Teresa Margolles

127 cuerpos

September 16th 2006 until January 7th 2007

Teresa Margolles' at first glance poetic installations present the body in exceedingly abstract form and yet with the use of highly realistic means: she works with the water used to clean corpses, traces of blood or fatty deposits. In so doing she fills the exhibition space with the traces of several, often anonymous bodies and »contaminates« thus its neutral, innocent aura.

Thr work 127 cuerpos (127 bodies), 2006, which Teres Margolles conceived for the Kunstverein, alludes to 127 autopsied bodies from different regions of Mexico. The artist displays leftover pieces of suturing thread used in the sewing up the corpses after the autopsy. She connects these pieces of thread to create an installation which annexes the space and conveys a feeling of disappearance and dissolution by virtue of its reduced means.

The Teresa Margolles exhibition is part of the Quadriennale 06 project of the city of Düsseldorf.

Guillaume Leblon

June 24th until August 27th 2006

Symptomatic for Guillaume Leblon’s method is the discovery and superimposition of spaces and ideas of spaces, which are accessed by people. His formal language is indicative of the abstract trends of Modernism, Minimalism and Land Art, but also has a domestic or everyday feel about it. Leblon is specifically interested in shifts in the sense of a transference of architectural/utopian elements into free, abstract and autonomous forms: he uses simple materials such as plaster, cardboard, wood, leather and copper to construct his installations, which one can walk around and which contain the traces of both stories and history itself. Leblon has developed an overall course out of a display structure for the Kunstverein, which is presenting his first solo exhibition in Germany. The course allows an experimental field of works to arise and invites the viewer to place familiar forms and as yet unknown meanings into new relationships.

Amelie von Wulffen

March 12th until June 11th 2006

The painterly research of Amelie von Wulffen intermingles her own and common history, the inside with the outside and points to different traditions on which present-days dissolving society is based on. Cultural history and politics meet one another in traumatic places and ruins; objects of memory span an imaginary network between Dürer, Seurat, Solschenizyn, John Travolta and her own grandmother.

Von Wulffen is most notably known for her collages: photographs mounted in a central position are expanded through painting and dissolved into abstract compositions. She prolongs in parts direct biographical references and motives taken from art history into the exhibition space and cross-fades the different levels on which artist and viewer experience the work.

Time Lines

December 11th 2005 until February 19th 2006

Nairy Baghramian, Steven Claydon, Gego, Runa Islam, Silke Schatz, John Stezaker

The exhibition Time Lines shows works by artists from different generations who are all occupied with time in their respective ways. The works pose questions about a linear course of time in particular and connect different points from the past, present and future. The projects—some of which were specially realised for the exhibition—play with changes in perspective, serial principles or the emphasis on production time. The thematic treatment of time leads in some of the works to a more abstract form, but in the case of others a more concrete pictorial language obtains, oriented toward man himself or cultural processes.

Fikret Atay

November 13th until 27th 2005

As part of the new orient

The young Kurdish artist Fikret Atay (*1976 in Batman) is exhibiting video works originated over the past few years. All of these films feature children at play in Anatolia. The various scenes that are convincingly characterised by an unpretentious pictorial language could well have been recorded in other places. The situations shown by Atay are both familiar and strange at the same time. In Tinica a youth is playing drums on tin cans in front of the silhouette of the town Batman. In Bang Bang some boys are staging mock shoot-outs between the trains. Atay shows homo ludens  in a region in which the past and the future are closely woven together and yet where the capacity to engender the possibility of alternative models for action shines through.

Marc Camille Chaimowicz

September 10th until November 6th 2005

Marc Camille Chaimowicz’s (*1947) installations combine diverse media such as painting, sculpture, photography, film and performance. Commencing with a visual repertoire drawing upon art, interior architecture, literature and film, he develops complex connections in which both applied and autonomous aspects are combined. The sculptures appear to be in the throes of transformation and oscillate between their concrete matter and abstract form. Wallpaper and carpets, eccentric black ceramic pots, stools and wall consoles create an estranged sense of home. The works presented in the Kunstverein were originated during the period 1975 until 2005, some of which were especially created for this exhibition. Curated by Anette Freudenberger.

