jürgen Drescher, Björn Dressler, Werner Drewes, Lynne Drexler, Paul Uwe Dreyer, Rowena Dring, Dr. Lakra, Felix Droese, Irmel Droese, Graziella Drößler, Blaise Drummond, Chris Drury, Anita Dube, Jean Dubuffet, Achim Duchow, Peter Duka, Ewald Dülberg, Marlene Dumas, Lesley Dumbrell, Brigitte Dümling, Carroll Dunham, Jimmie Durham, Karl Duschek, Georges Dussau, Edward Dwurnik, Marcel Dzama, Udo Dziersk
Heather Eastes, Ludwig Eben, Jörg Eberhard, Norbert Eberle, Hartwig Ebersbach, Klaus Ebert, Josef Eberz, Joseph Ebhöfner, Koichi Ebizuka, Bogomir Ecker, Borghild Eckerman, Karl-Heinz Eckert, Ruth Eckstein, Hajo Edelhausen, Martin Eder, Jeffery Edwards, Sylvia Edwards, Felim Egan, Joseph Egan, Franz Eggenschwiler, Herbert Egl, Otto Eglau, Jörg Eglinski, Ebrahim Ehrari, Barbara Ehrmann, Cornelia Eichacker, Erwin Eichbaum, Barbara Eichhorn, Maria Eichhorn, Henning Eichinger, Meret Eichler, Marianne Eigenheer, Lukas Einsele, Fritz Eisel, Jürgen Eisenacher, Stefan Eisermann, Frank Eissner, Tim Eitel, Jens Elgner, Olafur Eliasson, Elkita Lollipop EV, Wolfgang Ellenrieder, Tobias Ellmann, Artur Elmer, Michael Elsen, Irmgard Elsner, Max Elzholz, Tracey Emin, Hedwig Emmert, Bea Emsbach, Lisa Endriss, Peter Engel, Martin Engelmann, Ernst Moritz Engert, Barbara Englaender, Bernd Engler, Rigo Engler, Rudolf Englert, Leo Erb, Traudbert Erbe, Ulrich Erben, Wolfram Erber, Bruno Erdmann, Hans Martin Erhardt, Manfred Erjautz, Ayse Erkmen, Wladimir Erlebach, ERNA, Jupp Ernst, Max Ernst, Ero, Wolfgang Escher, Beate Esser, Elger Esser, Elke Esser, Thomas Essers, Richard Estes, Stefan Ettlinger, Elizabeth Etzel, Eun Nim Ro, Alexander Ewgenjewitsch Owsenjuk, Andreas Exner, Frank Eyre
Fraser Fair, Angus Fairhurst, Petra Falk, Friedhelm Falke, Monika Falke, Harald Falkenhagen, László Faller, Francisco Faria, Stephen Farthing, Joseph Fassbender, Larissa Fassler, Helmut Federle, Kurt Federlin, Friedrich Fehr, Karin Fehr, Cao Fei, Andreas Feininger, Lyonel Feininger, Gabriella Fekete, Gina Lee Felber, Hans Peter Feldmann, Antje Fels, Marina Ferretti, Rainer Fetting, Anke Feuchtenberger, Barbara Feuerbach, Feyyaz, Romulo Fialdini, Eberhard Fiebig, Michael Finch, Ossi Fink, Bernd Finkeldei, Bernd Fischer, Lothar Fischer, Ricarda Fischer, Steffen Fischer, Thomas Fischer, Peter Fischli, Fischli & Weiß, Birgit Fischötter, Christian Flamm, Barry Flanagan, Moyna Flannigan, Dan Flavin, Ralph Fleck, Lutz Fleischer, Helge Flemming, Sylvie Fleury, Jochen Flinzer, Thomas Florschuetz, Carsten Fock, Hermann Focke, Helga Föhl, Wolfgang Folmer, Andrés Fonseca, Lucio Fontana, Joan Fontcuberta, Günther Förg, Parastou Forouhar, Noel Forster, Karl Förster, Samuel Fosso, Harald Frackmann, Mark Francis, Sam Francis, Regina Frank, Robert Frank, Eberhard Franke, Jana Franke, Manuel Franke, Graham Fransella, Max Franz, Donald Hamilton Fraser, Till Freiwald, Norbert Frensch, Lucian Freud, Otto Freundlich, Lutz Freyer, Ulf Freyhoff, Gerd Frick, Helgi Thorgils Fridjonsson, Johnny Friedlaender, Gloria Friedmann, Hartmut Friedrich, Matthias Friedrich, Ute Friedrich, Milo Frielinghaus, Katharina Fritsch, Stefan Fritsch, Kunibert Fritz, Karl-Friedr Fritzsche, Dieter Froelich, Terry Frost, Tom Früchtl, Günter Fruhtrunk, Yang Fudong, Buckminster Richard Fuller, Emily Fuller, Hamish Fulton, Katsura Funakoshi, Sabine Funke, Albert Fürst, Martin F. Furtwängler, Klaus Fußmann, Futura 2000
Francesca Gabbiani, Amadeo Gabino, G. L. Gabriel, Ingeborg Gabriel, Twin Gabriel, Christoph M. Gais, Sally Gall, Anya Gallaccio, Anya Gallaccio, Ellen Gallagher, Harald Gallasch, Galli, Ulrich Gambke, Aurélien Gamboni, Gangart, Jaya Ganguly, Heinz Gappmayr, Charles Garabedian, Carlos Garaicoa, Petra Garbe, Bernhard Garbert, Wolodymyr Garbus, Hervé Garcia, Andreas Garn, Athos Garutti, Marcela Gasperi, Susann Gassen, Ottomar Gassenmeyer, Martin Gassner, Jakob Gasteiger, Sid Gastl, Thomas Gatzemeier, Karl Gaul, Winfred Gaul, Helmut Gebhardt, Marianne Gehrckens, Eckhard Gehrmann, Helmut Geier, Anna Bella Geiger, Max Meinrad Geiger, Rupprecht Geiger, Adda Geiling, Martina Geist, Dorothea Gelker, Adem Genc, Zafer Gencaydin, Isa Genzken, Nikolaus von Georgi, Tobias Gerber, Rose Gerbeth, Ludger Gerdes, Thomas Gerdesmann, Rudolf Gerke, Harrie Gerritz, Ori Gersht, Karl Gerstner, Martin Gerwers, Jochen Gerz, Richard Gessner, Jef Geys, Rafiee Ghani, Jean-Pierre Ghysels, Charlotte Gibson, Hubertus Giebe, Imi Giese, Jost Giese, Manfred Gieseler, Angelika Gilberg, Lionel Gilbert, Werner Gilles, Gaby Giordano, Juan Giralt, Raimund Girke, Bruno Gironcoli, Horst Gläsker, Jair Glass, Otto Gleichmann, Wolfgang Glöckler, Hermann Glöckner, Renate Göbel, Mehlli Gobhai, Jules de Goede, Claus Goedicke, Alfred Goehre, Reinhold A. Goelles, Hermann Goepfert, Bernd Goering, Ilona Goertz, Henri Goetz, K. P. Goetz, Beng Kwan Goh, Achim Gohla, Thorsten Goldberg, Nan Goldin, Andy Goldsworthy, Bruno Goller, Dieter Goltzsche, Dorothee Golz, Eugen Gomringer, Kuno Gonschior, Felix Gonzales-Torres, P. Gopinath, Douglas Gordon, Ulrich Görlich, Rainer Görß, Ludwig Gosewitz, Martin Gostner, John Goto, Udo W. Gottfried, Frank Gottsmann, Karl Otto Götz, Moritz Götze, Laxma Goud, Craig Gough, Andel Goy, Werner Graeff, Camille Graeser, Gerhard von Graevenitz, Franz Graf, Hanswalter Graf, Peter Graf, Friedrich Gräsel, Javier Grau, Gotthard Graubner, Tamara Grcic, Tue Greenfort, Carsten Greife, Otto Greis, Davey Grenville, Nathalie Grenzhaeuser, Ulrich Grenzheuser, Rainer Griese, HAP Grieshaber, Christiane Grimm, Wolfgang Grimm, Paul Bernhard Groll, Bolle Grölle, Joachim Grommek, Caroline von Grone, Jon Groom, Anette Groschopp, Carmela Gross, Erwin Gross, Gabriele Grosse, Hannes Grosse, Katharina Grosse, Silke Grossmann, George Grosz, Asta Gröting, Michael Growe, Ivan Grubanov, Otto Grübel, Hetum Gruber, Hans S. Grudzinsky, Ev Grüger, Gerlinde Grund, Andreas Grunert, Gruppe M, Andreas Gruschka, Ulrich Grüter, Johannes Grützke, Cordula Güdemann, Miguel Angel Guerra, Spera Miguel Guerra, Guiseppe Guidotti, Trude von Güldenstubbe, Mehmet Güler, Rose Gums, F. C. Gundlach, Irmgard von Gundlach, Josefine Günschel, Beate Günther, Willy Günther, Ingo Günthers, Frank Günzel, Andreas Gursky, Inge Gutbrod, Peter Guth, Martin Guttmann, Antonia Guzman, Alexander Györfi
Alfred Ibach, Shoichi Ida, Karl-Ulrich Iden, Leiko Ikemura, W. Illner, Samuel Imbach, Karl Imhof, Jörg Immendorff, Bryan Ingham, Tham Siew Inn, Callum Innes, Michael Irmer, Albert Irvin, Günter Isleib, Tomoko Isoda, Teruo Isomi, Goncalo Ivo, Gwyther Irwin
Bill Jacklin, Andrzej Jackowski, Joan Jacob, Anna Jacquemard, Urs Jaeggi, Hans Jaenisch, Bert Jäger, Michael Jäger, Justus Jahn, Roskang Jailani, Dietmar Jäkel, Alica Jakirovic, Klaus Thejll Jakobsen, Vladimir Yakovets, Sigrun Jakubaschke, Alois Janak, Evelyn Jansen, Georg Jansen, Gerd Jansen, Inka Jansen, Jürgen Jansen, Joachim Jansong, Horst Janssen, Peter Janssen, Iti Janz, Alexej Jawlensky, Constantin Jaxy, Iska Jehl, Edgar Jené, Paul Jenkins, Alfred Jensen, Birgit Jensen, Olaf C. Jenssen, Olav Christopher Jenssen, Wolfgang Jerg, Magdalena Jetelová, Yang Jiechang, Antonio Jiménez, Raimer Jochims, Holger John, Joachim John, Jasper Johns, Ben Johnson, Glenys Johnson, Michael Johnson, Christo und Jeanne-Claude, Mark Johnston, Allen Jones, Lucy Jones, Trevor Jones, Annette de Jonquieres, Asger Jorn, Jochem Jourdan, György Jovanovicz, Anne Jud, Donald Judd, Franz Julien, Hermann Juncker, Stephan Jung, Walter Jung, Bernd Jünger, Birgit Jung-Schmitt, Tina Juretzek, Ferdinand Just
Dieter Ladewig, Roland Ladwig, Marie-Jo Lafontaine, Jean LaGac, Wolfgang Laib, László Lakner, Peter Lamb, Andreas Lambert, Theo Lambertin, I. B. Lambrechts, Mark Lammert, Kirsten Lampert, Stefanie Lampert, Sonja Landberg, Sean Landers, Hannelore Landrock-Schumann, Christian Lang, Nikolaus Lang, Ute Langanky, Elfriede Lohse-Wächtler, Arthur Lange, Julius Lange, Richard Lange, Thomas Lange, Ulrich Langenbach, Gabriele Langendorf, Rainer Langfeldt, Berthold Langnickel, Eric Lanz, Simone Lanzenstiel, Christine Laprell, Wilhelm Lehmbruck, Patricio Larrambebere, Claude Lasserre, Maria Lassnig, Rüdiger Last, Jaafar b. A. Latiff, Reinhard Lättgen, Andreas Lau, Alfred Lörcher,Susanne Lauer, Christiane Laun, Istvan Laurer, Stefan Lausch, Uwe Lausen, Joach. Lautenschläger, Matt Laver, Max Liebermann, Giovanni de Lazzari, Christopher Le Brun, Barry Le Va, Markus Lüpertz, Dirk Lebahn, Camill Leberer, Walter Leblanc, Alf Lechner, Adolf Lechtenberg, Mark Leckey, Noori Lee, Seung Jiu Lee, Soon Joo Lee, Young Hyang Lee, Marko Lehanka, Dieter Lehmann, Jörg Lehmann, Wolfgang Lehmann,
Maha Maamoun, Thilo Maatsch, Angus Macdonald, Patricia Macdonald, Tim Macguire, David Mach, Jorge Machold, Heinz Mack, August Macke, Gerd Mackensen, Ian Mackenzie Smith, Heinz Mader, Tomomi Maekawa, Christiane Maether, Tomoko Maezawa, Tim Maguire, Alice Maher, Max H. Mahlmann, Mohd Noor Mahmud, Inge Mahn, Ulla Maibaum, Frank Maibier, Andreas Maier, Herbert Maier, Maria Maier, Michel Majerus, Frank Majore, Nalini Malani, Bertold Malchow, Günter Malchow, Eduard Malinowski, Martin Maloney, Dieter Mammel, Jörg Mandernach, Rainer Mang, Madeleine Mangold, Robert Mangold, Günter Maniewski, Oskar Manigk, Natascha Mann, Diwan Manna, Matthias Mansen, Richard Mansfeld, Paul Mansouroff, Robert Mapplethorpe, Tim Mara, Franz Marc, Gerhard Marcks, Christoph Marek, Clara Marek, Nicola de Maria, Marino Marini, Wasa Marjanow, Thomas Markowic, Rémy Markowitsch, Sarah Marrs, Neil Marshall, Barry Martin, Bernhard Martin, Jason Martin, Josep Maria Martin, Manfred Martin, Naofumi Maruyama, Kassab-Bachi Marwan, Antonio Augusto Marx, Karl Marx, Frans Masareel, Cristiano Mascaro, Steven Maslin, Thomas Mass, Satoko Masuda, Ewald Mataré, Thomas Matauschek, Alex Mathew, Henri Matisse, Martin Matschinsky, Ken Matsubara, Taiji Matsue, Sergio Matta, Wolfgang Mattheuer, Birna Matthiasdottir, Rupprecht Matthies, Jakob Mattner, Leonel Mattos, Barbara Mauck, Bettina Mauel, Timm Maul, Ph. Maurus-Bujard, Dietrich Maus, Almir Mavignier, Hans-Jörg Mayer, Ilse Mayer, Katharina Mayer, Maix Mayer, Manfred Mayerle, Doris-Frances Mayr, Volker Mayr, Chittrovanu Mazumdar, Paul McCarthy, William McCartin, Peter McClennan, Linda McCue, Jock McFadyen, Keith McIntyre, John McKay, Ian McKeever, Stephen McKenna, Ian McKenzie Smith, Susan McKinley, Bruce McLean, Bernard Meadows, Jason Meadows, Friedrich Meckseper, Robert Medley, Viktor Medwedj, Peter Meesen, Christian Megert, Volker Mehner, Julie Mehretu, Klaus Karl Mehrkens, Tyeb Mehta, Hans Meid, Ludwig Meidner, Jürgen Meier, Uwe Meier-Weitmar, Willes Meinhardt, Gildo Meireles, Michaela Meise, Sandra Meisel, Barbara Meisner, Otto Meisnick, Ulrich Meister, Georg Meistermann, Katharina Meldner, Michaela Melian, Michaela Melián, Peter Mell, Isa Melsheimer, Stephan Melzl, Memory, Martin Mendizabel, Felizitas Mentel, Raphaela Menzinger, Marc Mer, Julian Meredith, Florian Merkel, Klaus Merkel, Thomas Merkel, Albert Merz, Gerhard Merz, Mario Merz, Gloria Mészáros, Klaus Mettig, Hans Metz, Manuela Metz, Olaf Metzel, Sabine Metzger, Harald Metzkes, Meuser, Anna Meyer, Christophe Meyer, Horst Peter Meyer, James Meyer, Jobst Meyer, Matthias Meyer, Nanne Meyer, Thomas Meyer, Otto Meyer-Amden, Willy Meyer-Osburg, Erwin Michalowski, Robert Michel, Ueli Michel, Barbara Michel-Jaegerhuber, Margot Middelhauve, Helmut Middendorf, Rune Mields, Fabio Migues, Boris Mikhailov, Josef Mikl, Beatriz Milhazes, Garry Fabian Miller, Gerold Miller, John Miller, Tracy Miller, Max Milligan, Keith Milow, Lisa Milroy, Elisabeth Minke, Bernd Minnich, Marilyn Minter, Jean Miotte, Victor Mira, Joan Miró, Hermann-Josef Mispelbaum, Mi-sun Kim, Joan Cameron Mitchell, Tatsuo Miyajima, Martin Mlecko, Jan Mlynarczyk, Jürgen Möbius, Jiri Mocek, Peter Mocha, Heinrich Modersohn, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Charlotte Moerker, Latiff Mohidin, László Moholy-Nagy, Max Mohr, Michael Mohr, Tanja Mohr, Gertraud Möhwald, Hermann Moll, Ralf de Moll, Klaus Mollenhauer, Volker Möllenhoff, Gesine Möller, Lutz Möller, Otto Möller, Karl Möllers, Franz Mon, Cathy de Monchaux, Piet Mondrian, Akim Monet, Andrea Monhof-Berger, Jonathan Monk, Tilopa Monk, Pentti Monkkonen, Burkhard Mönnich, Daro Montag, Paul Monteiro, Oleo Montoya, Pitt Moog, Mick Moon, Henry Moore, Peter Moors, Rainer Morawietz, Pit Morell, Francois Morellet, Petra Morenzi, Michael Morgner, Wilhelm Morgner, Brigitte Morhard-Ehrlicher, Mariko Mori, K. Moritz, Sabine Moritz, Daido Moriyama, Malcolm Morley, Mario Moronti, Paul Morrison, Alfred T. Mörstedt, Alois Mosbacher, Kirsten Mosel, Ingo Moser, Maria Moser, Nikolaus Moser, Kirsten Mosher, Anna Mossman, Uschi Motte, Michel Mouffé, Mouly, Paul Mount, Zwelethu Mthethwa, Christiana Mucha, Reinhard Mucha, Matthias Mücke, Otto Mueller, Johannes Muggenthaler, Steffen Mühle, Elisabeth Mühlen, Kurt Mühlenhaupt, Laszlo Mulasics, Christopher Muller, David Muller, Alfred Müller, Christian Müller, Claudia und Julia Müller, Frank Müller, Harald F. Müller, Heinz-Rudi Müller, Johannes Müller, Josef Felix Müller, Knut Müller, Manfred Müller, Michael Müller, Peter Müller, Rainer Müller, Ralph Müller, Thomas Müller, Wilhelm Müller, Wolfgang Müller, Willy Müller-Brittnau, H. O. Müller-Erbach, Uwe Müller-Fabian, Helmut Müller-Kühn, Matt Mullican, Anne Mulrooney, Ursula Mumenthaler, Horst Münch, Ulrike Münchhoff, Wilhelm Mundt, Horst A. Münscher, Gabriele Münter, Hannes Münz, Volkmar Münz, Rolf Münzner, Muott, Takashi Murakami, Tomoharu Murakami, Kyoko Murase, Vasile Muresan, Jeanete Musatti, Gabriele Muschel, Reinhard Musik, Carlos Musso, Ben Muthofer, Peter Mutschler, Benno S. Mutter, Wangechi Mutu
Jiri Naceradsky, Benjamin Nachtwey, Afrassiabi Nader, Kunito Nagaoka, Daniel Nagel, Hans Nagel, Peter Nagel, Peter Nagy, Christa Näher, Todor Naidenow, Yukio Nakagawa, Entalura Nangala, Janetta Napp, Juljusz Narzynski, Georg Naschberger, Gerhard Naschberger, David Nash, Emmanuel Nassar, Piotr Nathan, Natraj, Ulrike Nattermüller, Hajo Naujoks, Bruce Nauman, Hermann Naumann, John Nava, Ernst Wilhelm Nay, Mindermann Nay, Otto Nebel, Ingeborg Neef, Betriz Negrotto, Hanna Rut Neidhardt, Klaus Neizert, E. R. Nele Riele, Nikolett Nemes, Oskar Nerlinger, Nadja Nessl, Wolfgang Nestler, Ernesto Neto, Mario Cravo Neto, Rivane Neuenschwander, Ernst-Günther Neumann, Hartmut Neumann, Max Neumann, Thomas Neumann, Klaus Neuper, Floris M. Neusüss, Flora Neuwirth, Louise Nevelson, Ng Yak Whee, Fionnuala Ni Chiosáin, Don Nice, Ben Nicholson, Uwe Nickel, Norberto Nicola, Carsten Nicolai, Olaf Nicolai, Heinrich Nicolaus, Yoshitomo Nara, Roland Nicolaus, Jeanette Niebelschütz, Martina Nied, Walter Niedermayr, Hans Niehus, Knud Nielsen, Kerstin Niemann, Sigrid Nienstedt, Ansgar Nierhoff, Jochen Niessen, Marion Niessing, Christa Niestrath, Simone Nieweg, Anatoliy Jur Nikitsch, Katsuhito Nishikawa, Minako Nishiyama, Hermann Nitsch, Martin Noel, Udo Nöger, Rika Noguchi, Lucia Nogueira, Emil Nolde, Cecile Noldus, Norbert Nolte, Sakiko Nomura, Hans Nopper, Günter Nosch, Not Vital, Brigitte Nötzel, Vladimir Novak, Timur Novikov, Inka Nowoitnick, Guido Nussbaum
Jutta Obenhuber, Oswald Oberhuber, Walter Obholzer, Kevin O'Brien, Martin Obst, Rita Obstoj, Marcel Odenbach, Ralf R. Oderwald, Hughie O'Donoghue, Albert Oehlen, Markus Oehlen, Edith Oellers, Hartmann Oels, Kathrin Oelsner, Richard Oelze, Michael van Ofen, Chris Ofili, Hilke Ohlhorst, Mario Ohmes, Shinro Ohtake, Tomie Ohtake, Yumiko Okui, Claes Oldenburg, Uwe Oldenburg, Dina Oliveira, Tessa de Oliveira Pinto, Paulina Olowska, Dietrich Oltmanns, Hikmet Onat, Jimmy Ong, Lucia Onzain, Willem Oorebeek, Julian Opie, Dennis Oppenheim, Meret Oppenheim, Anna Oppermann, Karl Oppermann, Tom Ormond, Gabriel Orozco,Chris Orr, Rudolf Ortner, Kirsten Ortwed, P.P.L. Osewald, Ernst-Egon Oslender, Ali Osman Gencer, Osmar Osten, Carl Ostendarp, Willy Oster, Andrea Ostermeyer, Christiane Ostertag, Fayga Ostrower, Aribert von Ostrowski, Jiro Osuga, Saburo Ota, Willi Otremba, Herbert Ott, Maja Ott, Heribert C. Ottersbach, Frei Otto, M. F. Otto, Michael Otto, Thomas Otto, Therese Oulton, Laura Owens, Vijay Ozo
