Seeing familiar things with new eyes and coming up with different stories: one year after assuming his post, Director Philipp Kaiser has ventured a fresh look at the collection of the Museum Ludwig. The permanently provisional exhibition title Not Yet Titled alludes to a central aspect of this presentation: the museum is a place where art history is always studied, appraised, and described anew from the present standpoint.
Both the second and lower floors of the museum will trace different perceptions of reality from the early 1960s to the present. Items displayed on the third floor engage with the real world via media images and appropriation, as in the work of Andy Warhol, John Baldessari, and Sherrie Levine. By contrast, the lower floor will be devoted to "literal" approaches involving an emphasis on process, work, site-specificity, and political issues in art that ranges from the Minimalist sculptures of Carl Andre and Hans Haacke's Condensation Wall to a recently acquired series of photographs by Allan Sekula showing workers leaving factories. The second floor will therefore act as a hinge between European modernism, late modernism in the USA, and Minimalism.
The large gallery on the lower floor will house Michael Heizer's monumental projection Actual Size (Elsinore), going on display for the first time since the 1971 Guggenheim International in New York. This spectacular work was recently acquired for the collection by the Peter and Irene Ludwig Foundation to complement the museum's two sculptures by Heizer. The other large gallery, on the ground floor, will show another large-scale installation, a work by Conceptual artist Barbara Kruger that has not been on view since the museum purchased it in 1995. Not Yet Titled will also feature the museum's first presentation of a 1995 video installation by Diana Thater. Neon pieces by Richard Serra are being restored for the occasion, and recent acquisitions of work by Monika Baer, Nairy Baghramian, Mark Boulos, Elad Lassry, Hans Haacke, and others will be on view for the first time.
The display, which will encompass all the exhibition spaces in the building, still lacks a title because it seeks to stress the process-related and temporary character of what is necessarily a subjective view. New light will be shed on familiar pieces, and works that up to now have been in storage will be put on view and evaluated anew.