Henning Bohl

July 30th until September 1st 2005

The magazine The Studio, which was co-founded by Aubrey Beardsley in 1893 and which strove to effect the unification of art and life, forms the basis of Henning Bohl’s exhibition. Borrowing from the 1902 edition, Bohl uses themes and motifs, which he duly transfers into paper works and installations. A trellis of roses shows artists names that appear as pseudonyms in the periodical, whereas other works on paper reflect the fin de siècle interest in Japonism.

Henning Bohl often uses paper , which he transfers onto canvases in the manner of a silhouette. He paints over copies, draws and institutes sculptural intrusions into available space. The references in his works are for the most part utopian impulses from the past, which he then investigates in terms of their current potential.

Rafal Bujnowski

May 7th until July 17th 2005

In his first solo exhibition Rafal Bujnowski (*1974 in Krakow) provides an overview of works originated since 1998. His conceptually arranged paintings, projects, videos and objects play with expectations placed upon art and conventions within the art industry. Bujnowski questions received notions about art such as genius, uniqueness or complexity and analyses art’s salient contexts and conditions. When presented them in showroom of a furniture store, his paintings—using banal motifs—destroy the idea of a work of art as something individual and unique. He applied for a visa for entry into the United States of America using a reproduction of a painted self-portrait. Whether the unpretentious image-objects (video cassettes, alarm systems, bricks) are objects, paintings or sculptures remains a matter for continued speculation.

Ars Viva 04/05 – Time

February 19th until April 24th 2005

Michael Hakimi, Peter Piller, Katja Strunz, David Zink Yi
In conjunction with the Kulturkreis der deutschen Wirtschaft im BDI e.v.

The ars viva prize winners Michael Hakimi, Peter Piller, Katja Strunz and David Zink Yi were nominated by the Kulturkreis der Deutschen Wirtschaft im BDI. The artists exhibited works in Mannheim, Düsseldorf and Warsaw on the topic of time. The Kunstverein is presenting thus four young artistic positions. The exhibited works revolve around different aspects of time— processuality, biographical time, the dynamic relationship between physical and experienced time, as well as social and economic aspects of time.


was ist das?

December 4th 2004 until February 6th 2005

Katharina Grosse, Hendrik Krawen, Rita McBride, Therese Schult, Dirk Skreber, Lee Thomas Taylor, Paloma Varga Weisz

The exhibition conceived in conjunction with the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf und Kunstverein is geared in the first instance towards the actual physical location of both institutions: the Kunsthalle erected in 1967. The seven participating artists were invited to develop a series of site-specific works for the spaces within the building, which would comprise differing media and derive from their differing artistic approaches and yet which all comment upon the space in one way or another. 

Katharina Grosse, Rita McBride, Hendrik Krawen, Paloma Varga Weisz, Therese Schult, Dirk Skreber and Lee Thomas Taylor have realised paintings and installations, which relate to the dimensions of the individual spaces, the brutalistic design elements of channelling of light and views to the outside. In so doing, imaginary, real, painterly and sculptural spaces emerge—some of which one can walk around and all of which impart aesthetic experience.

Josef Kramhöller

August 28th until November 14th 2004

Josef Kramhöller made liberal use of diverse media and materials: he painted, drew, took photographs, wrote, set up installations, read, performed, worked with marker pens, Vaseline, video, sound and text, used excerpts from magazines for collages, existing texts from advertising, literature or political philosophy for his own writings. His analytical and poetic perception of reality lead to emphatic and incisive works containing both autobiographical as well as socio-political elements. Kramhöller’s numerous informal and expressive small paper works and large canvases are characterised by an immediate approach with oftentimes imploring repetitions and a sketch-like, aggressive absoluteness. Amelie von Wulffen, Stephan Dillemuth and Axel John Wieder, who were friends with Josef Kramhöller and who manage his estate, devised the exhibition for the Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen.

