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"Archetypes of Art: From the Realm of Plants and Exotic Cultures"
2004-10-28 until 2004-11-01
Koln, , DE Germany

It was a legendary exhibition in the Galerie Nierendorf, Berlin, in 1926. For the first time the sculptor, photographer and university professor Karl Blossfeldt exhibited his photos of plants, Urformen der Kunst (Archetypes of Art), together with tribal art from Africa and Papua New Guinea. The special exhibition at this years ART COLOGNE on the ground floor (Stand 22) pays homage to this legendary exhibition. On view are original photographs from the Ann and Juergen Wilde Foundation for Photography and Art Research, and tribal objects from the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum, both in Cologne. Blossfeldts enlargements of plants will be confronted with objects from Africa and Oceania and radiate the same fascination that entranced the viewers at their first presentation in Berlin nearly 80 years ago. The special exhibition at this years ART COLOGNE is being curated by the Cologne gallerist Dierk Dierking, Aussereuropaeische Kunst Dierking.

This remake of the legendary exhibition is an homage to the publisher and art dealer Karl Nierendorf, who with his passion for modern art was one of the most significant art dealers at the beginning of the 20th century, along with Paul Cassirer and Alfred Flechtheim. The exhibition also honours the work of Karl Blossfeldt, whose photographs continue to this day to evoke phenomenal interest and admiration. The artefacts from the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum stand for the creative force of non-European cultures. Colognes Museum of Ethnology is also taking this opportunity to emphasise how limited its current space in the south of Cologne is. As long as the new building on Neumarkt, in the centre of Cologne, remains unfinished, only one percent of the collection can be presented - a collection that encompasses 65,000 objects, 100,000 historical, ethnographic photographs and a specialist library of national significance.

As one of the most important ethnological museums in Germany and as the only one of its kind in North-Rhine-Westphalia, it pursues its claim to awaken understanding and respect for the life and art forms of non-European cultures on the basis of its valuable collections from Africa, America, Asia, Oceania and Australia. In its new house with an exhibition space of 4,000 square metres in the centre of the city it hopes to have more space to present exhibitions and make the museum a lively meeting place.

The Foundation for Photography and Art Research of Ann and Jürgen Wilde was founded in December 2001 in Cologne. Its purpose is to promote art and culture as well as science and research for the preservation, care, expansion and mediation of the archives of Karl Blossfeldt and Albert Renger-Patzsch and their public accessibility. This is accomplished above all through exhibitions and publications. In 2003, Ann and Jürgen Wilde published a new facsimile edition of Karl Blossfeldts Urformen der Kunst as a portfolio. It had been first published as a book in 1928 by the Wasmuth Verlag in Berlin. Its editor was Karl Nierendorf.

At the occasion of the special exhibition a lavishly illustrated catalogue will be published by Ann and Jürgen Wilde and Dierk Dierking in cooperation with the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum.

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