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Indepth Arts News:

"Friedrich Christian Flick Collection"
2004-09-22 until 2005-01-23
Hamburger Bahnhof Museum
Berlin, , DE Germany

The Friedrich Christian Flick Collection, one of the most significant collections of contemporary art in the world, will be presented to the public for the first time at a large-scale special exhibition, opening on 22 September 2004. The exhibition, which is scheduled to run until 23 January 2005, will present a broad cross-section of approximately 400 works belonging to the art collector Friedrich Christian Flick. The exhibition will occupy the entire Hamburger Bahnhof as well as the converted Rieckhallen, which are located adjacent to the main museum building.

Following the inaugural exhibition, the private collection of around 2,000 works of art, which has been loaned to the Hamburger Bahnhof for a period of seven years, will be gradually shown in its entirety in a series of temporary exhibitions. The collection, unique in its diversity and quality, focusses on art of the second half of the 20th century, comprising painting, sculpture, photography, video and installation. Alberto Giacometti, Bruce Nauman, Martin Kippenberger, Luc Tuymans, Cindy Sherman and Pipilotti Rist are only some of the many outstanding artists represented in the collection.

Under the direction of Eugen Blume, chief curator at the Hamburger Bahnhof, a team of established curators of the Nationalgalerie including Gabriele Knapstein and Joachim Jäger, together with young co-curators Regina Göckede, Anette Hüsch, Cristina Steingräber and Jörg Völlnagel, is working to create an exhibition landscape for the inaugural show which assembles groups of works by outstanding European and North American artists held in the Friedrich Christian Flick Collection according to a range of different themes. The exhibition has been conceived as an essayistic approach to artistic thought in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, which takes up the central questions of contemporary art in a series of chapters designed to show the collection in its extraordinary diversity.

Th works of Nam June Paik, Peter Fischli and David Weiss, Roman Signer and Dieter Roth exemplify the significance of process for the art of recent times. The theme of space and architecture will be examined in works by Jeff Wall, Dan Graham, Gordon Matta-Clark and Rachel Khedoori. Sexuality and the body will be treated in groups of works by Raymond Pettibon, Paul McCarthy and Cindy Sherman. Even the institution of the museum will be touched upon within the context of an artistic discourse which takes Marcel Duchamp, the father of twentieth-century conceptual art in all its manifestations, and Belgian artist, Marcel Broodthaers, as its point of departure.

A number of artists including Jason Rhoades, Stan Douglas, Rodney Graham, Paul McCarthy, Franz West, Pipilotti Rist and Diana Thater are to be allocated a space in which to perform site-specific installations of their own works as held by the Friedrich Christian Flick Collection.

Groups of works by the three great American artists, Jason Rhoades, Paul McCarthy and Bruce Nauman, will occupy a position of central importance within the exhibition. In the historical hall of the Hamburger Bahnhof Jason Rhoades will transform his complex installations into one huge environment. A large-format video sculpture by Paul McCarthy on the theme of sexuality and violence will also be shown in the hall. These centrally positioned works will be complemented by a series of works by Martin Kippenberger, Richard Prince and Duane Hanson among others.

As one of the most significant living artists, American artist Bruce Nauman is to be represented by an unrivalled group of works, which will combine to deliver an impressive reflection of the essence of his artistic thought. The entire Kleihues hall, which is located next door to the historical hall, alongside a number of large spaces within the converted Rieckhallen will be dedicated to the presentation of his work.

On the occasion of the exhibition a comprehensive catalogue with over 500 pages will be published by SMB-DUMONT in Berlin and Cologne. Covering all artists and works selected for the inaugural exhibition, the catalogue will appear in German and English.

Another integral part of the exhibition concept is a newspaper that will be distributed among the visitors at the opening. The publication features an in-depth conversation between the collector, Friedrich Christian Flick, and the curator, Eugen Blume, which focusses on the individual aspects of this unusual collaboration. Here Friedrich Christian Flick’s family history plays a special role. Indeed, the conversation addresses all of the issues that have been subject of the enduring and controversial debate in the German media and serves to document the various public discussions. In addition, the State Museums of Berlin will host an extensive supporting programme in line with the social significance of the exhibition, which will include a series of talks and a panel discussion on the occasion of the inaugural exhibition of the Friedrich Christian Flick Collection at the Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwart - Berlin.

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