Ohio (Huber + Janka)


July 18th until August 15th 2004

The artist duo Ohio (Uschi Huber and Jörg Paul Janka) work with found material, mostly photographs and videos from (private) archives that are presented in the photographic magazine Ohio or in a public showcase or indeed infiltrate the art world though exhibitions. The exhibition e.V., realised to commemorate the 175 anniversary of the Kunstverein, engages with the theme of Verein or membership-based, local contemporary art institution made up of interested citizens, artists and collectors. In order to do this Ohio has invited the most varied local institutions from the Rhineland and Westphalia to provide paintings and video material. The viewer wanders through a staged setting comprising insights into the life of the Verein normally not visible to outsiders. Aspects of work, fun and passion in completely different walks of life are revealed, for example, in images of a training exercise by a youth fire brigade, diver training in grey, murky waters, the work in a group of garden allotments or the performance of the Bonn male ballet dressed in female costume.

Moshekwa Langa

present + tense

April 4th until June 27th 2004

In collages made from plastic tarpaulins, brightly coloured tape, threads and found boxes, Moshekwa Langa designs abstract, mental maps and traces of life in South Africa and Europe in his drawings, photographs, sculptures and videos.  History becomes a geographical image, in which the documentation of objective events and personal memories fuse with one another.  In the colourful text images, the collapsing guides (black plastic foil and tape), the compasses and cityscapes (found cardboard), Langa explores the consciousness for time and place, for a change in locality and the crossing of borders. Possibilities for orientation and guidelines come to the fore in his work through a series of political and personal experiences.

175 Jahre Kunstverein

In 2004 Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen celebrated its 175-years existence. Ever since it was founded by artists and citizens in 1829 the emphasis has always be on the presentation, communication and discussion of contemporary art. The anniversary year is celebrated throughout the year 2004 with the exhibition e.V.; by OHIO, a publication, and special events.

Arthur Köpcke

What is it?

December 14th 2003 until March 14th 2004

The Germano-Danish painter, poet and Fluxus artist, who died in 1977 at the age of 49, radically questioned the boundaries of art.  His comprehensive oeuvre is a collage of literature, painting, object, conceptual and action art. Köpcke not only switched media with ease, but also the roles (those of the artist, the gallerist and the purveyors of art), the orthography of his name and language itself: German, Danish and English.

Köpcke’s conceptual main work, the so-named reading/work-pieces (1963-65) features chiefly a combination of banal subjects from newspaper magazines, puzzles and language games.

Pawel Althamer & Artur Zmijewski

So-called waves and other phenomena of the mind . . .

September 14th until November 23th 2003

During the preparation of the joint exhibition for the Kunstverein, both Polish artists Althamer and Zmijewski embarked upon their travels together: to the working class quarter Brodnó in Warsaw, to a forest, to a hypnotist, to the deserts of Mexico. Partly under the influence of narcotics, both men were in search of new experiences and in so doing crossed over customary boundaries.

Visitors to the exhibition were greeted by a Yucca and the metal writing bearing the title of the exhibition So genannte Wellen… emblazoned upon the brutalistic facade of the Kunsthalle. There was a desert-like floor area visible in the exhibition space of the Kunstverein whilst Zmijeswki’s videos could be viewed on monitors featuring Althamer playing the role of his life: the role of the artist.

Silke Otto-Knapp

Orange View

June 1st until August 24th 2003

The artist Silke Otto-Knapp (*1970) paints water colours of cities such as Los Angeles and Las Vegas and shows artificially produced plant environments in greenhouses located in public spaces. The artist uses photographs taken from photography books or magazines as  templates, as well as her own photographs.  It is not so much the correct representation of the motif that is of central importance here but rather its development within the painterly process.  Sometimes it is only possible to discern glimpses with a few marked lines.   

Whereas an early series shows the nocturnal view from the Hollywood Hills across the glittering metropolis, a later sequence of images depicts Los Angeles as a city overgrown with opulent plants and palms. The apparently wild nature and the equally rank megalopolis overlap in the fusion of colour fields.

