Family Ties
The Schröder Donation

Ju­ly 13 – Septem­ber 29, 2019

Open­ing: Fri­day, Ju­ly 12, 2019, 7 p.m.

In the 1990s a new art scene be­gan to form in Cologne. New gal­leries, mag­azines such as Texte zur Kunst, and the al­ter­na­tive ex­hi­bi­tion space Frie­sen­wall 120 were start­ed. Alexan­der Schröder fol­lowed th­ese de­vel­op­ments from Ber­lin. Al­ready as an art stu­dent at the Hoch­schule der Kün­ste Ber­lin, he found­ed his own gallery along with Thi­lo Wermke. At the same time, he be­gan col­lect­ing art from the 1990s and 2000s with his spe­cial eye.

To­day his col­lec­tion ex­em­pli­fies the idiosyn­crat­ic and sen­su­al side of this era, which was shaped by Con­cep­tu­al Art. It de­mon­s­trates the sig­ni­f­i­cance of artist groups and col­lab­o­ra­tions in chang­ing con­stel­la­tions at the time. Proxim­i­ty and dis­tance, con­nec­tions and com­pe­ti­tion, in­clu­sion and ex­clu­sion ex­ist­ed in pro­duc­tive fric­tion with each other. Now the Schröder fam­i­ly has do­nat­ed twen­ty-nine works from their col­lec­tion, in­clud­ing large-scale in­s­tal­la­tions, to the Mu­se­um Lud­wig by artists such as Kai Al­thoff, Cosi­ma von Bonin, Tom Burr, Lukas Duwen­hög­ger, Isa Gen­zken, and Danh Võ. The ex­hi­bi­tion Fam­i­ly Ties: The Schröder Do­na­tion pre­sents th­ese works to the public along with a se­lec­tion from the Mu­se­um Lud­wig col­lec­tion. It fo­cus­es on art at the turn of the twen­ty-first cen­tu­ry and ex­amines the spe­cial con­di­tions that ex­ist­ed in Cologne, al­so in re­la­tion­ship to New York.

Di­rec­tor Yil­maz Dziewior: “I am de­light­ed that with this do­na­tion, nu­mer­ous works that were orig­i­nal­ly close­ly linked to Cologne or first ex­hibit­ed here are now per­ma­nent­ly back in their place of ori­gin.”

Around 1995, the field of art ex­pand­ed. Pro­claimed art move­ments and schools were re­placed with group af­fili­a­tions. Fam­i­ly-like struc­tures or net­works shaped work­ing meth­ods and thus al­so aes­thet­ic de­ci­sions. In her work, Cosi­ma von Bonin equ­ates friends and role mod­els with fam­i­ly ties. By con­trast, Kai Al­thoff trans­lates am­bi­va­lent group dy­nam­ics in­to pow­er­ful works that deal with the long­ing or com­pul­sion as­so­ci­at­ed with be­long­ing to a group. Artists en­tered in­to col­lab­o­ra­tions that were less based on the works them­selves than on the pro­cess.

They in­clude An­drea Fras­er, Renée Green, Chris­tian Philipp Müller, and Nils Nor­man. Their work­ing meth­ods some­times dif­fered: the self-pro­claimed bo­hemian, the (tem­po­rary) col­lec­tive, and the tem­po­rary net­work in con­s­tant flux based on spe­cif­ic ques­tions with an open exchange were three pos­si­ble mod­els. The writ­ings of the so­ci­ol­o­gist Pierre Bour­dieu were an im­por­tant ref­er­ence point for th­ese artists who en­gaged with In­sti­tu­tio­n­al Cri­tique. Bour­dieu de­scribes the re­la­tion­ship to role mod­els as a “s­trat­e­gy of be­long­ing,” among other things. Renée Green pre­fers to speak of con­tact zones. She us­es them to out­line ge­nealo­gies that, in con­trast to pre­vi­ous tra­di­tions, do not re­fer to a lin­ear his­to­ry or ori­gin, but in­stead por­tray his­to­ry as pre­sent and frag­men­tary. Lukas Duwen­hög­ger has a sim­i­lar ap­proach: his own his­to­ries of self-se­lect­ed ref­er­ences re­place the bi­o­log­i­cal un­der­s­tand­ing of fam­i­ly. The con­cept of fam­i­ly ties is evi­dent in a va­ri­e­ty of ways in the fea­tured art­works from the 1990s and ear­ly 2000s. The so­cial be­comes ma­te­rial for art.

Artists from the do­na­tion:

Kai Al­thoff, Cosi­ma von Bonin, KP Breh­mer, Tom Burr, Lukas Duwen­hög­ger, Isa Gen­zken, Renée Green, Dan Gra­ham, Ull Hohn, Hi­lary Lloyd, Lu­cy McKenzie, Chris­tian Philipp Müller, Nils Nor­man, Stephen Pri­na, Danh Võ 

Artists from the Mu­se­um Lud­wig col­lec­tion:

Juli­ette Blight­man, Tom Burr, An­drea Fras­er, Isa Gen­zken, Renée Green, Ull Hohn, Chris­tian Philipp Müller, Danh Võ, Stephen Wil­lats 

Cu­ra­tor: Bar­bara En­gel­bach

The ex­hi­bi­tion is gener­ous­ly sup­port­ed by

#Fam­i­lyTies #M­LxSchroed­er