Jürgen Paatz, PABU, Ana Maria Pacheco, Adrian Paci, Akbar Padamsee, C. O. Paeffgen, Susanne Paesler, Renate Pahlers, Nicolas Pahlisch, Nam June Paik, Suhaimi Pa'La, Mimmo Paladino, Blinky Palermo, Heike Pallanca, Mario Palm, Pipi Paloma, Liria Palombini, Panamarenko, Fritz Panzer, Klaus Panzner, Guilo Paolini, Eduardo Paolozzi, Bert Papenfuß, Jorge Pardo, Manu Parekh, Ronald Paris, Jai Young Park, Andy Parker, Cornelia Parker, Jürgen Partenheimer, Antonius von der Pas, Simon Pasieka, Victor Pasmore, Gieve Patel, Simon Patterson, Sybille Pattscheck, Celia Paul, Eva Paul, Peter Paul, Christine de Pauli-Bärenthaler, Bert Paulsen, Pavlos, Max Pechstein, Finn Pedersen, Claudia Pegel, Yan Pei-Ming, Max Peintner, Heinz Pelz, Werner Pelzer, A. R. Penck, Irving Penn, Pavel Pepperstein, Perejaume, Simon Periton, Thomas Perl, Manfred Pernice, Irene Peschick, Alessandro Pessoli, Bernhard Peters, Ralf Peters, Ricarda Peters, Oswald Petersen, Wolfgang Petrick, Wolfgang Petrovsky, Raymond Pettibon, Elizabeth Peyton, Jean Pfaff, Judy Pfaff, Karl Georg Pfahler, Erwin Pfefferle, Helmut Pfeuffer, V. Pflaumann, Erwin Pfrang, F. A. Pfuhle, Jens Pfuhler, Christine Philipp, Tom Philips, Peter Phillips, Frank Piasta, Pablo Picasso, Andrea Pichl, Walter Pichler, Otto Piene, Janet Pierce, Kirsten Pieroth, Stefan Pietryga, Monika Pietsch, Hadrian Pigott, Joan Hernandez Pijoan, Hernandez Pijuan, Hubertus von Pilgrim, Tobias Raphael Pils, Ascan Pinckernelle, Jerry Pine, Hartmut Piniek, Erna Pinner, Susana Piosco, Gudrun Piper, John Piper, O. Pippel, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Ma. Olga Piria, Cornelius Pirino, Entscho Pironkov, Evangelia Pitsou, Moses Pitt, Hermann Pitz, Nicole van den Plas, Platino, Hans Platschek, Amos Plaut, Borys Plaxij, Julio Plaza, Stefan Plenkers, Jaume Plensa, Fabrizio Plessi, E. Pleuger, Ute Pleuger, Beate von Ploetz, Rainer Plum, Reinhard Pods, Marianne Pohl, Pascal-Henri Poirot, Rudolf Polanszky, Serge Poliakoff, Annedore Policek, Sigmar Polke, Armando Pomina, Lorenzo Pompa, Susi Pop, Johann Poppel, Boris Pöppl, Brigitte Porsch, Michael Porter, Dieter Portugall, Charlotte Posenenske, Markus Prachensky, Wolfgang Prachensky, Heinz-Günter Prager, Om Prakash, Indra Pramit Roy, Norbert Prangenberg, Heimrad Prem, Umberto Prencipe, Inge Pries, Monique Prieto, Mojkin Prigge, Dmitrii Prigov, Helga Primbnow, Richard Prince, Bernhard Prinz, Walter Prinz, G. B. Probst, Gesine Probst, Patrick Procktor, Jane Prophet, Stephanie Pryor, Ulf Puder, Gesa Puell, Franklin Pühn, Albert Pümpel
Udo Quade, Domenico Quaglio, Sylvia Quandt, Bernard Quesniaux, Marc Quinn, Lothar Quinte, Imran Qureshi
Joachim Raab, Raabenstein, David Rabinowitch, Uwe Rachow, Thomas Radeloff, Norbert Radermacher, Anton Radl, Karin Radoy, Franz Radziwill, Markus Raetz, Ingrid Rafael, Kerim Ragimov, Michael Perera Rahju, Olaf Rahlwes, Susanne Rahmig, Arnulf Rainer, L. Rampaso, Luise Ramsauer, Peter Randall-Page, Thomas Ranft, Dagmar Ranft-Schinke, Roland Ranz, Gerd Rappenecker, Thomas Raschke, Olga Rastrosta, Matthias Rataiczyk, Hans-Helmuth von Rath, Udo Rathke, Neo Rauch, Renate Rauleder, Walter Raum, Robert Rauschenberg, Paul von Ravenstein, Man Ray, Libby Raynham, S. H. Raza, Anja Rechenbach, Joachim Reck, Wilfried Reckewitz, Jörg Reckhenrich, G. Ravinder Reddy, Peter Redeker, Ann Reder, June Redfern, Sigrid Redhardt, David Regehr, Ingo Regel, Paula Rego, Tobias Rehberger, Ulrich Reichelt, Hubertus Reichert, Christine Reifenberger, Erich Reiling, Christliebe Reinecke, Wulf Reinshagen, Jürgen Reipka, Cabrita Reis, Mario Reis, Michael Reisdörfer, Peter Reitberger, Michael Reiter, Norbert Reitz, Albert Renger-Patzsch, Karl Manfred Rennertz, Peter Repp, Lothar Rericha, Marco Tulio Resende, Gunter Reski, Erich Reusch, Hans Peter Reuter, Peter Reuter, Paul Revellio, Teresa Reyes-Lorca, Arne-Bernd Rhaue, Fritz Rhein, Dagmar Rhodius, Moira Ricci, Cery Richards, Olivier Richon, Christiane Richter, Daniel Richter, Gerhard Richter, Heinrich Richter, Klaus Richter, Ute Richter, Eva Richter-Paul, Christian Rickert, Karl-Heinz Rieck, Eberhard Riedel, Tilo Riedel, Tomas Riehle, Jürgen Riehm, James Rielly, Volker Ries, Christoph Rihs, Bridget Riley, N.N. Rimzon, Petra Rinck, Klaus Rinke, Jose Rios Pinto, Simon Ripley, Susanne Ristow, Matthew Ritchie, Thomas Ritter, Jorge Rivero, Larry Rivers, Carol Robertson, Dorothea Rockburne, Dorothee Rocke, Gerwald Rockenschaub, Peter Rode, Frank Rödel, Karl Rödel, Inacio Rodrigues, Rekha Rodwittiya, Peter Roehr, Jaroslav Rössler, Louise Roesler, Dieter Rogge, Sebastian Rogler, Ludwig Rohbock, Jochen Rohde, Wolfgang Rohde, Rita Rohlfing, Christian Rohlfs, Wolfgang Rohloff, Vera Röhm, Armin Rohr, Brigitta Rohrbach, Monika Rohrmus, Anke Röhrscheid, Andrej Roiter, Guy Rombouts, Lothar Römer, Ugo Rondinone, Julio Rondo, Ingo Ronkholz, Alexander Roob, Maya Roos, Julia Roppel, Bella Rosa, Herve di Rosa, Michael Rösch, Ingrid Roscheck, Julian Rosefeldt, Peter Rösel, Jenny Rosemeyer, Johann G. Rosenberg, James Rosenquist, Andreas Rosenthal, Bernadette Ross, Monika Rossow, Andreas Rost, Corinna Rosteck, Martin Rosz, Mimmo Rotella, Gaby Roter, Daniel Roth, Dieter Roth, Susanne Roth, Gabriele Rothemann, Beate Rothensee, Michael Rothenstein, J. Rother, Thomas Rother, Martin Rothweiler, Jan A. Rotius, Bernadette Rottler, J. Roux, Gautam Roy, Peter Royen, Ulrich Rückriem, Stefan Rueff, Thomas Ruff, Pietro Ruffo, Laura Ruggeri, Vera Rühle, Gerhard Rühm, Hans Christian Rüngeler, Thorsten Ruperti, Viola Rusche, Reiner Ruthenbeck, Andreas Rüthi, Christoph Rütimann, Ulrike Rutschmann, Paul Ryan
Jackie Saccoccio, Igor Sacharow-Ross, Masoud Sadedin, Hermanus Saftleben, Hirotoshi Sakaguchi, Achim Sakic, Anri Sala, Vera Salamanca, Hans Salentin, Cristian Salineros, R. Salmon, Salomé, Andrea Salvino, Gottfried Salzmann, Lukas Salzmann, Andreas Samaras, Judith Samen, Gilvan Samico, Rolf Samuel, Fred Sandback, Brigitte Sander, Karin Sander, Otto Sander-Tischbein, Willi Sandforth, Armin Sandig, Claude Sandoz, Victor Sanovec, Guiseppe Santomaso, Miguel Dos Santos, Santosh, Andrzej Sapija, Anton Stankowski, Sapone, Juliao Sarmento, Monica Sartori, Malte Sartorius, Makoto Sasaki, Yehudit Sasportas, Valeria Sass, Jörg Sasse, Ado Sato, Tokihiro Sato, Birgit Sauer, Cordula Sauer, Karl-Ludwig Sauer, Michael Sauer, Peter Sauerer, Matt Saunders, Robert Savoie, Hasim Saydan, Antonio Scaccabarozzi, Cornelia Schabak, Philipp Schack, Christian Schad, Robert Schad, Frank Schaefer, Christoph Schäfer, Heinz Schanz, Silke Schatz, Ralf Schauff, Konrad Balder Schäuffelen, Matthias Schaufler, Michael Scheffer, Wolfram A. Scheffler, Thomas Scheibitz, Hubert Scheibl, Doris Scheiding, Thitz M. Schemel, Karlheinz Scherer, Katie v. Scherpenberg, Ralf Scherrer, Friedrich G. Scheuer, Hans Scheuerecker, Rudolf Scheurer, Sigrid Schewior, Harald Schiel, Egon Schiele, Luciano Schifano, Diamantis Sotiropoulos, Klaudia Schifferle, Martin Schilken, Dietmut Schilling, Heiner Schilling, Hanns Schimansky, Ali Schindehütte, Thomas Schindler, Paul Schinner, Christine Schlegel, Eva Schlegel, Wolfgang Schlegel, Eduard Schleich, Cornelia Schleime, Friedrich-Daniel Schlemme, Oskar Schlemmer, John Schlesinger, Rudolf Schlichter, Thomas Schliesser, Manfred Schling, Jörg Schlinke, Christiane Schlosser, Chr. Schlosser-März, Eberhard Schlotter, Gotthelf Schlotter, Eva Schlutius, Hubert Schmalix, Louise Schmid, Martin Schmidl, Anne-Katrin Schmidt, Christian Schmidt, Enno Schmidt, Erik Schmidt, Jürgen Schmidt, Leonhard Schmidt, Michael Schmidt, Susanne Schmidt, Ursula Schmidt, Barbara Schmidt-Heins, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Michael Schmidt-Stein, Alexander Schmitt, Klaus Schmitt, Ludolf Schmitz, Nina-Barbara Schmitz, Wolfgang Schmitz, Margund Schmolka, Miron Schmückle, Carolin Schneider, Christoph Schneider, Gregor Schneider, Herbert Schneider, Jürgen Schneider, Klaus Schneider, Magdalena Schneider, Margit Schneider, Rolf Schneider, Klaus Schneider-Grimm, Christa von Schnitzler, Peter Schnürpel, Henry Schoebel, Michael Schoenholtz, Jan Schoenmakers, Frances Scholz, Günter Scholz, Roland Scholz, Andreas Schön, Eva-Maria Schön, Eugen Schönebeck, Bianca Schönig, Erich Schönig, Rudolf Schoofs, Jan Schoonhoven, Terry Schoonhoven, Renée Sintenis, Karlheinz Schrader, Henrik Schrat, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Ingrid Schreiber, Michael Schreiber, Johannes Schreiter, Adolf Schreyer, Bernhard Schrock, Hans Gottfried Schubert, Peter Schubert, Julius Wolfgang Schülein, Alf Schuler, Saskia Schüler, Annette Schultze, Bernard Schultze, Ursula Schultze-Bluhm, Christina Annemone Schulz, Gabriele Schulz, Jeanette Schulz, Kathleen Schulz, Tilo Schulz, Andreas Schulze, Volkmar Schulz-Rumpold, Emil Schumacher, Rainer G. Schumacher, Mira Schumann, Wilhelm Schürmann, Richard Schur, Helmut Schuster, Woldan Schuster, Petra Schütte, Thomas Schütte, Martin Schütze, Peter Schuyff, Linda Schwarz, R. Schwarz-Ehinger, Rudolf Schwarzkogler, Angelika Schwedes, Fritz Schwegler, Vroni Schwegler, Detlef Schweiger, Martin Schwenk, Paul Schwer, Stefan Schwerdtfeger, Bernd Schwering, Michael Schwill, Karl-Heinz Schwind, Kurt Schwitters, Norbert Schwontkowski, Edi Schwyn, Carlos Scliar, Tim Scott, William Scott, Sean Scully, Paul Seawright, Arthur Secunda, Peter Sedgley, Zineb Sedira, Daglef Seeger, Dag Seemann, Wolf-J. Seeselberg, Detlef Segebrecht, Francis Segond, Stefan Sehler, Peter Sehringer, Jochen Seidel, August Seidl, Ulrike Seilacher, Yoshiko Seino, Fatima Seitowa, Gustav Seitz, Roger Selden, Colin Self, Renate Sellesnick, Mariano Sellin, Beate Selzer, H. N. Semjon, Laki Senanayake, Ash Yeo Yeok Seng, Adrian Arthur Senger, Daniel Senise, Wil Sensen, Gio Di Sera, Jaroslaw Serpan, Richard Serra, Denis Serre, Christian Sery, Conrad Sevens, Wolfgang Severin-Iben, Hans-Martin Sewcz, Wu Shan Zhuan, Johnnie Shand Kydd, Joel Shapiro, R. Binod Sharma, George Shaw, Gulam Sheikh, Nilima Sheikh, Cindy Sherman, Sudarshan Shetty, Shibu N., Flavio Shiro, Carvien Shiu, Sumiko Shoji, Laxman Shreshtha, Willi Siber, Antje Siebrecht, Andreas Siekmann, Wiebke Siem, Hans Sieverding, Katharina Sieverding, Anne Sievert, Constanze Sigel, Roman Signer, Shahzia Sikander, Galina Silajewa, Bernhard Siller, Daniel Silver, Christine-Elke Siml, Francine
Mitra Tabrizian, René Tachmassebi, Norbert Tadeusz, Alberto Tadiello, Tomoko Takahashi, Yoshi Takahashi, Michio Takehara, Yuji Takeoka, Dafina Talmor, Rüdiger Tamschick, Alvin Tan, Fiona Tan, Swie Hian Tan, Atsuko Tanaka, Da Wu Tang, Mun Kit Tang, Volker Tannert, Antoni Tapies, Leon Tarasewicz, Jan Tarasin, Toeko Tatsuno, Gerhard Taubert, Vincent Tavenne, Sam Taylor-Wood, Matko Tebotic, Kai Teichert, Juergen Teller, Peter Telljohann, Susa Templin, Fei Teng, ter Hell, Maike Tersch, Hiroshi Teshima, Heinz Tetzner, Dieter Teusch, Niko Teuten, George Tgangala, Thalmann, Ithipol Thangchalok, The Ramin, Andreas Thein, Klaus Theuerkauf, Heidrun Thiede, Frank Thiel, Heiner Thiel, Fred Thieler, Cerstin Thiemann Takvorian, Ekkehard Thieme, Inge Thiess-Böttner, Peter Thol, Hans Thoma, Florian Thomas, Hans Peter Thomas, Norbert Thomas, André Thomkins, Estelle Thompson, Charles Thomson, Ann Thornycroft, Wolfgang Tietze, Jobst Tillmann, Harry Tilman, Joe Tilson, Reinhold W. Timm, Jean Tinguely, Dagmar Tinschmann, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Reinhard Tischler, Vasundra Tiwari, Gert Tobias, Imelda Többen, Michael Toenges, Mitsue Togawa, Wawrzyniec Tokarski, Sato Tokihiro, Peter Tomschiczek, Angela Tonner, Torrilhon, Pedro Tort, Eng Tow, Shigeo Toya, Claudio Tozzi, Tim Trantenroth, Barbara Trautmann, Ernst Trawöger, Matko Trebotic, Su Trembath, Petra Trenkel, Leif Trenkler, Elmar Trenkwalder, Anna Tretter, Gerhard Trieb, Hann Trier, Wolfgang Tritt, Rosemarie Trockel, Rudi Tröger, Luigi Troia, Heinz Trökes, Wolfgang Troschke, Heinrich Trost, Alberto Trucco, Florian Trümbach, Peter Tschan, Norbert Tschirpke, Igor Tschurilow, Werner Tübke, Barbara Camilla Tucholski, Richard Tuff, Peter Tuma, Selim Turan, Gavin Turk, Alison Turnbull, William Turnbull, Günter Tuzina, Ian Tweedy, Jochen Twelker, Cy Twombly, Dieter Tyspe
Raoul Ubac, Karl H. Ueberholz, Günther Uecker, Lee U-Fan, Max Uhlig, Piotr Uklanski, Hans Uhlmann, Micha Ullmann, Elke Ulmer, Dieter Ulrich, Heiner Ulrich, Kjeld Ulrich, Timm Ulrichs, Omer Uluc, Yu Mo Hung Umbach, Julie Umerle, Christoph Unger, Tomi Ungerer, Oswald Mathias Ungers, Sibylle Ungers, Karl Unverzagt, Hermann Urban, Rolf Urban, Ulrike Urban, Alba D' Urbano, Lesser Ury
VA Wölfl, Meyer Vaisman, Eulalia Valldosera, J-JVV Fils Van Verden, Franz Vana, Matyas Varga, Patrizia Varga, Paloma Varga Weisz, Victor Vasarely, S. G. Vasudev, Markus Vater, Ben Vautier, Mark Dean Veca, Stella Veciana, Emilio Vedova, Vega Bermejo, Klaus-Peter Vellguth, Stefan Velten, Hans Vent, Jan Verbeek, Daniel Verbis, Till Verclas, Carlos Vergara, Jef Verheyen, Charlotte Verity, Walter Verwoert, Amanda Vesey, Thomas Virnich, Visscher, Luca Vitone, Antonio Vitor, Rolf Viva, Bertrand Vivin, Simon de Vlieger, Jacob van der Vlies, Sandra Voets, Andreas Vogel, Harald Vogel, Matten Vogel, Heinz Vogelgesang, Richard Vogl, Alexandra Vogt, Andrzej Vogtt, Stefan Voigt, Marjan Vojska, Mathias Völcker, Bernhard Volk, Cornelius Völker, Otto Völker, Bernd Völkle, Hans Richard von Volkmann, Steffen Volmer, Alfredo Volpi, Herbert Volz, Wilhelm Volz, Friedrich Vordemberge, Gabriel Vormstein, Kerstin Vorwerk, Jan Voss, Bernd Vossmerbäumer, Wolf Vostell, Hansjörg Voth, Martin van Vreden
Thorsten Waak, Bärbel Wächter, Thomas Wachweger, Elke Judith Wagner, Jörg Wagner, Reiner Wagner, Rolf Wagner, Silke Wagner, Stefan Thomas Wagner, Hildegard Wagner-Harms, Anita Wahl, Frank Wahle, Sirko Wahsner, Martin Walde, John Walker, Kara E. Walker, Jeff Wall, Benno Walldorf, Jürgen Waller, Hans-Albert Walter, Jess Walter, Karoline Walter, Franz Erhard Walther, Johann F. Walther, Jutta Walther-Schönherr, Rolf Walz, Gerd Wandrer, Ernst Wanner, Ullrich Wannhoff, Andy Warhol, Herbert Warmuth, Viktor Warnetzky, Uli Wascher-Gutzer, Corinne Wasmuht, Sabine Wassermann, Etsuko Watanabe, Richard Watkinson, Alison Watt, Jean-Antoine Watteau, Isolde Wawrin, Raymond Waydelich, Gillian Wearing, Mary Webb, Ina Weber, Konstantin Weber, Susanna Iris Weber, Wolfgang Weber, Bürgel von Wecus, Christoph Wedding, Carrie Weems, Jagath Weerasinghe, Werner Wefers, Markus Weggenmann, William Wegman, Jürgen Wegner, Hinrich Weidemann, Claus Weidensdorfer, Seff Weidl, Horst Weidt, Cornelia Weihe, Caroline Weihrauch, Max Weiler, Lois Weinberger, Armin Weinbrenner, Lawrence Weiner, Willi Weiner, Felix Weinold, Matthias Weischer, Jochen Weise, Andreas Weishaupt, Clemens Weiss, David Weiss, Ian Welsh, Andreas Welzenbach, Trak Wendisch, Tilman Wendland, Ulrich Wendland, Karla Weniger, Jürgen Wenzel, Karlheinz Wenzel, Saskia Wenzel, Frank Werneke, Peter Werner, Theodor Werner, Thomas Werner, Martin Wernert, Birgit Werres, Katharina von Werz, Eckhard Wesche, Anna Wesek, Tom Wesselmann, Wilhlem Wessels, Franz West, Simone Westerwinter, Giso Westing, Olav Westphalen, Stefan Wewerka, Wilhelm Weygandt, Anthony Whishaw, Pae White, Rachel Whiteread, Wilhelm Wiacker, Sylvia Wieczorek, Gottfried Wiegand, Herbert Wiegand, Martel Wiegand, Suse Wiegand, Stefan Wieland, Daniel Wiener, Anna B. Wiesendanger, Solomon Wija, Ina Wilczek, Volker Wilczek, Albrecht Wild, Max Wild, Eva Maria Wilde, Frank Wildenhahn, Ludwig Wilding, Harry Wilks, Stephen Wilks, Matthias Will, Cory Wille, Ommo Wille, Ursula Willeke, Karl Willems, Victor Willing, Eduard E. Willke, Thomas Th. Willmann, Joan Willsher-Martel, Richard Wilson, Robert Wilson, A. Wimalasara, Gerhard Wind, Dorothee von Windheim, Ryszard Winiarski, Andreas Winkler, Gerhard Winkler, Hans Winkler, Gerd Winner, Rolf Winnewisser, Fritz Winter, Georg Winter, Gerd Winter, Konrad Winter, Wolfgang Winter, Lambert Maria Wintersberger, Icke Winzer, Jost Wischnewski, Adrian Wiszniewski, F. d. Wit, Walter Wittek, Josef Wittlich, Peter Klaus Wittmann, Heinz Woelcke, Claus Wohlgemuth, Johannes Wohnseifer, Thomas Wojciechowicz, Bernd Wolf, Daniela Wolfer, Barbara Wolff, Carl Emanuel Wolff, Ulrich J. Wolff, Wilfried Wolff, Deva Wolfram, Winfried Wolk, Ute Wöllmann, Wols, Sandy Wong Shin, Bill Woodrow, Valentin Wormbs, Walter Wörn, Troels Wörsel, Manuela Wossowski, Woyozudehot, Mark Wright, Fritz Wucherer, Wuerbs, Oleg Alexandrowitsch Wukolow, Inge Wulff, Katharina Wulff, Amelie von Wulffen, Mira Wunderer, Paul Wunderlich, Petra Wunderlich, Erwin Wurm, Sabine Wurst
