Alfred Flechtheim.com: Art Dealer of the Avant-garde

Alfred Flechtheim in der Léger-Ausstellung, Berlin 1928, Foto: Atelier Baruck, Berlin
Alfred Flechtheim in der Léger-Ausstellung, Berlin 1928, Foto: Atelier Baruck, Berlin

A work presentation in 15 museums and an online exhibition

11 October 2013 – 2 February 2014

The gallerist Alfred Flechtheim (1878–1937) is among the most important and influential figures of the art scene of the first third of the 20th century. He worked towards promoting Rhenish Expressionism and French Cubism and supported important artists such as Max Beckmann, George Grosz and Paul Klee. He interpreted the heavy anti-Semitic attacks against him and his artists as unmistakable as early as 1933 and left Germany. Based in London, he continued to work as an art dealer and died there in 1937 as a result of an accident. His widow returned to Germany, where she received a deportation order in 1941, upon which she took her own life. Her possessions, including works of art, went to the German Reich.

To this day Alfred Flechtheim’s activities as an art dealer left their mark in numerous German museums: He has actively had an impact on the collections of Modernism. The aim of this research project is to retrace the artist’s steps, to make them vividly accessible in the museums and, at the same time, to make the results available on an internet platform on an international level. In this way, mechanisms of art dealing and the institutions’ strategies of collecting are revealed.

A total of 15 renowned museums take part in the project and thus make an important contribution to provenance research:  Kunstmuseum Bonn, Kunsthalle Bremen, Museum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Dortmund, Stiftung Museum Kunstpalast Düsseldorf, Stiftung Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Städel Museum, Frankfurt, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Sprengel Museum Hannover, Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, Museen der Stadt Köln, Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, München, LWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur, Westfälisches Landesmuseum, Münster, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Museum Rietberg, Zürich.

Mariusz Tarkawian

Ausschnitt aus dem Skizzenbuch von Mariusz Tarkawian
Ausschnitt aus dem Skizzenbuch von Mariusz Tarkawian

From our collection

11 October 2013 - 2 February 2014

The artist Mariusz Tarkawian (*1983), who lives in Lublin, Poland, is an “obsessive” graphic artist with a conceptual approach. For a few years he has worked his way through art history and the diversity of the contemporary art scene in countless, mostly postcard-size drawings. It is a process of adopting, but also of commenting.

In the course of a week in which the artist visited Museum Kunstpalast, he created a sketchbook comprising 140 drawings. “The Collection” is not only a portrait of the museum’s collection, but also a very personal documentation of his experience of viewing. The project was realised in collaboration with the Polish Institute Düsseldorf.

Mounir Fatmi

mounir fatmi, Impossible Union, 2011
Hebräische Schreibmaschine, arabische Kalligraphie Stiftung Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf, Foto: ©artist and CONRADS, Düsseldorf

The Impossible Union, 2011 From our collection

11 October 2013 - 1 June 2014

In his visual works, the Moroccan artist Mounir Fatmi frequently uses Arabic calligraphy, or characters with both aesthetic and semantic content. For his sculptures he uses an old Hebrew typewriter, which, rather than producing typed lettering on paper, creates metallic Arabic characters. With this subtle linkage of “linguistic incongruities” he alludes both to the multi-layered fabric of relations between the Jewish and Arabic world and to socio-cultural and political correlation between Jewish and Islamic culture and religion.

Ursula Ott

Ursula Ott, "Lich", 2011. Glas, verspiegelt, 116 x 94 cm. Foto Ursula Ott.
Ursula Ott, "Lich", 2011. Glas, verspiegelt, 116 x 94 cm. Foto Ursula Ott.

From our collection

11 October 2013 - 1 June 2014

The Düsseldorf artist, who was born in1960 and was master student with Gerhard Richter at the Düsseldorf Academy of Art, works with mirrored glass objects. The exhibition may also include drawings and ceramic works and will comprise approximately 10 objects.

Heavy Metal: Keinstar - Morris – Serra

Benjamin Katz, Richard Serra, One Ton Prop, Ausstellung Westkunst, Köln 1981, S/W-Foto, © Benjamin Katz, Richard Serra / VG Bild Kunst, Bonn 2013

From our collection

11 October 2013 - 1 June 2014

A new video by the young artist Christian Keinstar (*1975) is juxtaposed with two US-American works from the museum’s collection: House of Cards (1969/81) by Richard Serra (*1939) and the untitled lead relief by Robert Morris (*1931) dated 1964. In his video Christian Keinstar stirs liquid lead with his hand (clad in a work glove), Morris’ work is made of lead and depicts a work glove, Serra’s work was made of lead in its original version. In addition, drawing from the Archiv künstlerischer Fotografie der rheinischen Kunstszene (AFORK) (archive of artistic photography of the Rhineland’s art scene), a number of photographs are shown, for which Richard Serra repeated his work Splashing Lead from the 1960s.

The exhibition comprises three works and four photographs.

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