Horst Wackerbarth: Jacques Tilly, Düsseldorf, 2016


Dates: 17/09 – 30/10/2016
Opening: 16/09/2016

Press preview: 15/09/2016, 11am, in presence of the artist Horst Wackerbarth (for accreditation and interviews please contact presse(at)

Press release (PDF)

The other Wackerbarth

The NRW-Forum Düsseldorf will be dedicating a comprehensive retrospective to the photo artist Horst Wackerbarth – looking back at 12 Red-Couch-projects with new portraits from the series “” and previously unexhibited, earlier works. On show from the 17th of September to the 30th of October 2016.

For more than 30 years Horst Wackerbarth has been taking photos of people on the red couch all over the world, bringing a piece of his heimat with him. Now he returns with the legendary piece of furniture to his actual heimat to portray North Rhine-Westphalia. From the 17th of September to the 30th of October 2016 the NRW-Forum Düsseldorf will be dedicating the comprehensive retrospective “Wackerbarth:” with over 200 photo and video works to the artist: The new project “” will be complemented by the most spectacular works from his entire oeuvre. “The Red Couch – A Gallery of Mankind” as well as a very personal return to his artistic beginnings.

Exhibition in public space

During the NRW-day 2016 in Düsseldorf, we are delighted to present 50 large–format advertisement-posters of the best photographs “” in public space in Düsseldorf – starting from August 22nd- September 11th  2016.

The Red Couch worldwide: Home is where the couch is

Horst Wackerbarth has been travelling the world with his red couch for more than 25 years, staging it in front of spectacular backdrops and introducing it into the lives of very different people. So far over 800 people from 52 countries have taken a seat on the read couch. Wackerbarth took the couch, epitome of privacy and a person’s home, to Europe’s most vibrant cities, the South American rainforest, villages in Siberia or Alaska’s cold desert, portraying people and their homes. The aim is to create a work of portraits, a gallery of mankind. “The red couch is at the same time a common denominator, a key theme, a stage, a throne and a communication platform” says Wackerbarth. The retrospective at the NRW-Forum Düsseldorf includes a selection of the most spectacular portraits from 12 Red-Couch-projects from across the globe. |

Back to the roots:

The couch that toured the world is coming back home: To mark the occasion of the NRW-day 2016 in Düsseldorf the NRW-Forum Düsseldorf will present Wackerbarth’s new project “”. Since August 2014 he has not been travelling far-away continents, but North Rhine-Westphalia. He has been commissioned by the NRW-foundation to portrait the state’s different regions for its 70th birthday. In search of typical themes, people, places and that special sense of home. He has created photo and video works which give insights into the state’s cultural, economic and environmental developments. “Düsseldorf has always been the starting point for my journeys across the world, with “” I will come full-circle, following Asia, America, Europe now NRW, the couch returns to its origins and I will get to know my native land for the first time”, so the well-travelled artist. The project stands under the patronage of state minister Hannelore Kraft. |

The project is also a technological novelty: transfer-artprints will be used for the first time, a new technique with a durability of over 200 years.

The other Horst Wackerbarth

Just as felt and grease are inextricably linked to Joseph Beuys and nails to Günther Uecker, so the red couch is linked to the name Horst Wackerbarth, writes the historian Dr. Enno Kaufhold. The fact that he is mentioned in the same breath as the red couch is perceived by Wackerbarth as a blessing and as a curse, because apart from Red-Couch-series which attracted a lot of attention, there are a number of other, less well known, photo cycles by the artist. The retrospective at the NRW-Forum Düsseldorf will therefore also focus on Wackerbarth’s works “without couch”: a return to the artistic beginnings and earlier works. The show thus also offers insights into the photography of the last decades and highlights the development of new processes and technologies.


Horst Wackerbarth was born in 1950 in Fritzlar, North Hessen and studied at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Kassel with a focus on photography. He works as a photo and video artist in Düsseldorf. Wackerbarth’s works have been published in 10 monographs, they have been on show at over 50 solo exhibitions in museums and galleries across the globe and feature in 13 important collections of contemporary art.


Since 1986, the North Rhine-Westphalia foundation has been supporting charitable organisations, associations and initiatives that promote nature conservation, local history and culture. So far they have supported around 2600 projects. In terms of nature conservation, they focus on the acquisition of land worthy of protection to preserve a habitat for plants and animals threatened by extinction. In terms of local history and culture the NRW-foundation is, amongst other things, involved with listed mills, historic farmsteads and the remains of former mines. |

Project partnes

Exhibition partner


It is permissible to use at no charge the pictorial material listed here for topic-oriented reporting (in print- and online-media as well as via social-media channels) and with inclusion of the indicated photo credit. The exemption from utilization fees expires six weeks after the end of the exhibition. In the case of an article or reprint, we would be pleased to receive a copy at or NRW-Forum Düsseldorf, Pressestelle, Ehrenhof 2, 40479 Düsseldorf. Thank you.

Horst Wackerbarth© Nrw Forum Duesseldorf Tatjana Ebermann 11


Horst-Wackerbarth©NRW-Forum-Duesseldorf T.Ebermann_Austellungsansicht


Horst-Wackerbarth©NRW-Forum-Duesseldorf T.Ebermann_Austellungsansicht


Horst-Wackerbarth©NRW-Forum-Duesseldorf T.Ebermann_Austellungsansicht



NRW-Forum Düsseldorf · Ehrenhof 2 · D - 40479 Düsseldorf
Tel.: +49 (0)211 – 89 266 90 ·
Imprint | Privacy policy