【DE】”Friends of ART COLOGNE” once again acquire works of art for Cologne museums


  • Works by – Meret Oppenheim, Marion Baruch and Ayşe Erkmen for the Museum Ludwig Special publication with the illustrations of all acquired works for the 20th anniversary
  • Since its foundation in 2002, the Förderverein has acquired well over 100 works of art for Cologne museums


Special publication with the illustrations of all acquired works for the 20th anniversary


Also this year, a Cologne museum can look forward to new arrivals. This was made possible by the commitment of the “friends of ART COLOGNE”, who also took place on the 20th. anniversary of its foundation could once again fulfill the wishes of the institutions. In 2002, the non-profit association was founded by art lovers, not only from Cologne. The aim was and is to promote the art and cultural institutions in the cathedral city and thus strengthen the cultural attractiveness and importance of the region. In this way, the Förderverein secured well over 100 works of art offered at ART COLOGNE for Cologne. As permanent loans to museums, they are accessible to all art lovers. For the 20th anniversary, a special publication depicts all works acquired by the Förderverein: An impressive journey through art, from classical modernism and post-war art to contemporary works, all high-quality works, which often close collection and research gaps in the Cologne museums.


This year, Museum Ludwig benefited from the commitment of the “Friends of ART COLOGNE.” The works of three artists could be secured for the museum.


According to the statutes of the association, the members met during the 55th ART COLOGNE on the 19th November 2022 and agreed on the following purchases:


Garibaldina, the aluminum relief by Meret Oppenheim, 1952/78, made in 1978 according to a plaster model in 1952, now goes on permanent loan to the Museum Ludwig (Levy Galerie, 30,000 euros).


With strictly contoured, convex shapes, the aluminum relief of the exceptional artist Meret Oppenheim hints at a strongly abstract portrait that – following the title of the work – could show the inclined face of a female person or his metallic pupation. Meret Oppenheim’s unique work combines various artistic influences of the 20th century. Century with a special focus on Dada and Surrealism to an independent vision. In addition to her iconic fur-translated teacup, the artist created an amazingly diverse work that includes painting, drawing, photography, jewelry or artist books in addition to sculpture, while writing poems and prose at the same time. With her works, she always moved between reality and dream, consciously and unconsciously, questioning the rigid social definition of male and female. In her first years of work, she became friends with some of the best-known male artists from mainly surrealist circles. However, she soon broke away from her contemporaries in order to devote herself uninfluenced and freely to her individual view and above all to stand up for the feminine in art and society. While the Museum Ludwig keeps some important works by its male contemporaries, Meret Oppenheim has so far only been represented in the collection as a model on photographs by Dietmar Schneider and Man Ray. The Museum Ludwig wants to counteract this reduction and give the artist an independent place in the collection with the important work “Garibaldina” and thus add a provocative-self-confident and unadapted female voice to the male-dominated narrative of the time.


Two works by Marion Baruch, born in 1929, were acquired by the “Freund der ART COLOGNE” for the Museum Ludwig: A work called “Fiori”, 2019, in 7 individual parts made of satin (Summer Contemporary Art, 24,000 euros), as well as “Auilix”, 2016, Tissue noir (Summer Contemporary Art, 23,000.00 €).


Marion Baruch has created a versatile and idiosyncratic work over seven decades, which pursues a formalist approach and at the same time deals with conceptual, autobiographical, existential and philosophical questions. In the mid-1960s, Marion Baruch moved from painting to three-dimensional works that embrace elements from fashion, graphic and product design and commerce. In the last two decades, Baruch has reused textile waste from the prêt-à-porter industry, from which the artist creates expansive sculptures that expand like spider webs and become spatial and “readable” signs like eviscerated patterns. In her fragile, fleeting objects, the artist uses waste as a potential object and emptiness not as spiritual nothing, but rather as a form of the possible and creative – “It’s the void, and there’s possibility in the void: it contains everything, it contains surprise, life and emotion, which is what I need”. With the work “Fiori”, for example, Baruch shapes the pieces of fabric into flower-like structures that come together to form a sensual and seductive act of pollination, while the free-hanging work “Auilix”, whose title refers to the moon goddess from the Mayan culture, stages spaces in its curtain shape and simultaneous fragmentation that refer to the deliberately recessed and gapy. The particularly independent and unique quality of Baruch’s works consists not least in the fact that despite or precisely due to the vehement reduction in form, its fragility and fleetingness, she is able to seize and populate spaces, to change them performatively and to give them a variety of potential. An extraordinary quality that fits perfectly into the already very rich collection of abstract art of the Museum Ludwig.


Three works by the Turkish artist Ayşe Erkmen(*1949): Section X, 2010, Iron plate, Enamel paint, Section V, 2010, Iron plate, Enamel color, Section III, 2010, Iron plate, Enamel paint (Dirimat, 20,000 euros each)


Almost always, the works of the Turkish artist Ayşe Erkmen refer to existing local conditions, in which she intervenes structurally, in terms of content or form in order to process topics such as identity, history, self-determination and political control. By means of architectural, linguistic or acoustic interventions, Erkmen confronts the viewers with the often hidden physical, visual, social, psychological and historical dimensions of specific places. The selected three works of the Sections the wall sculptures are irregular geometric shapes that are cut from metal sheets, sprayed with enamel and hung in a group like disassembled puzzle pieces. While their minimalist shape and rigid materiality seem strictly formalistic, they are the result of the artist’s classic conceptual practice. The modified rectangles, in which different segments have been removed and indefinable spaces have formed, refer to the floor plan of different public squares. The artist conceals the exact places and their social, political and historical dimension behind the technical title and the emphatically abstract form of the sculptures and instead leaves negative forms and spaces that elude a clear attribution. With PFM-1 and Others (2010) and Turuncu (2006), two very important works by the artist are already in the collection of the Museum Ludwig. The three new acquisitions from her section series follow very stringently to the already existing works and form a consistent addition, which would be of particular importance for the positioning of the artist within the collection and in the narrative of influential contemporary artists.



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