Yaacob, Miwa Yanagi, Manijeh Yanegar, Toshihiro Yashiro, Catherine Yass, Gideon Yates, Iskender Yediler, Adam Yilmas, Yoshikawa, Mika Yoshizawa, Ahmad Khalid Yusof, Alias Yusof
In 2006, Yto Barrada made and photographed a wooden model that depicts for children how, millions of years ago, the landmasses of our earth formed a single “super continent.” On the map of the artist, who lives in Morocco, the continental plates can be pushed back together. This view into the past is also linked to a utopian promise—the vision of a world in which geographical and political borders no longer decide over people’s fates. Barrada, Deutsche Bank’s “Artist of the Year,” 2011 has committed herself to overcoming these borders, which has to do with the situation in her native city Tangiers, which she repeatedly addresses in her works. To thousands of refugees from other African countries, Tangiers seems like a place of hope—and waiting. Their goal, Europe, is only a few kilometers away; on clear days it’s even visible in the distance. For the majority, however, the strictly monitored Strait of Gibraltar remains insurmountable and the promise of a better life unfulfilled.
Snakes slither out of her Medusa’s head, which is adorned with mushrooms, shells, and pearls. In her hand, she is holding the mouth of a camel opened wide in a scream. With its strange marriages, Wangechi Mutu’s The Bride Who Married a Camel’s Head is typical for the work of the New York-based Kenyan artist: Mutu’s collages combine images from fashion, sports, and sex magazines to create hybrid, “exotic” creatures that are simultaneously human and animal, monster and machine. Mutu, who was Deutsche Bank’s first “Artist of the Year” in 2010, addresses issues of feminine identity in the fraught relationship between western culture and post-colonial history. At the same time, her collages explore the dreams and desires propagated by the global consumerist society and its effects: the ruthless exploitation of natural resources and a world in which the body has become a product.
A stylish young couple in a convertible. The oversized umbrella protects them from the vagaries of everyday life, symbolised by the cryptic abbreviation ‘PIT – 53.’ This stands for a Polish tax form which drives all who are obliged to file it regularly to distraction. State repression is also alluded to by the images of Polish punk bands. In the 1980s, they were frequently banned from appearing on stage. Car Mobile Collage is a typical example of Paulina Olowska’s artistic strategy. For this work, she reproduced pictures from newspapers in order to collage and then transform them into silkscreens. She then worked on these large prints with foils and crayons. Only few contemporary artists make such virtuoso use of the pool of images from art history and pop culture as this young woman from Poland. Socialist chic encounters Western modernism, propaganda meets advertising. All of Olowska’s works share the principle of montage, which opens up new perspectives on familiar images.
Tribal art in a matt-lacquered cabinet: With his overpainted photographs from a glamorous German furniture magazine, the young Portuguese artist Pedro Barateiro leads the viewer into the living room of a culturally interested citizen. Apart from illustrated books and other tomes his wall cupboard mainly contains African sculptures in a cool and elegant 1970s look. Major modernists such as Picasso and Braque were enthusiastic about so-called primitive art and used its powerful artistic language as a source for Post-Impressionist and Cubist painting. With the exotic notion of the “noble savage” who creates original artworks, however, a romanticized kind of colonialism found its way into middle-class homes. Barateiro shows how this view is continued in today’s conception of modernity: Concealed behind the no-frills retro aesthetics of living room décor is a modicum of cultural ideology and the still present legacy of colonialism.
The perm of an American disco queen, a helmet-like braiding on the head of an woman from ancient Rome, or the sculptural hairstyle of a Nigerian woman – in Cary Kwok’s detailed drawings from the Plumage series his protagonists’ haircuts seem larger than life. The artist, who was born in Hong Kong, immortalizes hairstyles that are both extravagant and identity promoting. This is not by chance. Kwok, a fan of the British cult band The Smiths and its charismatic singer Morrissey, studied fashion design in London, where he lives today. With his homage to female beauty and fashions of bygone centuries, Kwok has developed an alternative, glamorous kind of historiography. In Plumage he brings tother diverse styles and looks into a multicultural society of hair.
You don’t have to be familiar with Foucault’s philosophical writings to know that power structures and hierarchies play a significant role for each of us in day-to-day life, whether in a professional or a familial context. And so it’s no secret that it is tempting to exert dominance in an opportunistic way.
Sotiropoulo’s narrative leitfmotif is imperiousness and its side effects, for example Machiavellian dodges, ruthless intrigues, and narcissistic desires. “These things have always existed of course,” says the artist, “but today they occur without the slightest pangs of conscious, with breathtaking speed, everywhere, in all areas of life.”
Such pessimism runs through the entire symbol- and association-rich oeuvre of the heavy metal and punk fan Diamantis Sotiropoulous, who was born in Athens. In his work entitled “The strong did what they could and the weak suffered what they must,” he quotes in a slightly altered form a sentence from the Greek historian Thucydides, who soberly saw belligerence as being rooted in irrationality and plenitude of power. Justice can only prevail if there is a balance of power, the victorious Athenians say to the subjugated Melians in Thucydices, otherwise the following rule applies: “Those who are in power apply it as much as possible, and the weak have to be obey them.”
Starting from the canon of Minimal Art, Isa Genzken has developed a continually self-renewing sculptural oeuvre since the 1970s. She combines things and materials “as a matter of fact” and shows what it means to live in modern society. While Genzken, who has participated in the documenta several times, repeatedly radically reinvents herself in her work, with her sculptures she defines space in terms of its physical and social condition. In this respect, Genzken was akin to contemporaries of hers such as Bruce Nauman and Lawrence Weiner, and later to friends such as Wolfgang Tillmans and Kai Althoff. Given her earlier reduced works, it is puzzling that her more recent works such as Oil (2007) for the German Pavilion at the Venice Biennale and her installation Kinder filmen (2005) – to which the collage from the Deutsche Bank Collection belongs – combine luxury goods, trash, and toys into fragile assemblages. But those who want to understand her work should stop searching for meaning and simply look at it. Her collage posters show what the viewer then experiences: merciless contemporary mind movies.
Children are the focus of Yoshitomo Nara’s work. With heads that are much too big and mischievous, defiant, or even malicious looks, particularly little girls populate his pictorial cosmos. They are seldom kind and often play with knives or fire – figures who are a mixture between harmless picture book illustrations, comic book figures, and horror film characters. Even as a child, the Tokyo-based artist, who studied at the Düsseldorf Art Academy from 1988 to 1993, was interested in mangas and fairytales. In Nara’s work, there is a fine line between an ideal world and a dark one, and this is the case in his drawing from the Deutsche Bank Collection. Here a genderless fantasy figure floats above a landscape. Like a comet, the being leaves a trail of fire behind it, which is hinted at with just a few brushstrokes, and thick drops fall from its hands. But whether the creature with the strangely uninvolved facial expression is causing a gentle spring rain or a storm is left up to the viewer.
When one immerses oneself into the black and white maelstrom and is sucked into the exploding graphite panels of Julie Merit’s Mental Map one can find a lively description of life as it is: Landscape and societal fragments as well as abstract embellishments are set against each other in a calculated way to create a sense of tension, whose clear-cut meaning evades the onlooker, yet on the other hand they do seem to describe the profound miracles of life.
The gestures, figures and forms of Mehretu’s works are self contained constructions. As symbols, they unfold and develop intuitively from a psychographic experience, with the effect that even the smallest gesture alteration has an immediate effect on that, which they are intended to represent. Even though the emergence of spatial depth and complexity occurs, the pieces, by this New York resident Ethiopian, deny a progressive narrative, a vanishing point or even perspective.
Inspired by genealogical research in her own family, documents and archived newspaper reports, which are about cultural amalgamation, migration and war, Mehretu takes a look at the future whose structures she gives a new translation. In this way she tries to communicate her diverse experiences of cultural appropriation and self empowerment, partly as fact, partly as fiction which have been shaped by history as well as collective and personal dreams. Justifiably her ‘picture findings’ are seen as a ridge between surrealist ‘ecriture automatique’ and a baroque ‘horror vacui’.
Alÿs, a Belgian born in 1959, makes extreme demands of his spectators; be it either by buying a Beretta pistol in a gun shop and traveling about with it in his chosen country of residence, Mexico, or by pushing a block of ice through a town. Pistol in hand he used stop watch to measure how long it took until someone noticed his pistol in public (Re-enactments, 2000); he let the block of ice melt until only an evaporation trail remained: Alÿs continuously parodies the Western sense of efficiency. Without pointing the finger he alludes to predominant discrepancies in living conditions between industrial and newly-industrialising nations.
Alÿs activities, which he records in drawings and on film and are thereby constantly repeated, act as an ironic gesture with which he keep his finger in the open wound of disparate living conditions. He does a similar thing with a project entitled From When Faith Moves Mountains, recorded on paper, which caused some exitement. The artist enlisted 200 volunteers in Lima, in 2002, to move a sand dune with hand shovels. The participants not only made an appeal for collective action by what they did, but also simultaneously protested against, possibly subconsciously, against a general dolefulness and acceptance of the status quo.
Neo Rauch is not only one of the most important proponents of young German figurative painting, but also the first truly East-West painter. More poignantly than almost anyone else, Rauch, who was in Bernhard Heisig’s master class at the Leipzig Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst, captures the mood of united Germany after the Berlin Wall came down. His solo exhibition at the Deutsche Guggenheim with works from the Deutsche Bank Collection in 2001 laid the foundation for Rauch’s international career. With virtuoso skill, the artist melds the modern myths of the Warsaw Pact with the Western world in surreal dream scenes. American comic aesthetics meets social realism in a conglomerate of charged signs from the history of German reconstruction after 1945. In this painting Das geht alles von ihrer Zeit ab (2001) a train races past a streamlined toy landscape. But inside a compartment we see two travelers, one of them dreaming and the other about to hit him with a rod. Rauch’s mysterious allegory relating to the rapidity with which history is made recalls Goya: the sleep of reason brings forth monsters.
Water gushes from a facet directly onto a wooden dresser. Trulli, Italian roundhouses with jelly bag cap-like roofs, are suspended in front of a red geometric shape recalling Constructivist compositions. Since the 1990s, Werner Büttner has combined pictorial material from magazines and brochures to create absurd collages. The banal motifs provide disrespectful commentary on art history. The artist, who was born in Jena, started out in the Hamburg punk scene in the 1970s. Like his friends Martin Kippenberger and Albert Oehlen, he made figurative, non-expressive paintings. Unlike the Junge Wilde artists in Berlin, however, the Hamburg-based artists were not concerned with rehabilitating the genre of painting, which at the time was disqualified as being reactionary. Instead, their quickly painted canvases with dirty grown and green hues served to undermine artistic and societal conventions. With is collages, Büttner remains true to this subversive strategy.
No evening at the cinema is complete without those tough guys riding across the screen on their wild horses. We don’t even need that familiar cigarette hanging from their lips to identify them as the Marlboro Men – a stylised owl hoot in the background serves just as well. Christina Assmann dissects this modern myth with fine irony: her gigantic yet delicate watercolour is a self-portrait of her as a “Marlboro“ girl. A portrait of the artist as a young tough? On the contrary, she appears vulnerable, fragile, scarcely tangible. The watercolours have been allowed to run over the picture, blurring the figure’s contours and making the face unrecognizable, as if it had disappeared beneath a curtain of tears. Only the red oval border imparts an emblematic aura to the painting. “Marlboro altar I” is different: in these photographs the artist presents herself as a real cowgirl, dressed in check shirt and with her Colt by her side. She looks out from under her broadbrimmed hat, coquettishly inviting the observer to come into Marlboro Country and enjoy a good cup of coffee – to enter a woman’s Wild West completely different from that in the macho world of the Marlboro advertisements. The fact that Assmann really rides horses simply adds a further anecdotal dimension to this imaginary picture-book world.
