Vanessa Beecroft, vb68, 2011, Performance MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt, detail.

German Women Sculptors and Conceptualists Broaden MMK
Since the 1990s, works by the major German women sculptors and concept artists of the present, for example Katharina Fritsch, Isa Genzken and Rosemarie Trockel, have been acquired for the collection, along with those of their colleagues abroad, including Vija Celmins, Marlene Dumas, Cady Noland, Pipilotti Rist and Elaine Sturtevant. The influence of these women artists on the development of the visual arts has been and is fundamental. With their radical and uncompromising approaches, they have shaped styles and, to this day, served the following generations as important examples. With such distinctive artistic positions as those of Charlotte Posenenske, Louise Lawler, Lee Lozano and Joe Baer, the MMK collection retraces the history of contemporary art back to the early 1960s. In the area of photography as well, one of the focusses of the museum’s collection, such prominent female protagonists as Hilla Becher, Anna Blume and Candida Höfer, as well as the documentarists Barbara Klemm, Anja Niedringhaus and Abisag Tüllmann are all represented.

Major works by Vanessa Beecroft, Rineke Dijkstra, Teresa Margolles, Sarah Morris, Taryn Simon and others mark significant expansions of the collection, which more recently has been enhanced with workgroups by women presently in the limelight of the international art world, for example Andrea Büttner, Jewyo Rhij, Dayanita Singh and Dolores Zinny. From the beginning, the MMK has also devoted itself to the Frankfurt art scene, and here as well the museum’s holdings are enriched by such individualist and radical perspectives as that of Anne Imhof, Franziska Kneidl and Adrian Williams.

It is with the diversity and strength radiated by the works of these women artists that the MMK would like to celebrate its new presence in the centre of Frankfurt between the station and financial districts. The selection will encompass various artistic techniques and conceptual approaches and present a wide range of issues and perspectives.

In sculptures and installations, paintings and drawings, films and performances, featured artists question representation and societal connotation of the female body, concern themselves with social and global matters, investigate forms of narration and abstraction, and analyze strategies for the appropriation of space.

Their works are distinguished by individual perceptions and personal experiences; they demonstrate subversiveness and the courage to be open. In the exhibition parkour designed by the architects KuehnMalvezzi, unifying and disparate elements will join to form a comprehensive overall picture.

The exhibition title “Boom She Boom” quotes the sensationally successful doo-wop song of 1954 by the Chords, which has undergone many reinterpretations since that time. More than anything a declaration of love to a woman, “boom she” makes onomatopoetic reference to the dropping of a bomb and thus to the climax reached by the Cold War in the year the song was first produced. In the context of the exhibition concept, a further level of meaning is added to the hedonist and fatalist connotations of the title, a level on which the demands and realities of the presence of women artists in the museum world is made emphatically manifest.

Broadening MMK Collection >

Katharina Fritsch, Tischgesellschaft, 1988, Installation view in MMK 2 des MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst. detail, Foto/photo: Axel Schneider © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2014.

 

 

Wolfgang Laib sifting hazelnut pollen, 1992,

Wolfgang Laib, Pollen, Serenity, Reductive Beauty
Wolfgang Laib’s Pollen from Hazelnut will inhabit the Museum’s Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium, infusing the space with a yellow luminosity. Laib perceives the Marron Atrium as the Museum’s inner sanctum, its womb, and has created this work especially for the site.

Wolfgang Laib >>

Astrid Klein, Ce n'est pas une image just … , from the series Broken Heart, 1980, Collage, detail.

Astrid Klein's Works with Collage and Text, 1980-1995
Broken Heart, Arbeiten von 1980-1995 (Broken Heart, works from 1980-1995) references a body of work from the year 1980. A selection of works from this series, two sculptures (1990/1995) and four works from the series weiβe Bilder (white paintings), achieved between 1988 and 1993, will be exhibited.

Astrid Klein >>

Thomas Steffl | Still aus Naked Nation, 2009, Courtesy Galerie Zink, München / Berlin.

The Relationship between Nature and Society
With sculptures and video installations Thomas Steffl directs our attention to the relations between body, nature and society. His work is concerned first and foremost with representations of naturalness and corporality that are to be experienced as cultural constructions.

Naked Nation >>

Liam Gillick, Rescinded Production, 2008. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.

Gillick's 3 Perspectives over 2 Continents, 3 Museums
Liam Gillick’s work breaks through visual art boundaries, with architectural, structural, and spatial interventions that incorporate minimalist objects, graphic works, and wall paintings. He produces extensive literary texts — from essays and reviews, to fictional futurist visions and historical “re-interpretations.”

Liam Gillick >>

Berlynde De Bruyckere Oeuvre Surveyed
in Mid-Career

S.M.A.K., the Museum of Contemporary Art, Ghent, opens its doors on 18 October 2014 to a first mid-career retrospective of the work of Belgian artist Berlinde De Bruyckere (° 1964). In close collaboration with the artist the museum will present a combination of drawings, sculptures and installations illustrating the evolution and many nuances in her oeuvre. This exhibition is a prime event for Belgium as no other solo-exhibitions with work of Berlinde De Bruyckere have toured the country since the large exhibits at the Middelheimmuseum (Antwerp, 1996), the MuHKA (Museum of Modern Art, Antwerp, 2011) and the Provincial Cultural Centre Caermersklooster (Ghent, 2002). Berlinde De Bruyckere has in the meantime been exhibiting in the most important international museums and institutions.

Over the past twenty-five years, Berlinde De Bruyckere created a significant oeuvre of drawings and sculptures in which the artist’s thought, feeling and artistic output all revolve around the body. Without exception, all of these works display powerful emotions intent on perturbing our world grown immune to excessive imagery.
Through the years, Berlinde De Bruyckere acquired a profound insight into the iconographic world of passion. With an infinite curiosity for the scope and depth of man’s emotional powers, she explores how the body experiences and expresses passion. Excess, horror and the hypersensitive are not shunned, as the artist distills this sweltering torrent of emotions and bodily sensations into ‘new’ bodies; ‘new’ - because they possess a disconcerting emotional truth of their own rather than being a mere reconstruction of the artist’s analysis. Berlinde De Bruyckere’s drawings and sculptures start as true to life anatomical studies that are ultimately shaped by the tension between rich Western cultural historical references and personal imagination. Although the artist’s many choices throughout the creative process are highly intuitive, they are based on erudition, thorough study, a slow aesthetic process and a love for the materials used.

Berlinde De Bruyckere’s sculptures go well beyond the personal. They address both the world and the individual facing them. Even though they turn away their own faces or hide themselves under blankets and hair, despite their desolate, curled up and entwined shapeless bodies, they reach out and firmly hold the viewer’s eye. Berlinde De Bruyckere achieves this total captivation by focusing on the highly sensitive, bristling skin: the sleek hide of a horse; the pale waxen epidermis faintly showing the red and blue of vein and blood, the bulging wounds, stringy tendons, leather straps and swathes of cloth that fasten and tighten. She hides the furthest reaches of the human condition, suffering beyond words, in caverns, wounds and holes or under growths and bulges that irresistibly draw all attention. By raising the sculptures on pedestals and platforms, displaying them in large glass cases and cupboards, suspending them from hooks and beams, the artist addresses the public and confronts it with its darkest depths.

Berlinde De Bruckeyre>

Berlinde De Bruyckere, Schmerzenmann I, 2006, © Mirjam Devriendt.