September 21 – November 18 2018
The new exhibition series "Made in Düsseldorf", a cooperation with the Stadtsparkasse Düsseldorf, is dedicated to contemporary artists who live and work in the city. The first edition contrasts the series "Portraits from the Düsseldorf Art Scene" by Bernd Jansen with a series of portraits by Thomas Ruff.
Bernd Jansen, who lives in Düsseldorf, studied with Otto Steinert at the Folkwang Universität in Essen. For his thesis project “Portraits from the Düsseldorf Art Scene,” he photographed artists like Günther Uecker, Gerhard Richter, Joseph Beuys and Konrad Klapheck. Between 1968 and 1995, he expanded this series to encompass more than 50 photographs of the Düsseldorf art scene. Jansen depicts the artists in different poses, situations, and spaces as they engage in different activities. He uses settings, props, and objects as yet a further means of engaging with his sitters.
The 60-part series by Thomas Ruff, who studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf under Professor Bernd Becher, likewise came about during his studies. More objective in comparison to Jansen’s work, it exclusively represents people from the circle of the Kunstakademie, including Pia Fries, Ludger Gerdes, and Axel Hütte posed before a colorful background, in profile, facing the viewer, or in three-quarter view.
The works hail from the collection of the Stadtsparkasse Düsseldorf, which has been the NRW-Forum’s institutional partner since 2017, supporting exhibition and public programming. “Promoting the arts and supporting cultural institutions in Düsseldorf are an important aspect of the Stadtsparkasse Düsseldorf’s social engagements. We are pleased to present art from our collection through this new cooperation and to make the work of two important Düsseldorf photographers accessible to the public,” says Karin-Brigitte Göbel, CEO of the Stadtsparkasse Düsseldorf.
During the 1970s, then-CEO Fritz Kulins initiated the Stadtsparkasse Düsseldorf’s art collection. In the course of exhibitions held at the company, the first works found their way into the collection. Above all, it acquired works by Düsseldorf artists, former students of the Kunstakademie as well as important representatives of the Düsseldorf art scene. In the 1990s, the focus was narrowed to Düsseldorf photography with the purchase of works by Thomas Ruff, Bernd Jansen, Boris Becker, and Bernd and Hilla Becher. The last public presentation of Stadtsparkasse’s collection was over 20 years ago. With the new cooperation, it will now be made accessible to a broad public once again.
In cooperation with