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up to and including 21 February 2016

Martin Assig - Glückhaben

Martin Assig (Schwelm, 1959) makes colourful abstract works of art. He combines the shapes of faces, bodies and patterns with words and sentences. At times his subjects are light-hearted, at times heavily charged. In the autumn of 2015 around two hundred drawings, paintings and sculptures were brought together in ‘Glückhaben’, an exhibition in two rooms in the museum’s collection wing. The exhibition was a joint venture with Haus am Waldsee in Berlin, where it was shown in spring of 2015.

Martin Assig draws his inspiration from many sources – religious traditions, folklore, rituals, the music of Bach, the literature of Marguerite Duras and the Russian authors. Drawing after drawing evolves out of a patient working process, like that of the monks who worked on medieval manuscripts or present-day comic strip artists. Part of the exhibition will showcase a large number of drawings from the St Paul series, which Martin Assig began in 2009 as a tribute to the artist Paul Klee. These works spring from observations in everyday life. Diverse materials – pigments, beeswax and charcoal – create intimate and personal worlds, where sensuality and spirituality come together.

Enriching the Collection

Four drawings and one painting by Martin Assig were added in 2015 to Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s collection. The museum holds one of Europe’s finest collections of drawings and prints, with prominent collections of works by Italian, German, Dutch and French artists. The surreal quality of the drawings is key in selecting for the collection. The museum is thus continuing the tradition of collecting works by artists like Dalí, Magritte, Delvaux, Tanguy and Zürn. As well as Martin Assig’s works, drawings by artists who are solely draughtsman, such as Ewoud van Rijn and Paul Noble, have also been added recently.

Martin Assig, St. Paul #526, 2013
Martin Assig, St. Paul #526, 2013
Martin Assig, St. Paul #214 (Das dunkle Versteck), 2012
Martin Assig, St. Paul #214 (Das dunkle Versteck), 2012
Martin Assig, St. Paul #379 (Mutterseelenallein), 2013
Martin Assig, St. Paul #379 (Mutterseelenallein), 2013

CV & catalogue

Martin Assig lives and works in Berlin, where he studied at the Hochschule der Künste. Martin Assig’s drawings, paintings and sculptures have featured in solo and group exhibitions all over the world. His works have also enriched collections of international museums and private collections from Oslo to New York. 


A catalogue in German and English is being published by Walther König to coincide with the exhibition. It will include essays by Björn Vedder and Durs Grünbein and will be for sale in bookshops and during the exhibition in the museum shop.