Aripeka in Florida: a small post office, a tiny harbour, and a general store that sells everything from milk to postcards of alligators. This is where James Rosenquist has his studio. As a young man he earned a living as a billboard painter, working on gigantic advertisements high above New York’s Times Square. Today he enjoys international fame and is one of the first artists to have received a commission from the Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin. This exhibition hall, a cooperative undertaking between the New York Guggenheim Museum and the Deutsche Bank, has been presenting works commissioned from contemporary artists since 1997. In this setting Rosenquist’s monumental ”The Swimmer in the Econo-mist“ achieves the status of a three-dimensional installation, a room-filling storm of colour commemorating German reunification. For the exhibition in the Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin Rosenquist also designed his Paper Suit, an exclusive edition available in two different colours which is modelled on the 1998 Hugo Boss “Three Pocket” spring collection. The suit and Rosenquist’s personal influence finally led to a fashion show’s being staged in the Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin: “Art and Paper on the Catwalk” featured fashion made of paper rather than textiles: haute couture by artists. Rosenquist himself sat proudly in the front row of distinguished guests.
Every evening an employee of the Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt walks from the ground floor into the big trading room on the first floor to pull an electric plug out of its socket. This diurnal duty is in no way associated with computers, control panels, or similar electronic media; the plug in question is connected to a projector with a simple box of slides, an art work entitled “Nach der Natur I” (After Nature I), that is being switched off for the night, only to send out its beams of coloured light once more the following morning.
Unexpectedly, eerily, Olaf Nicolai’s illuminated window reveals the focus of his oeuvre to be the interplay between nature and artificiality. In the midst of the hustle and bustle of daily business, his miniature flora seem like a photographic fiction, an apparent affirmation of nature through its mere simulation. Surrounded on all sides by hectic wheeling and dealing, the conceptual character of Nicolai’s art is unmistakeable. His works are the result of careful planning which is not so much intuitive as analytical: their presentational aesthetics are founded on the use of words, signs and symbols, as well as on elements from painting. First presented at documenta X in Kassel, set off by lava rocks covered with greenery and by matching scenery, Nicolai’s slide box has found in the investment banking centre a home which only appears to fulfil the romantic promise of the work’s title.
Atlanta is the capital of Georgia and headquarters of CNN – a Coca-Cola world of shopping malls and skyscrapers that has blossomed into a major metropolis. Its progressive image is expressed in such nicknames as Hotlanta, The Big “A”, Capital of the New South, and Gateway to the World. Yet the city, whose population is two-thirds black, still has an old-fashioned Southern flair about it: surrounded by big tobacco plantations, it is a place to enjoy jazz and spicy arial, verdanan cooking. When Atlanta was chosen to host the 1996 Olympic Games, its internationally expanding profile was transformed yet again.
Whether Andreas Gursky came to Atlanta for the Games is unclear, as is where he actually stayed there. What is certain is that scarcely any of the city guides of that year even mention the luxury hotel that he documents in this photograph. Most of Atlanta’s best hotels are downtown or in the Buckhead district; a few are in Midtown or on the city’s northern outskirts. They are all modern – the oldest of them, however, is the Hyatt Regency Atlanta, which opened in 1967. Gursky’s camera angle captures the building’s symmetrical galleries, the development of the classical vanishing point, and the way that the latter is subverted by the two-dimensional image. Whether he is questioning the concept of individuality or using this gigantic geometrical composition to express power and poise is not so important as the way in which he reveals a new abstract reality in the picture behind the picture.
Have you ever seen pictures stuck over with dead butterflies, beetles and other insects? Or medicine cabinets, pill boxes and medical instruments transformed into sculptures? Or how about calves and sharks that have been slit open, placed in formaldehyde, and labelled “tank pieces”? All this and more can be seen in the works of the British artist Damien Hirst, who has a predilection for bizarre materials and who employs chemical substances in an attempt to stem the transience of matter. Hirst’s art deals with both natural and mechanised forms. Yet his treatment of these extremes is overshadowed by the recognition that death is both a part of and the natural conclusion to life. Hirst first began to create his “spot paintings” at the beginning of the Nineties. Originally the artist painted an apparently random pattern of grey and coloured spots directly onto white walls; later he used large-format canvases mostly grounded with white paint. On first consideration “Biotin-Maleimide” has possible affinities with the abstract art of Minimalism. Yet both the coloured pattern and the title of the painting evoke figurative associations; Hirst took the title of his work from a pharmaceutical preparation. The series of Smartie-like pills deals with social attitudes to both medicine and art for “I can’t understand why some people believe in medicine but not in art,” says Hirst, “without bothering to question them both.”
Faith can move mountains – especially the unshakable faith of children. The Children’s Crusade of the early 13th century is an especially tragic example of the consequences of youthful conviction. After its campaign against Byzantium, in 1212 the Church called on all the peoples of Europe to rise up and liberate the holy places in Jerusalem from the infidel. Many children and young people followed the cross, but for most of them the journey to the Holy Land ended in Genoa or Marseilles, from whence unscrupulous ship owners transported them to Alexandria and sold them into slavery. The Düsseldorf artist Martin Honert took this ill-fated crusade as the theme of a monumental 3-D installation that he created in 1997: life-sized figures step out of an illusionary landscape into the room, bent on conquest. Yet they step out into a vacuum, for from our perspective the fatal outcome of their visionary entrance is already determined. Honert’s art is always about memory, which has its origins in childhood and especially in the images of childhood, that flare up and die away again. The “Kinderkreuzzug” (Children’s Crusade) is about history as collective memory and at the same time gestures towards the artist’s own childhood, for the work was inspired by an illustration in one of his schoolbooks. The installation’s three-dimensional images are based on watercolours like this one that Honert duplicated with a laser copier. Yet even on paper the tableau begins to come to life.
The empty white screen glows eerily, flanked on each side by two tall palms that seem to be keeping watch over the ghostly scene. What appears to be a shot of a single surreal moment in fact documents a whole film. The Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto positioned his large-format camera in a perfectly normal American drive-in cinema, exposing the negative for the entire duration of the feature film. Thus all that remains of Last Action Hero or Sister Act Il is only an overexposed screen, into which you can project everything and nothing. The Deutsche Bank first acquired some of Sugimoto’s photographs in 1994 – for the Bank’s Tokyo offices. Photographs by one of Japan’s most important contemporary artists also found their way into the Deutsche Bank Collection in Frankfurt in 1997, when the new investment banking centre was opened. The art displayed in the centre was to be as young and dynamic as the investment bankers working there – hence the decision to focus on photography. The Deutsche Bank and Hiroshi Sugimoto’s art – accompanied this time by the artist in person – crossed paths for a third time in the spring of 2000 in the Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin when the artist was commissioned to create a work for the exhibition hall on Unter den Linden. His fascinating oversized portraits of Henry VIII and his six wives are as lifelike as the wax figures they are based on and endow the hall with the grandeur of a classical art gallery.
Almost every German has sat down to study them in detail at some time or other, probably around his or her eighteenth birthday: the pictures used in the written part of the German driving test. The Polish artist Wawrzyniec Tokarski has used these driving test pictures as the model for his 1992 watercolour. Tokarski, who studied at the Academy of Fine Art in Danzig, then in Stuttgart and Karlsruhe, has reproduced the situation almost exactly as it is represented in the driving test booklet, ironically documenting the system of regulations without which our traffic would come to a standstill. Is it not remarkable that people accept such normative regulations for the most part without complaining or reflecting on them? Tokarski believes that it is usually only a small group of intellectuals who opt to take another route. Rarely does the mass of people strive for change in political routine – as indeed happened in both Poland and Germany in the late eighties and early nineties. It is primarily the driving test pictures’ content, rather than their form, that Tokarski (who in 1996 was commissioned to produce works for the executive suite in the Deutsche Bank’s Warsaw branch) elevates to a new level of significance. In these watercolours one can also perceive the first faint signs of a new stylistic device that will be developed in Tokarski’s later pictures, films and installations: deliberate or chance forgeries, the interpolation of small errors and misconstructions.
Shortly after it had been hung up, one of the twelve photographs disappeared. Which picture do you think interested some light-fingered trader the most? Right first time: it was the yellow Ferrari. Fortunately its absence was only temporary because Swiss artist duo Peter Fischli und David Weiss quickly offered to replace the missing work. They have been working together as a team since their first joint project in 1978.
When the temperamentally heterogeneous pair first met in 1977, they were united by a healthy mistrust of artistic pathos and serious doubts about the sublime nature of art. To this very day, Fischli & Weiss remain united by an endeavour to discover the truly sublime in the banal – by constructing private models based on individual typologies that generate comparative explanations of the world. Their strategy of forcing comparisons between heterogeneous elements is ably demonstrated by the twelve pages of this calendar, which generate a whole network of relationships between the extremely diverse motifs assigned to each of the months. The artists have thus constructed a model for evaluating and exploring the complex conventions that govern general rules of taste.
In 1993, after moving into new premises in northern India, the Deutsche Bank initiated a large-scale art project to furnish its Indian branches with complementary works by regional artists and artists from the German-speaking world. One happy outcome of this international alliance was the marriage between the Indian art historian who was advising the project and the German branch manager. Thus today, in the sumptuously renovated Tata House in Bombay for instance, paintings by Arpana Caur find themselves face-to-face with works by the “Neue Wilden” (New Savages). In her “Time Image” the artist portrays herself floating above shaven-headed widows, high over the indescribable richness and variety of Indian history. Is she really “above it all”? Hardly, for Caur is herself deeply interested in the ever-recurring conundrums of space and time. In front of a glowing red sky she represents the fragile, gentle incarnation of female identity – which as in cultures elsewhere appears to be constructed of many different elements: the transparent sari and the white blouse decorated with heart-shaped geometrical ornaments evince heterogeneous influences. A tree in the picture appears to provide stability, yet all is in flux, all in movement. Even the heads rising like a flight of steps and the ritually cleansing holy water are witnesses to the fact that nothing stays the same.
His works have repeatedly given rise to violent controversy. It was even once suggested that Thomas Florschuetz’s works be taken down from where they hang in the Bank’s headquarters – some colleagues felt that such “explicit” photographic art on the corridor walls outside their offices was just a touch too provocative for their taste. But a face-to-face discussion with the artist himself quickly defused the situation, once more proving that talking about contemporary art can bring people to abandon static positions whatever side they take – and perhaps also lead them to discover new modes of perception. Thomas Florschuetz was born in Zwickau and moved to East Berlin in 1981; in 1988 he moved to the west part of the city. His “Verschwörung” (Conspiracy) was created the following year, yet this tripartite work does not thematise contemporary political and social conditions in the GDR. Rather, in times of political upheaval Florschuetz’s art work merely provided him with a means of making a living. The human body is the starting point and raw material of his art, yet the latter is a far cry from the body cult rituals practiced by Jürgen Klauke, for instance. Florschuetz ‘s visual approach to the human body involves isolating individual parts from their familiar anatomical contexts, combining them with similar excerpted details, and setting them side-by-side in a series of blow-ups. The shots of fingers, hands, feet and hairy chests thus lose their representational character and create that specific mode of perceiving the human body that the artist is aiming for.
“What is embarrassing or tragic is that women have internalised the supposed inferiority of the ‘typically feminine’. Art about women’s art is just as boring as art by men about men’s art.” A confrontation with Rosemarie Trockel’s works is never boring, for they are anything but examples of the kind of “gender-specific art” she talks about here. She merely appears to confirm popular clichés about feminine creativity – only to unmask them in the very next moment. In doing so she maintains an ironic distance. Rosemarie Trockel began to sow confusion in the art world with her “knitted pictures” way back in the mid-eighties. Instead of working with paint and canvas, she created gigantic panels covered with knitted fabric. Using such a material went clean against all conventional male-created notions of quality in art, while at the same time subtly refuting standard critiques of “women’s art”. Her computer-generated, machine-created knitted pictures challenge stereotypical concepts about arts and crafts and busy little housewives knitting away, not to mention idées reçues on the nature of femininity. In the knitted picture reproduced here, which hangs in the Deutsche Bank’s offices in Cologne – for many years the artist’s adopted city – Rosemarie Trockel uses the motif of the cross to send out a clear visual signal with a range of cultural connotations. At the same time she tersely asks,“Who will be in in ’99?”– what ephemeral trends will accompany the dying millennium?
When Günther Förg started his career at the Munich Academy, every morning he would paint a grey picture – a space that was cleansed, as it were, of artistic dogmas and concepts past and present. This space opened up for him the freedom which in the final analysis characterises his work. Today his daily work progresses faster, for the ground has been laboriously prepared by such pioneers as the Constructivists, the architect Mies van der Rohe, the painter Blinky Palermo, and the director Jean-Luc Godard. Förg believes less in originality than in teamwork between generations: “I continue to work on problems that always remain the same,” he once remarked, uniting painting, photography and architecture in his concept. For his art he selects locations that have a history and details that suggest certain continuities, as in the case of this photograph taken on the roof of the Cité Radieuse, built by Le Corbusier in Marseilles’ eighth arrondissement. Finished in 1952, the building, housing 900 people in 337 flats, was considered to be a “social laboratory”. The dimensions of the flats are based on a system of proportions developed by Le Corbusier, each module corresponding to a body height of 1.75 metres, 2.16 metres with outstretched hand, and proportioned according to the golden section. In 1987 Förg used the building’s forms and proportions to confront the demands of Modernism anew: to develop new standards and to define his own possibilities.
In the early hours of 7 September 1986, a low-loader made its way from Frankfurt’s Osthafen to the twin-towered headquarters of the Deutsche Bank, where as dawn broke a gigantic crane lightened it of its 66 ton burden. The 4.5 metre high granite sculpture was lifted high over the trees and lowered onto its plinth. After over three-and-a-half years of preparation, Max Bill’s “Kontinuität” (Continuity) was finally in place. Unfortunately the whole operation was slightly spoiled by a banal logistical factor: because high-voltage electrical cables hung too low over the final part of the sculpture’s route to its resting place, its height had to be reduced accordingly. Today Max Bill’s “Kontinuität” could probably have been created, as was originally planned, a full six metres high – and brought into place with the aid of a modern zeppelin.
Blasted out of a quarry on Sardinia, the biggest granite monolith in existence was first taken by low-loader and ship to Carrara, where Max Bill supervised its sculptural transformation. Finally completed in the late summer of 1986, the sculpture – representing a double-sided twisted endless strip – set out on its long voyage: by sea via Gibraltar, past Portugal, through the Bay of Biscay and up the English Channel to Rotterdam, and from thence up the Rhine and Main rivers to Frankfurt.
Two columns on the verge of collapse, two unstable architectural components – all semblance of regularity is cancelled out. Buildings lack roofs, yet are not they precisely the most important part of any structure, protecting as they do the inhabitants from the elements? In her 1985 exhibition at the Bethanien Artists’ House in Berlin, Inge Mahn once more deprived architectural space of its classical function. She had found a rectangular room whose traditional tectonics was manifested by two load-bearing Corinthian columns in the centre. To these she added three new ones made of plaster of Paris with palm-leaf capitals. Placed at a slight diagonal to each other, tied together like a bunch of flowers, the five columns appeared to cast aside their load-bearing function and to emanate light and grace: “They are not supports any more; they are plants, a posy, a bunch of flowers,” confirmed Mahn. This drawing also bears witness to the dissolution of classical architecture: arcades and columns are transformed into plant-like structures swaying in the wind – both sensual and brittle, complex and simple. Liberated from its stabilising, protecting function, architecture develops an unsuspected boundless, dynamic quality, for “when taken out of their context architectural components lose their function, are assigned new spatial roles, a different content, a new form. They become independent sculptural elements.”
Is it really a lipstick? Is Thomas Schütte really depicting that familiar accessory of female eroticism? This spontaneous assumption is right on target – almost – for in his works Schütte often plays with our sense of scale. The former pupil of Gerhard Richter baffles our sense of perception by circumventing our habitual ways of seeing, raising a lipstick – as in this watercolour – to the status of a monument. As in a stage setting constructed of architectonic elements, he blends the concrete and the abstract, irony and humour. At the same time the interplay of element and space creates additional associations, for reduction and contextual isolation impart to architecture a form of anonymity. This manipulation of scale is reminiscent of the Pop Art of the sixties, especially of the oversized sculptures of the American artist Claes Oldenburg. Since the mid-eighties Schütte has used many of his drawings as blueprints for large-scale sculptures which serve as vehicles for his biting criticism of consumerist attitudes to art.
The wrapping of the Berlin Reichstag by Christo und Jeanne-Claude in the summer of 1995 was without a doubt an artistic event of great international significance: for two weeks the building’s architecture disappeared beneath 100,000 square metres of fabric secured by ropes. The artists had started to make plans for wrapping a public building back in 1961. And when they first saw a picture postcard of the Berlin Reichstag – strategically located on the interface between East and West – they began to link their ideas to the historical building’s gargantuan architecture. But more than twenty years were to pass before the wrapping of the Berlin Reichstag became reality. During this period, Christo and Jeanne-Claude visited Germany 54 times and spoke with 352 members of the German parliament, soliciting support for their “Project for Berlin”. On 25 February 1995, the German Parliament finally voted to allow Christo and Jeanne-Claude to go ahead with the wrapping of the Reichstag. This two-part drawing from 1983 is one of a series of designs for the wrapping, proceeds from the sale of which were used to finance the project. It documents in great detail how Christo and Jeanne-Claude planned this temporary work of art. Christo’s ground plans and elevations provide a precise topography of the wrapping. The drawings also show how the material was to be folded, the cords knotted, and the rolls of fabric draped over the building, reducing it to a minimalistic object.
The ground shakes, a volcano spews forth flames, the world is out of joint. In his very first exhibition in 1959 in New York, Richard Artschwager presented nature as an alphabet of ironical distances and dimensions. One critic was especially impressed by the exhibition: Donald Judd, who at the time wrote for Art News, expressed his admiration for the way in which Artschwager’s watercolour landscapes of the American South-west appeared to dissolve subject and space. To this day, the aim of Artschwager’s art has remained the liberation of perception from daily routine.
It was chance that brought Richard Artschwager to art. He began his career in New York as a baby photographer and later studied under Amadée Ozenfant. Thenceforth he began to create carefully calculated arrangements that analysed the object and its significance as well as the concept of artistic freedom. A master of trompe l’oeil, he would often catch his colleagues and acquaintances out by appearing incognito at vernissages dressed in a dark suit – like an inconspicuous banker who was a stranger to the proceedings. Here too, at these exhibitions, the observer was confronted with the representation of space as a tissue of rapidly shifting distances and dimensions – that nevertheless, as in the case of the volcano depicted here, can rapidly be linked together into a conceptually provocative three-dimensional model.
The artist Felix Droese has remained socially committed and politically active to this day. Having created silhouettes and collages for some years, in 1981 he gave up his career as a landscape and cemetery gardener to devote his energies fully to his art. In both his paintings and his drawings he began to experiment with subject matter and materials, creating pictures on notepaper and drawing paper, wrapping paper, and calendar pages. Droese took his motifs directly from his immediate surroundings, from everyday life, and from the daily news. Many of his works recall Beuys, and he himself has never shunned this comparison, recognising as he does the strong influence that Beuys and his Düsseldorf milieu have exercised on him. Later Droese’s interest in religious icons bore artistic fruit. The son of an Old Catholic priest, he utilised expressive Christian symbols to create a new ritual iconography, such as became popular again in the eighties. Heaven and earth, fire and water are constituent elements of nature into which human existence is intimately woven.
Even as a schoolboy, Rainer Fetting was fascinated by German Expressionism, in particular the artists of “The Bridge”, reproductions of whose works he discovered in his father’s library. But it was Van Gogh who was the catalyst for his first major work. “Back then I wanted to paint a figure in motion. And I imagined a wall, the embodiment of rigidity, and next to it a figure moved by emotion. At the time I had just read Van Gogh’s letters to his brother and was sitting there with a bottle of red wine. And then the associations started, and I suddenly thought: that could be Van Gogh!” In 1978 Fetting set down his first portrait of the father of Modernism. There followed a comprehensive series of pictures bringing together such artistic giants as Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin. Seeking to release the greatest possible amount of emotional energy from a picture, Fetting took up his heroes’ palettes. Yet although his use of colour recalls the Expressionist tradition, his paintings are not simply the forced continuation of a historical style. Rather they represent the painting out of an expressive attitude to the point of exhaustion. Thus the giants of painting (the “Giganten” of the picture’s title) appear to have emerged fresh from a western saloon – gesturing ironically to the massive influence which they as “full-blooded artists” have had on subsequent generations, and symbolising a commitment to painting which, according to Fetting, has long been absent from contemporary art.
A museum attendant wins the German Art Prize for Youth. Thus begins our story – in 1966 in the Baden-Baden Kunsthalle. There the painter Dieter Krieg was earning a living by keeping an eye on the pictures – usually with his nose buried in a book – and spending his free time studying under HAP Grieshaber and Herbert Kitzel at the Karlsruhe Academy of Art. A decade or so later Krieg’s reputation as a loner is established: his paintings with their impetuously applied layers of bright, thick paint are indeed “wild”– but their wildness refuses to be lumped together with so-called “Heftige Malerei” (Vehement Painting). Like the cautious, reserved artist himself, his pictures cannot be so simply categorised. Such reserve does not usually make for lively conversation. Yet when in 1999 Krieg came to an art discussion held in his honour at the Frankfurt Headquarters of the Deutsche Bank, moderated by Klaus Gallwitz (who has advised the Bank on questions of art for many years), it was standing room only. Wine and pretzels somehow facilitate debates over chips, old mattresses, lumps of meat and other curios. How come I feel that my leg’s being pulled? – was the general tenor of the questions Krieg had to field. Yet even here he convincingly argued that an artist should be neither heard nor seen, and that his pictures should be allowed to speak for him. Thus the discussion concluded with general agreement as to the sensuous, challenging charisma of these works whose intoxicatingly eruptive effect on the viewer makes the experience both unique and unrepeatable.
Hermann the Cheruscan, Carl Maria von Weber, Alfred Krupp and Martin Heidegger – four figures from German history who could not be more different. United in Kiefer’s sombre portrait gallery with the Cheruscan leader, the composer, the industrialist and the philosopher are German poets such as Heinrich von Kleist and military leaders such as Albrecht von Roon. These woodcut portraits grouped around a blazing fire and covered with a network of black paint represent one of Kiefer’s “German Landscapes”. It is a historical, not a typographical, representation of German myths and symbols.
The central figure is the Cheruscan leader Arminius, who in a legendary battle in 9 A.D. annihilated three Roman legions in the Teutoburg Forest and in the 18th century was promoted to one of Germany’s national heroes under the name of Hermann the Cheruscan. What unites all the figures assembled here is their links to the ideology of the Third Reich: either they were co-opted and misused by Nazi propaganda, or else they themselves chose to serve its ends. The Hermann legend is a prototypical example of how a national myth can be used to legitimatise political power. In bringing together this heterogeneous collection of figures, Kiefer reveals the genealogy of German thinking and versifying, of the paths and pitfalls of universal wisdom.
Imagine yourself on a walkabout, navigating your way across the land of the aborigines without map or compass. Perhaps you might get some guidance from the complex pattern of relationships in this work by Australian artist Entalura Nangala. At first sight it appears to be some valuable domestic article fashioned out of pearls, but on closer scrutiny it reveals itself to be a Tjukurrpa, a “dreaming”. Probably created in Australia’s Papunya Desert, this painting in acrylics merges together physical and spiritual landscapes. Its content is sacred, occult, understood only by the initiated, those who have knowledge, though it should also be mentioned that Tjukurrpas are an important source of income for the artists who paint them, often their only such source. They depict past and present events; their forms and patterns cannot be deciphered according to any lexicographical system. The same set of concentric circles can signify a spring, a hole in a rock, or a camp, or even some spiritual entity, whereby the story passed on by the ancestral spirit intermingles with the present. In religious ceremonies, the deeds and wanderings of the ancestors are brought to life through singing and dancing, though installations and sand pictures spread out over the ground. These stories and song cycles contain all necessary knowledge about animals, plants and food, about medicine and morality. They serve both to pass on knowledge and to keep the past alive. Even today, they serve such practical purposes as locating water supplies or navigating in the desert. Entalura Nangala’s art too unites knowledge and existence.
“Think or leave!” Joseph Beuys warned his students in Düsseldorf in the sixties. A student of Beuys’ by the name of Jörg Immendorff took this warning to heart by developing a style that posited art as a catalyst of social change.
It was a style that incessantly and loudly declared its solidarity with the radical left, an attitude that was decisively confirmed by Immendorff’s 1976 meeting with the GDR artist A.R. Penck. Thenceforth he devoted himself to depicting the political and human dilemmas of a divided Germany. For Immendorff the representation of space thus took on new meaning – for he saw the arrangement and dimensions of space as not corresponding to any ultimate reality but as reflecting social conditions and phenomena. Colour too was no longer abstract but possessed an unambiguously social dimension. In a similar way Immendorf endowed traditional symbols and metaphors with new, politically charged connotations. When the Berlin Wall fell, the artist was only briefly at a loss for motifs. But today his works are no longer dominated by Communist icons such as Mao Zedong. For Immendorff’s radical critique of politics and society has given way to more measured reflection on the world around him, to a pragmatism which even embraces advertising for a famous fashion label.
As a preliminary to creating her “Paradieswitwe” (Paradise Widow) installation, in 1975 Rebecca Horn sketched the lady on paper. The installation also featured a 16 mm film and a video, documenting the wing-like movement of the widow’s feathered coat and voice-off readings from a diary. Five other such drawings are still in the artist’s possession – they too bear witness to her search for hidden sources of energy, to the lure of eroticism, its ephemerality and its perils. For the past twenty-five years, Horn’s secret desires, inner conflicts and experiences have supplied both the motifs and motivation for her work: “People must be shaken out of their lethargy,” says Horn, describing the motivation behind her kinetic sculptures. She achieved early success in the United States, where in 1993 the New York Guggenheim Museum put on a major exhibition of her work. “An enormous premonition of change” was in the air; body and performance art were much more advanced than in Europe. Artists were conquering new media and discovering nature as a locale for their creativity. Rebecca Horn revelled in this carnival of inspiration: “SoHo was like a big family.” She lived there for nine years; today her home is in Berlin’s Charlottenburg district – or in her studio deep in the Odenwald, or in her Paris flat, or on the road... Even during her New York time, her only cure for homesickness was to travel – and so it was that in Berlin in 1975 she created the two-metre-high, black-feathered framework of the “Paradieswitwe”, with room for just one woman inside, thinking all the time of a friend in distant Manhattan.
Surrounded by beautiful women, fine fabrics, extravagant attire and fast cars – the image of a modern Dionysus. Markus Lüpertz, the artist from Bohemia, and the Greek god have a lot in common: after studying at the Krefeld School of Applied Art and the famous Düsseldorf School, in 1966 Lüpertz published his manifesto on “dithyrambic painting” – a dithyramb is a choric hymn sung by the Baccantes in honour of their god Dionysus. Behind this metaphor lurk allusions to an unrestrained joie de vivre expressed in figurative visual images. For Lüpertz isolates motifs from their familiar contexts and makes them undergo an artistic reincarnation, not unlike that undergone by the god of wine. The objects depicted by Lüpertz – shovel, acorn, helmet and ear of corn – are laden with ritual significance, and the fact that he chose to deconstruct German national symbols in a period in which the country was being shaken by terrorist violence was more than merely provocative. Yet the inspiration for this still-life-like composition came during a prolonged sojourn in Italy, during which the painter conducted an intensively critical examination of Germany’s past. The suggestive arrangement of these emotionally charged symbols hit home: Lüpertz made a name for himself – or perhaps more accurately achieved notoriety.
Jürgen Klauke stage-manages his own life. His artistic material is his own body, his own self. In the early seventies, before “self-awareness” became the commonplace that it is today, he began to centre his art around his own individuality, putting himself on show with unrivalled insistence. At first he recorded his diurnal observations and fantasies in minute detail in his diaries, as if to constantly reassure himself of his own existence. Later he staged androgynous performances in front of the camera, mercilessly deconstructing sexual clichés.
In this photo series “Eine Ewigkeit ein Lächeln” (An Eternity a Smile) Klauke locates himself, a garishly made-up diva, in the twilight zone between the sexes, running through a whole gamut of emotions from lascivious smile, to look of disgust, to ecstatic scream and back to relaxed grin. Klauke’s exalted self-presentations function like distorting mirrors: the emotions, rituals and clichés that the artist acts out achieve through exaggeration a disconcerting, distraught lucidity. During a recent visit by the artist to the Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt, Klauke demonstrated that he has not forgotten how to discourse ‘normally’ before an audience: for almost two hours he held his listeners, assembled before his works on exhibition at the bank, under his spell.
Carlfriedrich Claus, born in 1930 in Annaberg, occupied a special position in the cultural landscape of the GDR. In contrast to most of his contemporaries he succeeded in side-stepping the categorical imperatives of Socialist Realism and in locating his idiosyncratic artistic output somewhere on the borderline between the fine arts and poetry. Claus began his creative career in 1951 with exploratory flights into the realm of experimental poetry, writing theatre and art criticism on the side. Through his “sound poems”, “speech sheets” and “tone constructions”, he established contact with other “visual poets” and thus gained access to the international avant-garde.
The West German public was first afforded a glimpse of some of Claus’ works in the “Movens” documentation presented by the writer Franz Mon in Frankfurt am Main in 1960, and in the “Konkrete Poesie” (Concrete Poetry) event staged in Wuppertal the following year. But Claus’ frequent participation in group exhibitions abroad stood in stark contrast to the muted reception of his work in his own country. In the GDR his work was unknown outside a small circle of friends until the late seventies. His first one-man exhibition there took place in the house of a friend, the musicologist Dr. Hans Grüß, to whom Claus dedicated this work.
In June of 1971, the Soviet space flight Sojuz 11 ended in tragedy with the deaths of three cosmonauts. Only two years previously, the Americans had successfully landed on the moon in Apollo 11. Humanity was fascinated by space travel as never before. “Star Quarters” is the title of a four-part multiple by Robert Rauschenberg, of which one panel is reproduced here. Not only familiar constellations frolic in the circle of the heavens but also Dürer’s rabbit, a high diver, a dog, and Muhammed Ali, who on 9 March of that year had lost to Joe Frazier in the “Fight of the Century”. “Painting has as much to do with art as with life. Neither can be fabricated. I try to operate in the gap between the two,” said this doyen of Pop Art, explaining the ironic intercalation of current events into his works. The “Star Quarters” may be seen as a continuation of Rauschenberg’s Combine Paintings, in which he amalgamated real objects with motifs from painting. But in this work the American artist was not simply bringing together art and reality. The technique he applies here – of using silk-screen printing to fix photographic images onto panels made of mirrored aluminium – created an effect which exercised a perennial fascination on him, and for which probably no more appropriate motif can be found than that of the starry heavens.
Two triangles, an oval and a square: Blinky Palermo referred to these basic geometrical shapes that were the hallmark of his work from the late sixties to the mid-seventies as prototypes or, technically, patterns. Each form was assigned to a colour, for the reproduction of which Palermo used silk-screen printing, since the latter ensured an absolutely homogeneous, uniform area of colour.
Palermo collated this vocabulary of forms in this portfolio of graphic art created in 1970 and proceeded to combine them into relationships. As may be seen in the exhibitions that the artist himself arranged, it is not simply the effect of each individual work that engenders significance but also the correspondences between the works, and between the latter and the room in which they are placed. Despite their individual autonomy, the “4 Prototypen” (4 Prototypes) form a harmonious whole, a line of verse composed of mysterious metaphors.
Figurative or abstract art? There seemed to be no middle way between these two extremes. In a spirit of defiance, Georg Baselitz, as he signed his work, moved from East to West and set out to develop his own idiosyncratic version of figurative representationalism, whose fractured, distorted forms led to the development of his “Kopfstand” (Headstand), relativising the picture’s content into triviality. Baselitz sought to focus on the process of painting as such and not to lose himself in the “nebulous emotionality of Tachist mannerisms” that he saw as characterising contemporary art. He drew this picture of the Hochstein, a hill north-east of Dresden not far from his birthplace Deutschbaselitz, in 1969, the year in which he began to stand motifs on their head. Although his choice of subject documents the continued attraction exercised on him by the countryside of his childhood, a certain remoteness exists between himself and his subject. For not only did the painter stand nature on its head; he also used a reproduction culled from a local magazine as the basis for his picture. For as he says, “Like writing things out in fair hand, the study of nature has never really come up with anything new. I do not believe that closer observation enables you to paint better pictures than the ones that already exist.” Thus this picture of the Hochstein is not an expression of a personal visual experience but rather a catalyst for painting or drawing itself, whose content is irrelevant.
1968 – a year that was to become legendary. In retrospect, it stands for an entire generation’s rebellion against sclerotic social structures. Youthful experiments attempted to turn all of society – from political structures to the family, the germ cell of society – on its head. Indeed, many of these experiments survived the prototype stage to become part of our contemporary status quo. 1968 – Sigmar Polke takes his box of watercolours and draws a black grid on a sheet of paper. He then fills in three of the grid’s cells with a single stroke of pastel rose, yellow, and green respectively. Merely a lapidary gesture made by an ivory tower artist unimpressed by the storms of social change raging outside? On the contrary: Polke had begun his subtle, humorous critique of the claustrophobic atmosphere of post-war German society way back in the early sixties, when together with Gerhard Richter he founded “Kapitalistischer Realismus” (Capitalist Realism) – a German version of Pop Art. As he explained in a visit to his studio, he developed the idea for this compositional pattern of three coloured cells as a subtly ironical statement on contemporary designs used for curtains or tablecloths. Incidentally, he added mischievously, he paints many of his own large format paintings on precisely these materials. This drawing from 1968 thus epitomises the ironic game that Polke plays with petty bourgeois aesthetics.
Uwe Lausen, a genius broken by life. His paintings and drawings, as well as his writings and music, deal obsessively with his angst and depression: “when I paint I convert my depression into aggression; only then I am able to express it.” Never considering himself an individual separate from his social context, for him the political and social movements of the sixties were an intense existential experience. When in 1970 Lausen chose suicide as the only solution to his manic depression and drug addiction, he left behind an artistic oeuvre that reflected both his own daily struggle against despair and the social and cultural phenomena of his age.
“Ich bin’s nur, Euer Sohn” (It’s Just Me, Your Son) – a traumatic scene impressively documents this announcement. On the threshold to the grown-up world, an eerie sight unfolds: a colossal father figure with exposed genitals shoos the unwelcome visitor out of the room. A faceless mass of flesh, the mother lies surrounded by an empty space relieved by only a few spots and rivulets of paint. In using his art to come to terms with his past, Lausen employs the drastic representational language of Francis Bacon combined with comic-strip elements from Pop Art. Yet his artistic impetus also seems to portend the “Wilde Malerei” (Wild Painting) of the late seventies. In this respect too Lausen underscores his uniqueness.
The same program flickering across a bank of monitors – these days a familiar sight in pedestrian precincts where in many a shop window all the TV screens are tuned to the same music channel. In 1965 the young artist Peter Roehr lacked the money to realise this artistic vision. Indeed, he never survived to see his vision become a familiar facet of our everyday lives; after a severe illness he died at the early age of 24. Roehr’s training as a manufacturer of neon signs made him familiar with the visual language of advertising. Although he left the Wiesbaden School of Arts and Crafts in 1965 with a master craftsman’s diploma in painting, he did not have much heart for such a career. His epiphanic experience was seeing a building site fence plastered with row after row of identical posters in Milan during a trip to Italy in 1963, which inspired him to pursue his concept of serially producing identical objects. His first attempts in this direction, the “typomontages” – devoid of any artistic signature – were created using a typewriter or an adding machine, on which Roehr banged out endless repetitions of the same letter, word or number – in row after row, column after column. Starting in 1964, he began to concentrate on “object montages”, creating serial compositions out of matchboxes, packaging labels and beer mats. Although he subsequently produced some sound and film montages, he continued to work in almost total obscurity. In 1967 a single successful exhibition of his work took place at the Adam Seide gallery in Frankfurt.
Born in Dresden, he began his career as an assistant in a photographic laboratory and as a painter of posters and theatre sets. Later he attended the Düsseldorf Academy. Yet Gerhard Richter was able to start a new phase of artistic creativity only after destroying his entire previous output.
After graduating from the academy he began to paint so-called “photo pictures”, cleverly manipulating photographs culled from magazines, advertisements or selected from his own collection of amateur snapshots. In photographing trivial everyday objects and documenting the flood of images that deluges us daily, Richter was principally interested in the motif portrayed. “Being able to paint what is fun to paint” brought Richter new artistic freedom. In order to paint this “Kahnfahrt” (Punting Excursion), with its historical aura, he projected a slide onto the canvas and subsequently veiled the picture in varnished oil colours. The resultant blurred image is irritating, since the conventions of looking at photography are overdetermined by fidelity to reality. Yet the painting’s “lack of focus” calls our mode of perception into question. For “what we call lack of focus is imprecision, otherness in comparison to the object represented. How, for instance, can paint on canvas be ‘out of focus’?” He thus convincingly demonstrates that a photograph is more than a faithful image of reality, and that a painting is not simply a vehicle of signification.
His literary mentors were Charles Baudelaire, Edgar Allan Poe and Stephane Mallarmé. By forcing the linguistic sign into the realm of images, Marcel Broodthaers staked his own claim for freedom and independence. Inspired by the works of Duchamp and Magritte and by the critical admiration of Joseph Beuys, Broodthaers created visual elements that provocatively call accepted images of reality into question while nevertheless remaining firmly anchored in reality, in social life and current events. When in 1964, after twenty years as an artist of words, he presented his first exhibition of plastic art, it quickly became obvious that he was still a poet and his medium still language. His first folio of prints, the “Orthographical Error (La faute d’orthographie)“ of 1964 (based on the order form used by the Galerie Smith in Brussels), is also characterised by an incomplete division between his careers as a literary and a visual artist. On the form a fictive buyer commits himself to purchasing Broodthaers’ publication. But what happens when such a contract contains a mistake, one that radically calls into question the artist’s identity? Who is responsible? The artist, the gallery owner, the visitor, or the reader? Even in this apparently hopeless situation the poet as artist opposes irrationality with his visual signs; he educates by example. For to Broodthaers art was morality, a practical dimension of the philosophy of the deed.
