George Brecht, The Book of the Tumbler on Fire, Volume I, Chapter VIII, Page 3, Footnote 19, 1969, wood, umbrella, lamp, 85 x 115 x 110 cm
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017, Photo: mumok, Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, former Sammlung Hahn, Cologne

Art Into Life! Collector Wolfgang Hahn and the 60s

June 24 – September 24, 2017

Open­ing: Mon­day, June 23, 2017, 7 p.m.

In the 1960s, the Rhine­land was an im­por­tant cen­ter for a rev­o­lu­tio­nary oc­cur­rence in art: a new gen­er­a­tion of artists with in­ter­na­tio­n­al net­works re­belled against tra­di­tio­n­al art. They used ev­ery­day life as their source of in­spi­ra­tion and ev­ery­day ob­jects as their ma­te­rial. They went out in­to their ur­ban sur­round­ings, chal­leng­ing the lim­its of the art dis­ci­p­lines and col­lab­o­rat­ing with mu­si­cians, writ­ers, film­mak­ers, and dancers. In touch with the lat­est trends of this exc­it­ing pe­ri­od, the Cologne paint­ing re­s­tor­er Wolf­gang Hahn (1924–1987) be­gan ac­quir­ing this new art and cre­at­ed a mul­ti­facet­ed col­lec­tion of works of Nou­veau Réal­isme, Fluxus, Hap­pen­ing, Pop Art, and Con­cep­tu­al Art.

Wolf­gang Hahn was head of the conser­va­tion de­part­ment at the Wall­raf Richartz Mu­se­um and the Mu­se­um Lud­wig. This per­spec­tive in­flu­enced his view of con­tem­po­rary art. He re­al­ized that the new art from around 1960 was quintessen­tial­ly pro­ces­su­al and per­for­ma­tive, and from the very be­gin­n­ing he visit­ed the events of new mu­sic, Fluxus events, and Hap­pen­ings. He ini­ti­at­ed works such as Daniel Spo­er­ri’s Hahns Abendmahl (Hahn’s Sup­per) of 1964, im­ple­ment­ed Lawrence Wein­er’s con­cept A SQUARE RE­MO­VAL FROM A RUG IN USE of 1969 in his liv­ing room, and not on­ly purchased con­cepts and scores from artists, but al­so video works and 16mm films.  

On the other hand, he en­coun­tered con­tem­po­rary art with a keen sense of his­to­ry. As a wit­ness of events and Hap­pen­ings, he doc­u­ment­ed what he saw by con­duct­ing artist in­ter­views to learn more about the cre­a­tion of the works and their artis­tic po­si­tion; he al­so pur­pose­ful­ly col­lect­ed works and doc­u­ments from spe­cif­ic Hap­pen­ing con­texts. This is how he came in­to pos­ses­sion of a great num­ber of ob­jects from Nam June Paik’s le­g­endary ex­hi­bi­tion Ex­po­si­tion of Mu­sic: Elec­tron­ic Tele­vi­sion of 1963.  

The Hahn Col­lec­tion was ac­quired by the Re­public of Aus­tria in 1978 and was aug­ment­ed with other ac­qui­si­tions in 2003. It is part of the mumok – Mu­se­um mod­ern­er Kunst Stif­tung Lud­wig Wien in Vien­na.   The ex­hi­bi­tion at the Mu­se­um Lud­wig and the mumok con­sid­ers the Hahn Col­lec­tion for the first time as a self-con­tained time cap­sule that of­fers a fresh look at the art of the 1960s and ’70s be­yond art-his­tor­i­cal or ge­o­graph­i­cal cat­e­gories.