Rineke Dijkstra

May 1st until 11th 2003

The Buzzclub, Liverpool, UK / Mysteryworld, Zaandam, NL

In her Video The Buzzclub the Dutch artist Rineke Dijkstra (*1959) shows  visitors to two discotheques The Buzzclub in Liverpool and Mysteryworld in Zaandam, Netherlands. She requested young visitors to pose for her camera in the middle of the night in the empty vestibule in front of a white wall. The music from the discotheque is audible in the background, but the girls and boys are alone. The artist sets a formal rigour against the dynamics of the music and the movement: the cool neutrality of the room, the isolation of the figures and the calculated editing. In this way Rineke Dijkstra achieves an existential quality and shows portraits of individuals that oscillate between vulnerability and self-confidence.

Sam Durant

January 18th until March 30th 2003

Sam Durant is interested in the relationships between politics, pop culture and art. In his sculptures, drawings and photographs he focuses upon the period around 1968/70 and the shift from utopia to dystopia. One’s first impression of the exhibition is determined by singing and talking voices issuing from loudspeakers: Mick Jagger, Sun Ra, die Rapper Dead Prez, BAP and Joseph Beuys.

A tree keeps cropping up in an installation made of drawings and sculptures—as a symbol of slavery, for the racist justice of the lynch mob in the Deep South, but also for a family tree representing one’s own genealogy. A special installation created especially for the Kunstverein presents selected material in pseudo-scientific manner on the life and work of Joseph Beuys, a kind of critical echo of the mythology surrounding Beuys and his ambivalent attitude towards America.

Tacita Dean

October 12th until December 21th 2002

An unspectacular fascination emanates from some stories, places and times, a kind of magical charge, which exists only for a moment or perhaps even for years. With an incisive yet endearing eye, Tacita Dean discovers the unusual and renders it visible through films and photographs she has taken or composed herself or indeed from found images. She has made an almost forgotten space—the windowless cellar studio of Marcel Broodthaers where he set up the Section Cinéma of his famous imaginary museum 30 years previously—the setting of a film for the exhibition. 

Images as well as their meanings and conditions play a central part in Tacita Dean’s work as they did in that of Marcel Broodthaers. The engagement with cinema and the museum per se, with collecting, the image, naming, word and meaning form the fundament of the exhibition, which she has conceived for the Kunstverein. The power of time, the cyclical as a phenomenon and also that of disappearance, as well as the possibility of making things visible are all illuminated in Deans filmic images. 

Richard Wright

July 7th until September 22th 2002

Richard Wright has created a multipart wall piece for the exhibition in the Kunstverein based upon the elongated form of the space, the lighting conditions and the movement of the viewer within the space. Wright’s works aren’t immediately visible. Characterised by timelessness, this spatial work can only be accessed by a slowly-moving, meditative eye and not one overwhelmed by information. At first one gets the impression that the artwork has nothing to do with the surrounding world. However, upon closer inspection, a multitude of connections to the immediate environs emerges—both to the architecture and the history of the place. References on the central stairway and the concrete module but also Joseph Beuys’ Ofenrohr (chimney) fuse with references to ornaments on porcelain, album covers, clothing, drawings of telephones and utility graphics, as well as tendencies within 20th Century abstract painting.  Renouncing the immediately recognisable, Wright challenges the viewer for his part to look and questions the interpretabilty of the image. 

Eingang links / Enter to the Left

Art and Music Projects in the Construction Site

September 2001 until February 2002

During the refurbishment of the Kunstverein and the Kunsthalle, which is due to continue until May 2002, the Kunstverein will make use of the special situation brought about by the construction site with a series of art and music events. From September 2001 until February 2002, Eingang links offers artists, musicians and mediators a platform for collaborations on respective Saturday evenings. Significant interrelationships between art and music in contemporary life will be investigated in a series of performances, musical contributions, video presentations and talks.

The Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen was awarded the Jürgen Ponto Foundation Young Art in the Kunstvereinen prize in 2001. The prize money was directed towards the financing of the EINGANG LINKS series of events.