In 1963, the year of her first one-woman exhibition in the New York Allen Stone gallery, Eva Hesse was producing drawings charged with tension and nervous energy, although whither this energy is streaming remains unclear. Her intense paintings and drawings early manifested what was later to be the hallmark of her oeuvre: the dislocation of aesthetic unity. “They had wild space,” wrote Hesse of her drawings to Sol LeWitt in 1963, “Formal principles are understandable and understood. It is the immense unknown that is both my starting point and my goal.” In 1964 the artist accompanied her husband, the sculptor Tom Doyle, to Germany, the country of her birth, where the textile factory owner F. Arnhard Scheidt had placed a studio at Doyle’s disposal. For Hesse the trip turned out to be a nightmare: her inner agitation grew worse, she was extremely ambivalent about returning to her native land, and crises in both her personal and creative life escalated. In 1965, still in Germany, Hesse discovered new materials for her art: she created room-sized installations using latex, fibreglass, plastic and rubber, at last achieving the long-awaited artistic breakthrough. In retrospect this breakthrough has been somewhat mythologized, a circumstance in which the tragic facts of her own life may have played a role. At the age of three Hesse emigrated with her Jewish family from Hamburg via Amsterdam to New York, and seven years later her mother committed suicide. In 1970, at the early age of 34, Hesse died of a brain tumour.
He is one of the pioneers of a new figurative art. With the birth of his “Kopffüßler” (Cephalopod) in 1961 he self-confidently proclaimed a return to representationalism: after an absence of almost two decades, the figure celebrated its homecoming to German art. How did this come about? At the beginning of the sixties, Antes began to collect ritual and everyday objects created by the Navajo and Hopi tribes of North America. This collection, which is one of the most important of its kind in Europe, became the inspiration for his art. Antes adapted the rhythmic patterns on Navajo and Hopi ornaments and artefacts for his creations, but probably the most decisive lesson these cultures taught him was that it is the duty of the human race to preserve the earth for future generations. “To me the space created by Abstract Art was lifeless and inhuman, uninhabitable. I had a vision of creating a real space in which people can live and move around.” Starting in the sixties, this vision of Antes’ manifested itself in the ubiquitous “Kopffüßler”: a figure consisting only of head and feet, beginning and end, top and bottom. Although the early art of this student of HAP Grieshaber is unambiguously influenced by Informalism – blurred, agitated contours, faces that are almost impenetrable fields of colour – this motif was soon to become his trade mark.
The market is booming. Share prices are tumbling. Events that make or break shareholders – everyday business for the bank. But all this scarcely interested the 31-year-old Gerhard Hoehme when he left the GDR for Düsseldorf, carrying nothing but a suitcase and a roll of gouache paintings. He was fascinated by the consumer society of post-war West Germany. His critical reflections on capita-lism prompt comparison with Joseph Beuys. Hoehme too was a fighter pilot in the Second World War and was a prisoner of war until 1946. The period of his life during which he spent more time in the air than on the ground determined his sense of perspective. With the avowed aim of exposing the inner structure of society, he covered both paper and canvas with a haptic, collage-like painting style that opens up associative perspectives and that declares a work to be complete only when it has incorporated the observer’s impressions into itself. Following Hoehme’s constant alternations of form, colour and material requires a certain degree of mental agility – and quick reactions are also a stock in trade of share dealers on the trading floor.
In their search for forgotten or neglected industrial buildings they have traversed the length and breadth of Europe and America. They spend months or even years completing their projects – and it all began on the Siegen industrial estate some 100 kilometres east of Cologne, between the Sauerland and the Westerwald. Bernd und Hilla Becher have been together for more than thirty years – not just as a world-famous photographic duo but also as man and wife. They enthusiastically documented the half-timbered houses of the Siegerland, dating from the 19 th century, presenting them in sets, rather like picture puzzles in which the viewer is challenged to “spot the difference.” They photographed their subjects in undistorted frontal perspective, always in black and white, and always under similar conditions – the sky virtually free of clouds, with no shadows and in diffuse lighting, so that neither wintry vegetation nor the presence of a human figure throws the picture out of balance. The Bechers’ detached, timeless photography focuses on everyday cultural and social structures, for as Goethe noted: “We have the greatest difficulty in seeing what is right in front of our eyes.”
This is a picture with a history. Schumacher created the painting for the 7th Exhibition of the German Artists’ Association in Berlin in 1958. One year later, it was included in the artist from Hagen’s contribution to “documenta II” in Kassel. And in the “German Painting Today” exhibition at Rotterdam’s Museum Boymans in 1964, “Für Berlin” (For Berlin) represented a German art scene going through a period of dynamic revival. These appearances have been followed by several others to date, including one at the Städel art museum in Frankfurt. No wonder the painting is in so much demand. “Für Berlin” is a typical example of Informal Art, the predominant European art movement of the fifties.
Emil Schumacher’s painting evokes associations with geographic structures and weathered surfaces. Thickly applied mostly dull colours predominate. Hatchings and dashed brush-strokes cover the canvas, void of any figurative associations – chance manifestations like the traces of time. In the year in which he created “Für Berlin”, Schumacher described his technique thus: “I seize on a colour as I would bite into an apple or shake a friend’s hand. I tear a line of defence – or of attack – on the canvas. Colours and the inner states of being they create have held me in thrall since my childhood. I paint my picture again and again – this is my task and my delight.”
Art in the Soviet bloc had to toe the party line – as it did in the GDR of those days, where cultural orthodoxy preached so-called Socialist Realism, thus giving representational art a political advantage.
When the abstract painter Hermann Glöckner chose to remain in the eastern part of Germany after the war, he put himself in an almost hopeless position. His first large exhibition, which was staged in the Dresden Kupferstich-Kabinett in 1969, was vehemently attacked by the dogmatists of Socialist Realism, and only his advanced age shielded him from worse than verbal assaults. During this period Glöckner began to develop several techniques in parallel. Collage took on a new significance for him, as did monotype and graphic art – such as block printing and folded silk-screen printing. His consistently abstract works tend towards either Informalism or Concretism, as do these “Schwarze Dreiecke” (Black Triangles), whose form and colour avoid the slightest hint of opulence.
Hardly anyone has heard of an artist by the name of Gerhard Ströch, but after adopting the pseudonym Gerhard Altenbourg in 1955, he gained a reputation as one of the most original and important draughtsmen, graphic artists and practitioners of Object Art in Germany. The artist, who until his tragic death in an accident lived in Altenburg in Thuringia, adopting the town’s name for his own, was a master of restrained, almost introverted form. In 1986 the Deutsche Bank first succeeded in acquiring some of his works from among the massive conglomeration of drawings, wood cuts, etchings and lithographs that had accumulated in the house in which he lived with his sister. Today the Deutsche Bank Collection contains over one hundred of his works: interiors, studies of heads, and landscapes that suggest hidden depths and but vaguely perceived vistas. Altenbourg’s “Budenangst” (Claustrophobia), on the other hand, is unequivocal: the feeling of oppressiveness and numbness imparted by the picture is an unusually explicit expression of the artist’s own personal situation. Even the flowering plant on the table and the rabbit on the wall are not much help. The room is no less narrow and its inhabitant no less unnaturally stiff.
He was full of contradictions. Most of those who came into contact with him soon fell out with him, and those who survived one fight with him lived in fear of the next. But this “Airplane” created by Dieter Roth in 1954, is evidence that behind this violent exterior dwelt a sensitive spirit with a sense of humour though one torn by self-doubt. Driven by his inner demon, this native of Hanover walked a tight-rope between creativity and self-destruction. How often his works disappeared before his very eyes, succumbing to mildew, rotting away – pioneering Temporary Art as an international movement! Roth’s exhibitions resembled workshops and laboratories, filling entire rooms with his personal blueprints for a world into which he was incessantly researching. Roth’s universe fascinated not only on his fellow artists but also bankers. Enchanted by Roth’s oeuvre, in the late seventies the Deutsche Bank acquired a number of important works by this artist, who spent the latter part of his life in Switzerland. His art is characterised by revolution and dynamism. Indeed he required constant change, a precept which the Bank also followed when in 2000 its branch in Geneva decided to cancel an exhibition of a number of artists’ works and instead to present a one-man Dieter Roth exhibition, in celebration of the twentieth birthday of its art display – one of the first to be installed in a branch of the Deutsche Bank.
She is considered the only significant female representative of Abstract Art, though she first became known as the wife of the legendary Jackson Pollock, who was killed in a car accident. At the beginning of the fifties, when Abstract Expressionism was reaching the shores of Europe, Pollock was at the height of his career. His impassioned, impulsive art diverted the attention of the critics away from Paris, hitherto the centre of avant-gardism, to the American art scene – which up until then had been considered rather provincial. Pollock’s action paintings had an immediate epiphanic effect on Lee Krasner. For after she had seen these works bursting with spontaneity and physical inspiration she began to paint abstract pictures herself. She took pieces from her own works and fragments of Pollock’s to construct her collages. In her picture-filling “all over” configurations the whole work becomes one unbroken, boundless continuum that spills out of the frame. Krasner’s favourite motifs were her home town of New York and the solace of nature. Between 1953 and 1955, she created almost twenty versions of her “Forest” motif, which were exhibited in the New York Martha Jackson Gallery in 1958. Yet the concentrated, vertical texture of her “Untitled” reproduced here is reminiscent not of a cultivated landscape but of untouched nature, void of any human presence.
The group is legendary, and yet when one considers its influence on the German art scene, it is still comparatively little known: the “Quadriga”, consisting of Karl Otto Götz, Otto Greis, Heinz Kreutz, and of course Bernard Schultz. Their first joint exhibition in 1952 in the Frankfurt Zimmergalerie paved the way for German Informalism and secured the banking metropolis a page in the art history books. But the quartet were disappointed by the initial response to their work and, one by one, they left Frankfurt. Only one of them was to return to the city where his artistic career began: Bernard Schultze. In Paris he had explored the international art scene, making the acquaintance of Sam Francis and Jackson Pollock and their works. The former “was for us a decisive influence. A little later we came across Wols, and he became our patron saint.” Wols’ ”disciple“ Schulze proceeded to produce whole series of wild, chaotic paintings. The proliferating, insistent style of the earlier paintings and drawings from the “Quadriga” era later developed into vibrant wall sculptures, the so-called “Migofs”, in which net motifs and interwoven lines proliferated into the third dimension. Schultze has remained faithful to the spirit of Informalism to this day – and his reputation has spread far beyond the museums and galleries of Frankfurt.
He referred affectionately to the guiding light of the “Art at Work” project as an “old capitalist”. Yet artist Joseph Beuys and former board member Herbert Zapp had more than a fine sense of irony in common; their relationship was characterised by both humour and mutual respect. When the two of them drove to Mannheim for the opening of a Beuys exhibition, for instance, Zapp generously turned over his chauffeured limousine to the artist, while he himself took the wheel of the accompanying security car. But it was another personality who had introduced Beuys to the Bank – many years before. Long before Herbert Zapp’s time, the former chairman of the board Hermann J. Abs had exercised his influence on behalf of this fascinating artist. Abs and Zapp, who jointly determined the character of the Bank’s Collection at the end of the seventies, finally initiated the spectacular purchase of the comprehensive series of Beuys drawings that includes. “Die Geheimnisse” (The Secrets) reproduced here. Beuys’ extraordinary influence, which is not limited to art and culture, is still beyond question. For the special quality of his work lies in its ability to make one conscious of – and scrutinise – the foundations of one’s own conduct.
In this drawing the Austrian artist Maria Lassnig portrays her countryman and former friend Arnulf Rainer in dandy-like pose. In contrast to her fellow artist she led a rather unspectacular, lonely life. The starting point for all of her work was what she called “body awareness”: “Daily life covers one like a layer. Only when the world is stronger than myself do I know in advance what I am going to paint.” Lassnig cultivated this preoccupation with her inner self during prolonged sojourns abroad. From 1961 to 1968 she lived in Paris, and subsequently for twelve years in New York. During this time she created numerous portraits which evoke the emotions and sensations awakened by body awareness. In her search for authenticity, the artist’s own body served “as a source of knowledge, as both instrument for and object of self-knowledge, and as a model for experiencing the world in general.”
In 1980 Lassnig, who had just returned from New York to her native Austria, was appointed to a professorship at the College of Applied Art in Vienna. Her days as a loner were over; Lassnig became internationally famous and the recipient of numerous awards. She commented on her first exhibition in the Amsterdam Stedelijk in 1994 with typical understatement as “certainly an honour, for a woman seldom gets to enter these hallowed halls.”
On 7 January 1986 Herbert Zapp, then a member of the board of directors at the Deutsche Bank, presented his colleagues with a late New Year’s Day present when he purchased this small, fragile-looking work by Julius Bissier for the Bank’s collection. Although the date is really not particularly important in this particular case, dates played a central role in Bissier’s own creative achievement. For many years the artist, who was born in Freiburg im Breisgau, kept a detailed diary that provides fascinating insights into his creative work. In the twenties his friendship with the sinologist Ernst Grosse Bissier led to an intensive preoccupation with eastern Asian art and philosophy, and to the creation of a large number of calligraphic drawings executed in Indian ink: “Each calligraphic symbol is a witness to life – to its own life. Thus the date of execution, which is an integral part of the drawing, is important because it records that moment in life to which the drawing bears witness,” according to a review of his work. His friendships with such artists as Willi Baumeister, Oskar Schlemmer and Hans Arp in the fifties inspired Bissier to develop his own characteristic style: the monotype – each one clearly marked with the date of its creation.
“I am delighted at the progress you are making. I find that you are also making great strides in the use of abstract forms,” wrote Wassily Kandinsky in 1933 to Werner Drewes, whose acquaintance he had made during the latter’s studies at the Bauhaus. Drewes recalls: “In Stuttgart I saw my first exhibition of Abstract Art – works by the Frenchman Laurent. He told me about the Bauhaus. I was very struck by the idea of artists from different disciplines working together, for I was thinking along similar lines: it is not enough to master just one art form; one should master a number of complementary art forms. I applied for a place at the Bauhaus. After Walter Gropius had scrutinised my work, I was accepted.” In 1930 Drewes emigrated to the United States, where he first worked at Columbia University in New York and later, until 1945, at Brooklyn College. There he created this “composition” which, despite its abstract style, is reminiscent of a moonlit lake with boats bobbing on the water. “In each work,” wrote Drewes, “my art is motivated by the urge to create and make visible personal thoughts or moods such as joy, love, despair or the search for unknown worlds. Art is a world with its own laws, no matter whether that art is realistic or abstract. Our task is to create new universes within these laws and to fill them with the experiences of our life. When they convincingly reflect the wisdom and violence of the soul, a work of art is born.”
A Swabian in Hesse: believe it or not, the combination turned out to be fortuitous. Not only have many of Willi Baumeister’s works found a home in Frankfurt; this native of Stuttgart also spent a number of years in this metropolis on the Main. From 1928 to 1933, he taught typography at Frankfurt’s Städel Art Institute, where he made the acquaintance of Julius Bissier. The latter described Baumeister’s studio in the institute as “a snow-white room that looked like a chemist’s laboratory.” The Swabian artist was famed for his meticulousness: since the thirties he had carefully filed away all kinds of documents ranging from photographs to bus tickets. At the outbreak of World War Two, Baumeister returned to his native city. There began a time of artistic hibernation, for in contrast to many of his artistic colleagues Baumeister did not leave Germany, choosing instead “inner emigration”. He worked on his book “Das Unbekannte in der Kunst” (The Unknown in Art) published in 1947 and establishing his reputation as one of the most important art theoreticians of the post-war period. During these years Baumeister was intensely preoccupied in studying the ancient Babylonian “Epic of Gilgamesh”. The fate of the king and of his adoptive brother Enkidu is the central motif of the 64 drawings in his “Gilgamesh” cycle. His art helped him to survive the terrible years of the war: “Art conveys the concept of freedom. Boundaries are dissolved and the stream of life gushes forth over newly revealed regions of existence.”
In 1915 Hans Arp formulated his artistic credo as “to produce not to reproduce.” The Swiss artist took nature as his model, seeing his artistic creations as analogous to the growth processes observable in nature. Taking biomorphous forms as his ideal, Arp refashioned them into abstract, poetic, sometimes ironic compositions. The boundaries between the human world and nature seem to be dissolved by a visual symbolism that reflects Arp’s desire to effect a reconciliation between the two. The artist created variations on the “cosmic forms” which he saw as the basic elements of his art, producing both delicate, filigree drawings and also massive sculptures that nevertheless maintain a certain lightness of being. One of his bronze sculptures, “Ptolemy III”, is part of the Deutsche Bank Collection. Located in the entrance hall of the bank’s twin-towered headquarters in Frankfurt, it provides a link to a sculpture created by another Swiss artist rooted in the same tradition, Max Bill’s endless loop “Kontinuität” (Continuity), which stands just outside the building’s front entrance. In retrospect, the fact that Arp was a co-founder of the Zürich Dada movement in 1916 and a vehement opponent of all forms of academic art and bourgeois aesthetics appears as an irony of history, a paradigm of the fate of avant-garde art. For in the fifties Arp’s artistic forms entered mainstream culture in the form of kidney-shaped living room tables and wallpaper patterns – mindless décor to beautify bourgeois interiors.
Wols, born Otto Wolfgang Schulze in Berlin in 1913, is considered a forerunner of “Art Informel”– that French art movement whose subjective, sensitive abstractionism sought to counter the despairing inarticulateness of the post-war period. Wols had already left Germany, where he met the Hungarian artist László Moholy-Nagy, at the end of 1932. He went to Paris to do a little painting and writing, but above all to take pictures. During a prolonged sojourn in Spain in 1935, he was arrested in Barcelona because of his critical political stance. After his release, he returned to Paris to pursue a very successful career as a photographer: in 1936 the first exhibition of his works was opened, and in 1937 he was engaged as the official photographer of the Paris “Exposition internationale”. But these early triumphs were abruptly eclipsed by the outbreak of the Second World War: interned in 1939, Wols escaped and spent the rest of the war working in the French underground movement. His health ruined by alcohol, for which he had developed a taste during his internment, he died in 1951 at the early age of 38. As is evident from the subject, the composition and the style, this delicate watercolour from the Deutsche Bank Collection was executed during his imprisonment in France. It depicts a landscape at once poetic and morbid, suggesting at least on paper a – deceptive – lightness of being.
In 1938, Raoul Ubac’s photographic work already anticipated much of what Tachism would set forth after the Second World War—the spontaneous translation of inner states into abstract painterly gestures. Already in the early 1930s, the Belgian artist maintained close contact to the inner circle of the Parisian Surrealists, who had a similar affinity to the subconscious. In his experimental photographic works, Ubac used techniques such as distortion, solarization, and montage to visualize phenomena beyond visible reality. And he had great success: his works were published on a regular basis in the magazine Minotaure, the most important forum of the “Surrealist revolution.” In the mid-1940s, Ubac departed from both Surrealism and photography to dedicate himself to abstract painting. He also designed wall mosaics and church windows.