Anouj, Ar­man, Ay-O, Joseph Beuys, Ge­orge Brecht, Michael Buthe, John Cage, John Cham­ber­lain, Chris­to, Bruce Con­n­er, Philip Corn­er, Merce Cun­n­ing­ham, Gérard De­schamps, Jim Dine, François Dufrêne, Öyvind Fahl­ström, Robert Fil­liou, Sam Gil­li­am, Lud­wig Gose­witz, Nan­cy Graves, Ray­mond Hains, Al Hansen, Dick Hig­gins, Al­lan Kaprow / Ka­sia Fu­dakows­ki, Al­i­son Knowles, Arthur Køpcke, Gary Kuehn, Yay­oi Kusa­ma, Bar­ry Le Va, Boris Lurie, Gor­don Mat­ta-Clark, Claes Ol­d­en­burg, Yoko Ono, Nam June Paik, Lil Pi­card, Klaus Rinke, Mim­mo Rotel­la, Di­eter Roth,  Ni­ki de Saint Phalle, Gün­ter Sa­ree, Ge­orge Se­gal, Daniel Spo­er­ri, Paul Thek, Jean Tingue­ly, Ur­su­la, Franz Er­hard Walther, Robert Watts, Lawrence Wein­er, H.C. West­er­mann, Ste­fan Wew­er­ka, Jac­ques de la Vil­leglé, Wolf Vostell, Gil J. Wol­man. 

Ka­sia Fu­dakows­ki was in­vit­ed to rein­vent Push and Pull (1963) by Al­lan Kaprow. She will pre­sent Push and Pull – Re-In­vent­ed as a new work.

About the ex­hi­bi­tion

An ex­hi­bi­tion by the Mu­se­um Lud­wig in co­op­er­a­tion with the mumok – Mu­se­um mod­ern­er Kunst Stif­tung Lud­wig Wien, cu­rat­ed by Bar­bara En­gel­bach (Mu­se­um Lud­wig) and Su­sanne Neuburg­er (mumok). The ex­hi­bi­tion at the Mu­se­um Lud­wig was cu­rat­ed by Bar­bara En­gel­bach.  

The ex­hi­bi­tion will be on view at the mumok in Vien­na start­ing Novem­ber 10, 2017.

The ex­hi­bi­tion re­ceived gener­ous sup­port from the Peter and Irene Lud­wig Foun­da­tion, the Kun­st­s­tif­tung NRW, and the Land­schaftsver­band Rhein­land as well as ad­di­tio­n­al fund­ing from the Sparkasse Köln­Bonn from the lot­tery (PS Sparen und Gewin­nen) of the Rheinisch­er Sparkassen- und Girover­band and the Ge­sellschaft für Mod­erne Kunst am Mu­se­um Lud­wig e.V..

#kun­s­taus­dem­leben In­s­ta­gram cam­paign

Daniel Spo­er­ri lit­er­al­ly saved the lef­t­overs from vari­ous din­n­er par­ties in his Fal­l­en­bilder (Pic­ture Traps) of the 1960s: he glued down ev­ery­thing on the table, thus cre­at­ing three-di­men­sio­n­al still lifes. It was not al­ways pret­ty: the lef­t­overs got moldy, and the over­flow­ing ash­trays stank. Spo­er­ri pre­served re­al im­ages of so­ci­e­ty in this way.

In or­der to re­s­ur­rect Spo­er­ri’s Fal­l­en­bilder true to the way the artist con­ceived them, we in­vit­ed you to show us the lef­t­overs from your fam­i­ly din­n­ers, your table af­ter a gar­den par­ty, your cof­fee table af­ter din­n­er for one, or your camp­ing table at a fes­ti­val. Work­ing against the In­s­ta­gram trend of show­ing cre­a­tive­ly ar­ranged plates, you shared your art from re­al life at #kun­s­taus­dem­leben from Ju­ly 17 to Au­gust 18, 2017 on In­s­ta­gram.

The win­n­ers re­ceived one of ten ex­hi­bi­tion ca­t­a­logues of Art in­to Life! Col­lec­tor Wolf­gang Hahn and the 60s! . This was a joint cam­paign by the Mu­se­um Lud­wig and mumok—Mu­se­um mod­ern­er Kunst Stif­tung Lud­wig Wien, Vien­na.

#kun­s­taus­dem­leben on In­s­ta­gram

We ex­tend our thanks to our part­n­ers: