In the summer of 2012 the exhibition ‘The collection. German art from Kiefer to Henning’ was on show in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. The exhibition offered a cross section of German painting from the museum’s own collection, supplemented with several important works that are on long-term loan to the museum.
The exhibition was inspired by the painting 'Wohin wir uns wenden im Gewitter der Rosen, ist die Nacht mit Dornen erhellt' (1998) by Anselm Kiefer. This large canvas, measuring 3.80 by 7.86 metres, is part of the De Heus-Zomer collection and has been given on long-term loan to the museum by the owners. The exhibition featured several works by Kiefer and also paintings by German artists from various generations and backgrounds, including A.R. Penck, Jiri Dokoupil, Gerhard Richter and Anton Henning.
‘The collection. German art from Kiefer to Henning’ not only gave an impression of the strong painting tradition in Germany, but also showed how the museum’s own collection can be enriched with pieces from private collections. Museum Boijmans van Beuningen exhibited some twenty-five paintings plus a number of sculptures.
Read more at http://www.boijmans.nl/en/7/calendar-exhibitions/calendaritem/1146/the-collection-german-art-from-kiefer-to-henning#lcYKHgDc0tIC2f6U.99
German painting in the museum collection
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen can boast an interesting selection of German art, mainly paintings. Important acquisitions in this area were made during the period that Wim Beeren was director. From his appointment in 1978, he concentrated largely on work by American artists, but also carefully followed European trends.
Beeren appointed designer and collector Martin Visser as head curator for modern and contemporary art. Visser carefully followed the developments in the area of new expressive painting in Germany (and farther afield) and between 1978 and 1983 acquired many important paintings. Some of these you can see in this exhibition, including works by A.R. Penck, Sigmar Polke, Markus Lüpertz, Jörg Immendorff and Georg Baselitz.
Works by the second generation of the so-called ‘Neue Wilde’ are also well represented in the collection including pieces by Walter Dahn, Jiri Dokoupil and Milan Kunc. These artists produce expressive paintings, often making use of classic German themes and symbols. This renewed interest in painting allowed the re-emergence of great stories and saw the return of the artist’s personal signature.
Towards the end of the ‘eighties there was rather a lot of interest in German artists. In 1989, a solo exhibition of works by Isa Genzken and Gerhard Richter was staged by the museum. Later, various works were purchased for the collection, not only by Genzken and Richter, but also by Günther Förg. A selection was included in this exhibition.
A new generation of German painters
The Neue Leipziger Schule is merely represented in the collection with a painting by Sebastian Gögel. In this exhibition, this work, together with a recent acquisition of a work by Peter Feiler, were on show together with long-term loans from private collections. This new generation of German artists approaches painting with a new zeal and occupies a willfully unique position, making full use of the possibilities offered by painting, both in technique and subject, whether abstract or figurative.