In 1933 he was still optimistic: “The darker it gets outside, the brighter the colours I use.” But by then Fritz Winter’s works had not been exhibited in public for some years. Nevertheless he continued to work, masquerading as a wood carver, until he was called up for military service in 1939, in the Drießener Haus on the Ammersee. There he created a large number of abstract compositions, almost unnoticed by the outside world.
Today Winter’s work is paradigmatic for both the qualities inherent in and the dangers faced by the generation of artists attempting to make a new start after 1945, who having exhausted the creative potential of Germany’s Hour Zero reestablished cultural links with the international avant-garde. Inspired by Klee, Kandinsky, and the nature myths of the “Blue Rider” group, Winter strove to translate into visible form the sounds of the soul’s inner vibrations. In 1931 Winter had started to paint still-lifes reminiscent of the organic structure of cells – which inspired by a visit to Naum Gabo he shortly afterwards augmented with sheaves of crystal and light. His later series “Triebkräfte der Erde” (Driving Forces of the Earth) deals with the representation of spirituality in painting. For in searching for the secrets behind the visible reality of nature “it is not a case of showing what is obviously there, but of revealing what is there as well. For much more is visible than we can see, and much more is audible than we can hear, and much more is there than we ourselves.”
“This past autumn I was able to paint a number of quite strange, fantastic watercolours,” wrote Emil Nolde at the end of October 1931 to a friend. By 1935 he had completed his extensive series of “Fantasies”, which was based on sketches made in Lidstrand in 1901 and on Hallig Hooge in 1919. Despite the close affinity he felt for “Nordic” culture and his public support for National Socialism, Nolde was dismissed from the Prussian Academy of Art as early as 1933. According to the Mitteldeutsche Nationalzeitung, his amorphous female physiognomies were clear evidence of racial degeneracy, while other Nazi fellow-travellers condemned his watercolours as ludicrous, demonic monstrosities created by some Nordic crystal-gazer. Nolde wrote back that it was remarkable that people “purported to see something uncanny and demonic in art that was both witty and bubbling with life.” In 1937, over 1,000 of his works were confiscated, and in 1941 he was forbidden to paint. Nevertheless, he continued to work secretly in Seebüll on his somewhat less seditious water painting technique and, after completing the “Fantasie”, went on to paint his series of “Ungemalte Bilder” (Unpainted Pictures).
Karl Hofer was a member of that generation of artists which included Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Paul Klee, August Macke and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, all born around 1880, whose work is characterised by the overthrow of conventional modes of representation. After studying under Count Leopold von Kalckreuth and Hans Thoma in Karlsruhe, Hofer went to the Stuttgart Academy of Fine Art. A sojourn in Rome was to have a lasting influence on his choice of colours and determined his predilection for ideal classical forms; in Paris he came into contact with Paul Cézanne and Impressionism. In 1913, Hofer moved to Berlin and became a member of the “Neue Künstlervereinigung” (New Association of Artists), teaching until 1936 at the Prussian Academy of Art. He cultivated elements of Expressionism, though his loyalty to classical form, for instance, sets him apart from the artists of “The Blue Rider” and “The Bridge”. Despite his penchant for classicism, this successful, influential academy professor was dismissed from his post by the National Socialists. His works were declared to be “degenerate“ and removed from German museums. In 1943 his studio and almost his entire oeuvre were destroyed in an air raid. Henceforth a sober, cheerless objectivity inspired by a sombre pessimism characterised Hofer’s art.
Art, business and the Church: in his life, Anton Stankowski managed to bring these heterogeneous fields of human endeavour under the same roof in a most unusual and ingenious manner – though one completely different from that of the social critic Joseph Beuys. Stankowski began his career as a church painter in his home town of Gelsenkirchen. His extraordinary artistic talent was recognised at an early age: the graphic artist and draughtsman recalls how the village schoolmaster once said to him, “You take over the class – you can draw better than I can!” His later studies under Max Burchartz at the Folkwangschule in Essen awakened the dynamic, hard-working young artist’s enthusiasm for photography. “My hunger for recording something on film in order to interpret it anew found me constantly with camera in hand.” Thenceforth he was almost inseparable from his Leica. When at the beginning of the thirties photography was increasingly being used in advertising, Stankowski began to work as a typographer and graphic designer in a Zürich advertising agency. Together with a group of friends – they were later to be known as the “Zürich Concretists” – he explored the possibilities of symmetry and mirroring in the graphic arts. Stankowski experimented with squares and diagonals, making them the hallmarks of his art. Of his now world-famous logo for the Deutsche Bank – the soaring diagonal in the stable square – he proudly said in 1974: “The company logo is a trade-mark that sends out a signal.”
“A new spatial energy inhabits Oskar Schlemmer’s paintings. They awaken in one’s spirit the premonition of a future culture that will reunite all of the arts,” wrote Walter Gropius, who in 1920 asked Schlemmer to come and teach at the Bauhaus. And indeed Schlemmer strove to fuse all artistic genres into one united whole. His works bring together organic form and geometric abstraction to create a visual reflection of the human spirit in which the rational and the emotional dwell side-by-side. Schlemmer experimented above all with representations of the human body. His preoccupation with dance and theatre led him to formulate a new definition of space as the necessary radius of human life. In 1929 he was appointed to a professorship at Breslau Academy, and it was during this period that the watercolour reproduced here was painted. A blond woman is portrayed in profile. She stares fixedly and almost emotionlessly into the distance. The profiled forehead and nose form a straight line; she sits bolt upright, stiff as a poker. Even her forearm is at an angle, so that her hand is precisely aligned with the arm of the chair. This almost geometric representation reduces the human body to pure physicality. All individual elements have been effaced; the human being is presented as a type.
Up in the executive suite of the Bank’s twin-towered headquarters in Frankfurt, she stares out of the picture with a look of mistrust, hiding her identity behind a conundrum. For on the nametag affixed to her blue dress are mirrored the letters “ElohsW”– the initials of Elfriede Lohse-Wächtler, a native of Dresden. She entitled the picture “Selbstporträt (in fantastischer Gesellschaft)” (Self-portrait – in fantastic company), and indeed the setting in the picture appears surreal and nightmarish. But the reality of Elfriede Lohse-Wächtler’s life was considerably more nightmarish than this picture suggests, marked as it was by ill health, poverty and disappointment in love. Her intense artistic activity was punctuated by mental illness, spells in psychiatric clinics, compulsory sterilisation, and finally death at the hands of the National Socialists. In 1931 the artist was still living near her former husband in Altona. But as her material and mental condition deteriorated she took to spending her nights at the station or “with gypsies”, finally losing all heart and returning to live with her parents in Dresden. This “self-portrait” records her ensuing stay in a clinic that same year. The artist reflected her existential angst and inner turmoil in a series of ruthless self-portraits that document her persecution complex, characterising the people around her as helpless witnesses, almost as irresolute victims of a farcical catastrophe. Yet as she wrote to her brother: “Despite all I’ve gone through I am still stupid enough to believe that decent people still exist.”
In our line of business discretion is everything: a photograph of Hilmar Kopper, the former spokesman of the board, shows him tactfully looking out of the window while behind his back Daphne undergoes her metamorphosis. The Daphne in question is a bronze statue by Renée Sintenis, which inhabits the 35th floor of the bank’s twin-towered headquarters in Frankfurt. Sintenis first depicted the nymph Daphne – who, pursued by Apollo, was saved from his clutches by being transformed into a laurel tree – in a small statue executed in 1918. Twelve years later, she endowed her subject with new meaning. Horrified by the course of events and the portents of another war, she expresses in this new interpretation her search for humanitarian values. Thereafter Sintenis’ art thematised nature and spontaneity, primarily in sculptures of animals; she designed the famous Berlin Bear sculpture, and in 1926 the bronze “Läufer Nurmi” (Runner Nurmi) sculpture.
Her guests included Le Corbusier, Alfred Roth and Max Ernst. In 1922 Hélène de Mandrot, owner of the medieval castle of La Sarraz, founded an artists‘ centre in the grounds of her estate on the shores of Lake Geneva, which brought together the leading representatives of the international avant-garde. In 1928 the centre held its first congress – on modern architecture – against the imposing backdrop of the castle walls. This was followed a year later by a congress on independent film-making. László Moholy-Nagy, who at that time enjoyed a reputation as a revolutionary architect, film-maker and photographer, probably attended this 1929 conference at the castle. For this black-and-white “untitled” photograph was taken in the castle of La Sarraz; the cross whose shadow appears in the picture is probably the one on the roof of the castle‘s 14 th century chapel. The relationship between light and shadow, brightness and darkness is also thematised by the self-portrait of Moholy-Nagy standing next to the cross. Driven out of Germany by political developments, the artist emigrated to the United States in 1937 and settled in Chicago. There he became the first director of the “New Bauhaus”, through which he propagated his artistic theories in the USA. The artist should develop an art for the people, he declared, for “art lives for the community. It is the most intensive, the innermost language of the senses, and no individual in society can get by without it.”
“To do an object justice” and not so much to express individuality – this was the avowed aim of his art. By emphasising the cool beauty of objects, nature and architecture, and through the use of half-tones and sharply delineated surfaces and boundaries, Albert Renger-Patzsch revealed the especial allure of black-and-white photography. His epoch-making volume of photographs, “Die Welt ist schön” (The World is Beautiful), published in 1928, is a sober, clear-sighted inventory of the world. But since the book is about the basic structure of reality, he would have much preferred the title “Die Dinge” (The Things). Renger-Patzsch discovered for photography the no man’s land “between industry and housing estate, between slag heap and coal depot.” His photographs were celebrated as the equivalent of painting’s New Objectivity, and Thomas Mann defined his work thus: “The particular, the objective, espied amid the surging world of appearances, is isolated, elevated, brought into focus, endowed with significance and life.” This photograph of a blast furnace combines scientific precision with the photographer’s meditative approach to his craft. Renger-Patzsch went to the heart of his subjects by accentuating his motifs as if they were details taken from a larger picture and then contrasting them with the higher order of nature. His objective aesthetics imparted a mechanical structure to his photographs, for only such a structure, according to Renger-Patzsch, is capable of revealing nature’s blueprints.
The big break-through came late in his life. Adolf Hölzel was 52 years old and living in Paris when he discovered the intrinsic value of colour and its significance as a principle of composition. This late developer came to Abstract Art via Impressionism. His study of musical forms led him to formulate a theoretical definition of colour based on harmony and counterpoint. This “Komposition in Rot” (Composition in Red) of 1905 was soon recognised as a pioneering work of “absolute” Abstract Art. In the same year, Hölzel was appointed to a teaching position at the Stuttgart Academy as successor to Count Kalckreuth. But the Academy was to be disappointed in its choice, for this supposed traditionalist turned out after all to be an enemy of tradition. Willi Baumeister recalls: “In the course of his period of office at the Academy he slowly unbuttoned his sheep’s clothing, revealing the wolf beneath – who certainly would not have been appointed to the post he held.” Whether the composition reproduced here is the creation of a beast of prey or not is a question of interpretation. In 1919 Hölzel had to yield up his post at the Academy to Paul Klee and henceforth devoted himself to artistic “dabbling”. His day began early with gymnastic exercises, followed by “1,000 brush-strokes a day” to loosen up and strengthen his painting hand. The 74-year-old child in Hölzel produced an endless series of playful pastel compositions, including this two-dimensional drawing divided into small sections, whose coloured spaces make it appear at one and the same time solid and incorporeal.
In 1929 she emigrated from Austria to the United States and died almost forgotten at the age of 57 in New York. Born in the South Tyrol in 1900, at the age of 18 Klien went to Vienna to study at the School of Applied Art. There she proved to be an outstanding student and became the favourite pupil of Franz Cizek, who taught ornamental morphology. Klien shared Cizek’s enthusiasm for Kinetism, a new artistic style that he had developed. She remained faithful to this variant of Italian Futurism all her life, for she considered the use of purely natural forms in art to be a barren pursuit. Klien was a painter and a talented draughtswoman who produced commercial graphic art and who also allowed herself to be inspired by children’s drawings. Her search for contemporary ornamental motifs led her to explore both the turbulence of nature and the technological achievements of the first half of the 20th century. She portrayed airplanes, subways, locomotives and bridges with the same passion as she did fields of grass waving in the wind, the structure of plants, or the subtle forms of birds in flight. Klien exploited the dynamism she found in both nature and technology to fashion a synthesising aesthetic force that united the “vibrations of the age” into multifaceted images: Arcadian nature and futuristic technological optimism, the spontaneity of sensual experience, and speed as symbolising unbroken faith in the future. This “Vogelflug“ also documents Klien’s demands for social reform and modernity.
Heinrich Hoerle’s oeuvre is not characterised by linear development. This native of Cologne experimented his whole life long, allying himself with Expressionism, Constructivism and Surrealism at various periods of his career. He worked with Dada and with Politkunst (Political Art), and he also constantly changed the materials he worked with. During the First World War Hoerle was a telephonist on the Western Front, an experience which inspired a series of dismal, expressive pictures of physically and spiritually crippled war victims that radiate utter hopelessness. While working for the magazine “Die Aktion”, for which he drew the cover pictures, he got to know the painter Franz Wilhelm Seiwert. At first the two of them were active in Max Ernst’s Dada Club in Cologne, but when the club began to emphasise aesthetics at the cost of political and social criticism, they left and founded the “Group of Progressive Artists”. “We do not intend to paint nice little pictures that the well-fed bourgeois can hang over his sofa to sweeten his midday nap,” they wrote in their manifesto. The group produced works constructed of immediately intelligible visual elements. Inspired by the Russian Constructivists, Hoerle began to create art using compass and ruler, based on religious motifs and elementary geometric forms such as the circle, the cylinder and the square. But the National Socialists’ coming to power forced Hoerle into inner emigration. His pictures were confiscated and are generally considered to have been destroyed.
Has the painter thrown his coat into the corner in disillusion? Hardly. For Karl Hubbuch’s social citicism was for the most part both compassionate and responsible. His works were created in an often affectionate spirit of solidarity with the working classes and with the downtrodden little people of this world. He also parodied the excesses of tourism and the frivolous pleasures of the upper classes, but the full force of his disgust was aimed at capitalist profiteers and later at National Socialist warmongers. Together with Otto Dix and George Grosz, who was two years younger than himself, he was one of the most prominent exponents of New Objectivity. But back to the year 1924, Hubbuch was living in Berlin again and, inspired by the life of the great metropolis, was creating his first major works in the style of New Objectivity. His position at the Academy provided him with economic security, and Germany was enjoying a period of relative political and economic consolidation. “He is a cool observer, possesses a philosophical brain packed with ideas, is a gifted, sharp-witted satirist of contemporary life, and last but not least is a draughtsman of outstanding talent,” wrote the Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung reviewing one of his exhibitions. On the other hand Hubbuch was also described as “a scarcely edifying case... a cold-hearted cynic with a meticulously precise etching needle.”
In 1914, shortly before the outbreak of World War One, Otto Freundlich moved into a studio in the north tower of Chartres cathedral – a rich storehouse of medieval glass windows. “For some five months I was completely under Chartres’ spell. It has left its mark on me for life …” the artist later wrote, recalling this key experience. Untouched by the Constructivism, New Objectivity, and Surrealism of those days, he used the lessons taught to him by the cathedral’s stained glass windows to create compositions of strongly contrasting colours arranged mostly in geometrical sections. His compositional principle was based on the conviction that the harmonising of transparent and architectonic elements creates a synthesis of liberty and commitment that mirrors the cosmic order. The human head as symbolic of knowledge was an especially favoured motif in both Freundlich’s plastic and his graphic art. His early sculptures are almost entirely of heads, whereas his graphic work manifests increasing tendencies to self-portraiture. The closed eyes of this earless “Mask” from 1922 express concentration, spirituality, and introspective contemplation. For “the task of art is to discover living forms, i.e. to make visible the hitherto unseen, invisible, secret life within them.”
“A picture has no particular purpose,” Paul Klee explained to his students at the Bauhaus, “except that of making us happy. This is something quite different from our relationship to exterior life; therefore it must be organised differently. We demand of a picture that it bring forth something extraordinary, that it demand our whole attention, that we want to look at again and again – that, finally, it makes us want to possess it. Only then we will see whether it makes us happy.” But over and beyond this goal, Klee strives to express relationships between musical and visual forms. He created pictures as pedagogical aids, translating musical structures and rhythms into pictorial forms – jugs, kidneys, circles and rectangles. Employing the principle of a fugue, he then set these forms to a “key”, creating a series of contrapunctally arranged watercolours in which the jugs appear as the brightest point in the middle of a layering of dark shadows resembling contour lines on a map. Klee explained this graduated structure thus: “The repeated moment that is characteristic of structures is here the concept of intensification.” It unites music and art in a highly individual way, for “art does not reproduce what is visible; it makes things visible.”
“It always takes the Germans fifty years to discover what they have lost,” Karl Schmidt-Rottluff once remarked ironically. In 1970, exactly fifty years after it was painted, the Deutsche Bank acquired Schmidt-Rottluff’s “Signalstation” for its collection. It was one of the first purchases – a starting signal, as it were – for one of the biggest company collections of contemporary art in the world.
Schmidt-Rottluff was already a legend when the century began. Together with his school friend Erich Heckel, and fellow artists Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Franz Bleyl, he founded “The Bridge” in Dresden in 1905. Through the powerful directness of their colours, these “young savages” – none of them more than 25 years old – declared emotional war on the stiffness of Wilhelmenian society. Their revolutionary fervour was dampened by the First World War; in 1919 Schmidt-Rottluff himself noted: “The whole misery of the war years is having a powerful after-effect on me. Nevertheless, I have managed to regain some of my faith in colour.” And indeed, 1920 was an important turning point in his life; from May to September of that year, Schmidt-Rottluff spent his first summer in the Pomeranian fishing village of Jershöft, to which he was to return each year until 1931. Inspired by the unspoiled world of the fisher folk and peasants of the region, for a brief period he regained his joie de vivre and refreshed his creative powers – until the National Socialists took over and forced him to beat an artistic retreat, eventually forbidding him to paint altogether.
In his youth, Lovis Corinth had a reputation as a muscle-bound daredevil. On several occasions he was picked up by the police for drunken and disorderly conduct, or for some reckless prank or other. This native of East Prussia also challenged the artistic conventions of his time, finding his motifs in slaughterhouses and in nature in the raw, rather than imitating the genteel Impressionism of the academies. Then suddenly Corinth, who was celebrated as a master of his craft during his own lifetime, was stopped short in his riotous career through life. In 1911 a stroke brought home to him the dreadful immanence of death. “My whole life flashed before me, a life that seemed even more precious, now that I fought for it in lonely isolation, than it had when I was at the height of my youthful powers.” Yet even the one-sided paralysis that resulted from his stroke and his diminished physical powers did not hold the impulsive Corinth back from making a name for himself – on the eve of the First World War – as an out-and-out nationalist. Five years later, the war had been lost and disillusionment reigned. Out of this portrait stares a dead-beat patriot with hollow cheeks and bowed head. No inner fire is able to overcome the existential angst he feels. This picture seems to anticipate the Man of Tears of the “Ecce Homo” that Corinth painted shortly before his death.
At the end of the First World War he was considered one of the leading representatives of the Berlin Dada group: George Grosz, German-American draughtsman, caricaturist and painter, whose biting social and political portraits satirised the war profiteers, whores and crooks of the post-war metropolis.
“My nerves gave away again near the front, this time even before I got within sight of rotting corpses and barbed wire. First I was taken care of and then interned, prior to being examined to settle the still undecided question as to whether I am fit for duty. The situation is this: either they send yours truly home, or else it’s back to the assault group at Groß-Brensen near Guben – and another nervous breakdown! …My nerves ... each little fibre signals abhorrence and revulsion – morbidity if you like – whatever... total incapacity for action, despite all the official regulations in the world,” wrote Grosz to a friend in 1917. After having finally been declared permanently unfit for duty and dismissed from the army, Grosz first turned to making propaganda films for the German military picture archives and the Ufa film company. The world was out of joint, yet once back in Berlin Grosz returned to portraying the city as a cynical, self-destructive social mess. Berlin was a cosmopolitan metropolis of hotels, passers-by, cafés, bars, cars and buses, bathed in the red glow of war and death.
Does the picture really show the station at Königstein near Frankfurt, as the title suggests, or the one at Davos in the Swiss Alps? In the nineties a controversy arose as to whether Ernst Ludwig Kirchner has painted the beginning or the end of his journey.
Traumatised by his war experiences and addicted to drugs, in December of 1915 Kirchner arrived at Königstein in the Taunus Mountains for his first sojourn at the sanatorium there. Driven by existential angst, he soon departed for Berlin, and from thence for Jena, before deciding in 1917 to seek refuge from his personal nightmares in the mountain sanctuary of Davos. He held out against the bitterly cold winter there for just two weeks before packing his bags once more. His anxious host wrote: “Kirchner has left again. He really thought that Davos lay in the South, under palm-trees!”
Despite its title, “Bahnhof Königstein” (Königstein station), neither station nor town of any kind are to be seen on this painting, which the Deutsche Bank Collection acquired in 1986. And whether the steam locomotive and the reddish-brown carriages are intended to represent the Hessian or the Rhaetian Railway Company seems completely irrelevant, considering the picture’s content. For the faceless man standing there alone, shut in by luxuriant nature, is beyond the help of any orienting topography. Rather the painting expresses Kirchner’s yearning for stability in his isolated, desperate situation.
Having volunteered for the German Red Cross in 1914, Erich Heckel became a member of a platoon assembled by the Berlin art historian Walter Kaesbach, enabling him to seek the company of fellow artists throughout the war. He thus made the acquaintance of Max Beckmann and in Ostend, where he was stationed for almost the entire war, of the Belgian artist James Ensor. Heckel spent every free minute of his time working on his paintings and drawings – which depict sick or wounded soldiers, soldiers bathing naked, the threatening landscape of war, and in general the sombre atmosphere of those times. “He aims straight for the physiological, the human element,” noted Heckel’s comrade-in-arms Anton Kerschbaumer. “He is a Gothic artist.” Perhaps this attitude helped him to keep his sanity – Heckel did not see war in terms of conquest and victory but of suffering and misery, which he sought to alleviate through his art. In 1915, the year in which he created this “Toter Soldat” (Dead Soldier), he painted the striking “Madonna of Ostend” – on sewn-together pieces of tent canvas – for the German sailors’ Christmas celebrations in the town. “How I loved painting that picture for the sailors,” he wrote in a letter home. “It is very beautiful to see how much respect and even love people have for things artistic. And who would have thought that my creations, which seem so incomprehensibly modern to the critics and cosmopolitans scrutinising them in decadent exhibitions, would be appreciated by those to whom they have been given as a present.”
“The philistine looks at a beautiful view and says: ‘That’s beautiful, that’s beautiful, that’s beautiful…’ reacting with the most mindless clichés imaginable,” remonstrated August Macke, for “a work of art must be a well-made counterfeit of nature, a well chosen selection, a mirror of sensations.” Yet confronted with this idyllic graveyard scene, the above stipulation appears almost paradoxical. For Macke’s Sunday afternoon strollers – his women flooded in harmonious colours and light as they take a leisurely promenade – elicit but one response from most observers: just beautiful! Tranquil and serene, these pictures inspired by contemporary French art document that glorious summer of 1914 which was to end – in September – with the violent death of this “Rhineland Expressionist”. At the age of only 27, Macke fell on the Western Front in Champagne.
How far away must have seemed to the dying artist the time he had but recently spent with his family in Hilterfingen on Lake Thun. He created his most famous works in the Haus Rosengarten there, quietly enjoying the summer months on the lake with his friends, sons, and wife Elizabeth, who recalled, “Hilterfingen – what a carefree, happy, fulfilling time was granted us and the children there, beautiful as paradise, almost unreal – before the terrible global catastrophe broke over Europe!”
He was always searching for redemption and authenticity. He hated the rigour of rationalism, and his fabulous creatures document a profound nostalgia which reaches far beyond their mere depiction on canvas. In an age of industrialisation and social turmoil, in the shadow of an imminent world war, he sought spiritual salvation in an animalistic art that explored the relationship between human beings and nature: “One no longer merely portrays nature; one tears it apart to reveal the mighty forces at work behind the beautiful exterior,” he said, discovering through the depiction of animals the quintessence of physical being and spiritual transcendence.
He associated his fabulous creatures – composed of horses, deer, gazelles and cows – with male and female principles, endowing the primary colours too with specific qualities. Blue stood for the “male principle, austere and spiritual.”Yellow emanated serenity, gentleness and sensuality, while red was assigned wholly female qualities.
Thus Marc used colour in a creatively abstract manner both to mediate the tense energy of sexual relationships and to formulate his deep understanding of natural phenomena: “Can there be any greater mystery for an artist than imagining how nature looks through the eyes of an animal?”
It was the poet Theodor Storm on whose personal recommendation Christian Rohlfs was allowed to study at the Grand Ducal Art Academy in Weimar. But otherwise Rohlfs did not have it easy in life: the son of a Holstein farmer, he had fallen out of a tree while a child, and after he had been hospitalised for a number of years, in 1873 his crippled leg had had to be amputated.
His first works after completing his studies at the academy were brightly-lit landscapes painted from life with strong foreground motifs. “I’m always searching for foregrounds. A foreground makes a picture. That’s an old rule of painting. You can’t do much with views, landscapes and Alpine scenes alone,” said the artist, sticking to this dictum even after he was appointed to a teaching position at the Folkwang School in Hagen. There he became acquainted with Emil Nolde. They remained friends for life, often working together. But however much he valued his friend’s work, Nolde could never bring himself to share Rohlfs’ enthusiasm for Soest in Westphalia, a picturesque medieval town which, starting in 1905, Rohlfs regularly visited to paint – from that year he no longer spent his summers in Weimar but in Soest. A large number of paintings, drawings and watercolours created there bear witness to the attraction exercised on him by the ambience of Westphalia, which for many years provided him with a wide range of motifs – many of which he painted from memory. His friend Emil Nolde accompanied him to Soest on only one occasion.
It was 2 January 1911, a winter evening like many others. Yet it was a date that would go down in art history. Together with his friends Franz Marc and August Macke, Wassily Kandinsky had attended a concert in the Munich Jahreszeitensaal, where for the first time he had heard the music of Arnold Schönberg: “That is what I call anarchy,” he later wrote to Schönberg, “– by which I mean lawlessness.” Schönberg’s unusual twelve-tone technique fascinated him – and inspired him in his own striving for ‘absolute’ painting. One day in 1910, as dusk was falling, he had created his first abstract painting based on his shadowy impressions of one of his paintings hanging in his studio. In the half light of that historic evening, Kandinsky had felt the full force of the surfaces and abstract forms in the earlier work and had begun – enthusiastically though hesitantly – to forge them into a new kind of painting. His revolutionary leap into abstraction is documented by the watercolour reproduced here, which is often simply designated as “Mit rotem Fleck” (With Red Patch), and which he painted after the epiphanic experience at the concert. Definitive in form and of great prophetic force, its figurative elements remind one of Kandinsky’s Russian origins – his time as a law student in Moscow and above all Moscow’s Red Square.
“I would like to thank my teacher, Wilhelm Lehmbruck.” Thus Joseph Beuys began his 1986 acceptance speech on receiving the Lehmbruck Prize. “His sculptures,” continued Beuys “are really not intended to be grasped visually at all. We can only grasp them intuitively, using completely different senses than that of sight to unlock their intuitive doors, above all that of hearing – of hearing, of feeling, of desiring. Categories exist in his sculpture that never existed in this medium before.”
This “Weiblicher Torso” (Female Torso), which was created in Paris, is one of the major works of an artist who quickly gained an outstanding international reputation. In 1913 he was the only German artist to participate in the New York Armory Show. The First World War, in which Lehmbruck served as a medical orderly, brought an abrupt end to his promising career and left him plunged in despair. In 1919 Wilhelm Lehmbruck took his own life. As a tribute to him stated, “Lehmbruck could not cope” with the fall from “dreamy classicism into war.”
“I remember the ‘Blue Mountain’ picture as a very special experience,” noted Gabriele Münter in her 1957 diary. “I had gone out with Jawlensky to paint landscapes… From above I saw the Berggeist Guest House and the road climbing up to it, and behind it all the blue mountain and the little red clouds in the evening sky. I quickly jotted down the picture spread out before me. It was like a revelation; I felt like a bird that had finished singing its song.”
In those days, Münter lived and worked with her lover Wassily Kandinsky and their friends, the artist couple Alexey von Jawlensky and Marianne von Werefkin in Murnau, where the four of them had bought a country house together. During the summer months, they painted intensive, harmonious landscapes – and Kandinsky created his first abstracts there. Today the house where they used to live is open to visitors. Restored according to old photographs and the original building plans, the house and its garden can now be seen as they used to be when Münter and Kandinsky spent their summers there between 1909 and 1914. The wooden furniture that they decorated together, the staircase painted by Kandinsky, and the pictures and other ornaments hanging on the walls are silent witnesses to this happy, creative epoch in their lives. In the thirties, Münter returned to take up permanent residence in the so-called “Russians’ House”, as the locals dubbed it. She expressed the wish that it later be turned into a memorial to those far-off days.
Woman is “the original Great Mother of all things, resembling all things, yet apart from them,” wrote Egon Schiele to a collector of his art. Women and girls play a central role in both his life and art – none more so than his mother. After his father’s early death, the life of the 14-year-old boy became centred on his mother, Marie Schiele, who early recognised her son’s talent and in 1906 enabled him to commence his studies at the Vienna Academy of Fine Art. At the age of seventeen he executed this watercolour of her; it was later to enter the Deutsche Bank Collection under the somewhat misleading title “Liegendes Mädchen mit roter Bluse” (Reclining Girl with Red Blouse). The work was created for Schiele’s first public showing of his art – part of an exhibition in the Emperor’s Room at Klosterneuburg in Vienna. In his ensuing work too, his mother is often portrayed wearing a red coat or a red blouse. Red stands for warmth, passion, sexuality and eroticism – but also for death and violence. Such expressive motifs characterise Schiele’s art, which radiates both intimate sensitivity and unbridled subversion. This alliance of art and life came to a tragic end with the early death of his wife Edith, who in the sixth month of pregnancy succumbed to Spanish influenza, as did shortly afterwards Schiele himself.
Fame came late to Karl Blossfeldt, though when it came it did so unstintingly. His monumental Urformen der Kunst (Prototypes of Art), which was published in 1924, brought him immediate world-wide fame. It contained almost 6,000 close-ups of plants, the negatives of which were for many years believed to be lost. But in 1984, 500 authorised prints, so-called vintage prints, were rediscovered in the archives of the Berlin Academy of Art.
Blossfeldt, a sculptor, used the photographs and three-dimensional models to teach “modelling based on living plants” in the Berlin Academy. Created simply as pedagogical aids, the pictures earned Blossfeldt the admiration of his contemporaries, who celebrated him as a master of photography and discoverer of a new way of seeing the world. The pictures’ innovative aesthetics are founded on a naturalistic interpretation of their subjects that approaches the latter precisely as natural forms rather than as artistic paradigms. Thus, located somewhere between New Objectivity and Surrealism, the photographs present vegetable forms as analogous to mechanical constructs which – as does the orchid depicted here – emanate archaic, elemental forces while at the same time manifesting a profound ornamentality.
Inspired by one of her models, Käthe Kollwitz sketched this woman sitting on a bench in a work break. She has taken especial care with the hands which, big and coarse, explicitly proclaim the woman’s working class status. Much of Käthe Kollwitz’s work is a critique of social conditions, if not an open indictment of them, as she tirelessly portrayed the lives of the poor and the working classes around the turn of the last century. Much of her art focuses on the lot of women, be they workers fighting for their rights, mothers who had lost their children, or grieving widows. With great sympathy and sensitivity Kollwitz, who was the first woman to hold a teaching position at the Prussian Academy of Art, documented the human condition, social deprivation and war.
In Berlin, where she lived on the Prenzlauer Berg with her husband, a doctor, she was active in the workers’ movement, designing posters that portrayed the fate of the down-trodden and the desperate among the urban proletariat. For as she said: “I want my art to be put to a purpose. I want to make a difference in this age in which people are so vulnerable and in such need of help.”
Savour in your imagination stimulating aromas and mouth-watering delicacies. Choose between the top floors of the Bank’s twin-towered Frankfurt Headquarters and its guest house – a fine villa built in the founding years of Germany’s Second Empire. In the latter you will find the original, and just a few steps away, in the twin towers – on the cover of an elegantly designed menu – a reproduction: Alexey von Jawlensky’s “Stillleben mit Tasse” (Still-life with Cup) is not only a feast for the eyes but also a prelude to less metaphorical feasting.
Jawlensky created this oil painting in the summer of 1904 in Reichertshausen, Upper Bavaria. For the past eight years he had been living in Germany with his patron, the painter Marianne von Werefkin, who like him was a Russian. Here he also met his fellow countryman Wassily Kandinsky, with whom in 1909 he was to found the “Blue Rider”. A lyricist of colour with an almost religious attitude to painting, Jawlensky considered his art to be a “meditation or prayer in colours”: “I grasped that I had to paint not what I saw but only what lived in my soul.” Indeed, the grave, pensive aura of his “Stillleben mit Tasse” reminds one of a Russian votary icon. As if the painting were really an object of religious meditation, the red circular segment hangs suspended in the foreground, autonomous and mysterious.
“The air of the Alps was the world of my childhood,” wrote Alfred Kubin in a letter. Yet what at first sight appears to be a cheerful expression of oneness with nature reveals itself on closer consideration to be fraught with melancholy and distressing memories. Kubin came to Zell am See from northern Bohemia via Salzburg; as a ten-year-old he witnessed the long, difficult illness and early death of his mother. His increasingly tense relationship with his father and a suicide attempt at his mother’s graveside served to aggravate his situation. At the age of nineteen he joined the army, only to succumb to a nervous breakdown after three weeks of military life. After a partial recovery he decided to become a painter and in 1898 began to study art in Munich. In 1902 his work was exhibited to great acclaim at Paul Cassirer’s art salon in Berlin, and a folio of his graphic art published in the same year was also a great success. Yet shortly afterwards fate struck another blow in the form of his young wife’s death. It was largely from his art that he now derived consolation and sustenance: “I am simply concerned to capture in my pictures those forms, figures and events that present themselves to my inner eye, whose pressing flood has always shaped my spiritual life. Stirred as if in a dream by these inward sights, I strive through all the means at my disposal to capture them in art – and thus to liberate myself from their ghosts.”
His uncle John Sell Cotman was the more famous painter. Yet Frederick George Cotman, born in Ipswich, Suffolk, in 1850, also achieved a measure of artistic success, chiefly through his rural interiors and atmospheric landscapes. In 1874 he even won a Royal Academy gold medal. Although his Academy debut was a portrait of his father, Henry Edmund Cotman, his work consists largely of views of his native English countryside.
His “An Evening on the Estuary” depicted here is a broad panoramic landscape, a meditation on the cycle of nature. It is unclear what the young rustic in the foreground is brooding over. Yet both he and the whole scene are enveloped in the peaceful serenity flowing from a distant horizon flooded in evening sunlight. Cotman's finely toned landscapes satisfied a yearning for naturalness and unaffectedness that was already becoming a characteristic of European culture at the turn of the last century. Yet these views with their compositional detail did not depict a specific locale so much as a certain atmospheric mood.
„I derive enormous pleasure from studying the physiognomies I come across and attempting to capture as rapidly as possible their essential character,” she noted. The “Mädchenakt” (Nude Girl) on the obverse of this sheet is characterised by a lightness and emotionality in sharp contrast to the dejectedlooking reclining nude portrayed on the reverse; the impressions made by two figures could not be more different. When Paula Modersohn-Becker succumbed to a heart attack in 1907, she left behind a legacy of pictures that has secured her a reputation as one of Modernism’s foremost painters. She took as her subject women of all ages, and also produced a large number of self-portraits. The intense paintings she created in the north German town of Worpswede made her one of the greatest forerunners of Expressionism; scarcely any other woman artist of Modernism is so well known as she is. As a young woman she boldly cast aside the conventions of her bourgeois inheritance, from 1898 onwards living most of her life in the artists’ colony in Worpswede, where she discovered both her talent for painting and her future husband, the renowned landscape painter Otto Modersohn. Feeling restricted by the provinciality of the artistic circle in Worpswede, she left both colony and husband, only to return to Modersohn and to die shortly after the birth of her much-longed-for daughter Mathilde. As an artist she quickly left convention behind to develop her own individual style.
She stands submerged in sunlight in the middle of Berlin’s Tiergarten. A stone lion stands guard while the young lady, her hands laden with huge bunches of flowers, seems to be lost in contemplation of the peaceful sanctuary she has discovered.
The picture was created by the Berlin artist Albert Hertel, who had started out with the ambition to be a painter of historical themes. However, a pulmonary disease forced him to take the country air in Saxony where he developed a passion for landscape painting. Because his sojourn in the country did nothing to alleviate his condition, he moved to the South. In Rome this meticulous chronicler of natural scenes took up painting heroic landscapes. At the same time he began work on a series of nature studies which cast aside the rules of the academy and expressed an immediate relationship with the natural world. In 1897 Hertel left Italy, and after a short stay in Hamburg settled in Berlin for good, where he began teaching landscape painting at the Academy of Art. His friend Adolph von Menzel considered him a first-rate observer of nature.She stands submerged in sunlight in the middle of Berlin’s Tiergarten. A stone lion stands guard while the young lady, her hands laden with huge bunches of flowers, seems to be lost in contemplation of the peaceful sanctuary she has discovered. The picture was created by the Berlin artist Albert Hertel, who had started out with the ambition to be a painter of historical themes. However, a pulmonary disease forced him to take the country air in Saxony where he developed a passion for landscape painting. Because his sojourn in the country did nothing to alleviate his condition, he moved to the South. In Rome this meticulous chronicler of natural scenes took up painting heroic landscapes. At the same time he began work on a series of nature studies which cast aside the rules of the academy and expressed an immediate relationship with the natural world. In 1897 Hertel left Italy, and after a short stay in Hamburg settled in Berlin for good, where he began teaching landscape painting at the Academy of Art. His friend Adolph von Menzel considered him a first-rate observer of nature.