© Kunsthalle Mannheim/ Constantin Meyer
Einblick in den Neubau der Kunsthalle Mannheim
© Kunsthalle Mannheim/ Constantin Meyer
© Kunsthalle Mannheim/ Constantin Meyer

Upcoming Exhibitions 2019–20

03/01/19 to 05/01/20

Kunsthalle Mannheim

Exhibition Overview 2019 to 2020

Collection Focus – Cube 2:
Media Revolution and Culture War
5 July 2019 until December 2019
Curator: Dr. Sebastian Baden

Michel Majerus’s work evokes the thrilling era of a media revolution in the early 2000s when DJ culture, computer gaming, and digital animation became a part of the fine art scene. The Luxembourgish artist’s paintings and sculptures played an important exemplary function for a generation of post-Cold War artists succeeding the nouveau réalistes and the Junge Wilde and Fluxus artists. These neo-avant garde postwar art movements are represented with carefully chosen works by César, Nam June Paik, and Wolf Vostell which deal with the new medium of the television, performance art, the aesthetics of destruction and Germany’s wartime past. In the early 1980s, Walter Dahn and Jĭri Dokoupil made premonitory reference to the return of right-wing symbols with their “German Forest” (1981). Majerus in turn thematized the American culture wars in “Unexpected Disaster” (1999), using graffiti, skateboarding, a play on the Nintendo logo and a model of the AIDS virus. Peter Dreher explored questions of individuality and heteronomy in the land of the free with his series portraying the US in dolls’ heads. A New York connection can be found in Jon Kessler’s rotating kinetic parking garage sculptures, which humorously repurpose toys in an entertaining act of defamiliarization that finds echoes in Majerus’s work.


Collection Focus – Cube 4:
Gender Material
5 July 2019 to October 2019
Curator: Dr. Sebastian Baden

Materiality, bodies, and gender play key roles in art, and artists’ works reveal experiences of physicality and identity in a unique way. In her video “Pickelporno” (1992), Pipilotti Rist’s camera takes a psychedelic journey through a man and woman making love. Works by Gérard Deschamps and Camilla Dahl depict the male and female gaze reacting to the body’s exterior and interior, regarding the materiality of women’s underwear and the seemingly pathological instruments in “Oral Injection” (2000). Heads and braids appear as two-dimensional ornaments on Corinne Wasmuht’s paintings. Such abstractions of female bodies contrast with photographer Rijneke Dijkstra’s portraits of young female bathers on American beaches, which play with ideas of surveillance and self-perception. Nairy Baghramian uses sailing and the materiality of sailcloth, rope, and chrome as a jumping-off point to explore the haptic effects of body volumes and surfaces. This contemporary dismantling of a sailing boat into its individual components situates a historic seascape by A.G. Smith depicting a stormy landing. The narrative aspect of seafaring symbolizes humankind’s existential experiences and the conquering of the limits of current knowledge.


Nadine Fecht. AMOK
19 July to 13 October 2019
Curator: Dr. Thomas Köllhofer

With “AMOK,” Kunsthalle Mannheim presents the work of Nadine Fecht (born in Mannheim in 1976). Fecht is widely regarded as one of the most promising artists working in the field of drawing and conceptual art. Materiality is paramount to the artist, who is now based in Berlin. She routinely draws on the conceptual and contextual aspects of the materials she uses, often using these as the starting point for her artworks. She creates and affixes, but does not seek to resolve, fields of tension centered around the social economy, societally ascribed roles, and the empowerment of the individual. What her works have in common is their demand on the viewer to endure their instability—which she understands as potential—rather than seeking to resolve the tension one way or another.


BOX #5:
Artist Books
28 July to 15 September 2019
Curator: Dörte Ilsabe Dennemann

There has been a dramatic rise in art catalogs and artist books not tied to specific exhibitions, and many small presses, bookshops, and fairs have been initiated by artists and art historians. Kunsthalle Mannheim presents a selection of art publications revealing new connections to its holdings. Artists and presses will present their books on the day the exhibition opens.


Major Fall Exhibition:

Inspiration Matisse
27 September 2019 to 19 January 2020
Opening: 26 September 2019, 7pm
Curators: Dr. Peter Kropmanns (Paris), Dr. Ulrike Lorenz

Color, form, surface, figure and space – Henri Matisse, the master of painterly innovation, combined these elements in an entirely new way around 1905. His figurative and symbolic reductions bordered on abstraction. Matisse had a lasting influence on twentieth-century art. Hardly any young artist looking to build on Impressionism’s foundations could fail to engage with his oeuvre. In developing and intensifying his means of artistic expression, Matisse continued to work within the European tradition while simultaneously opening himself up to the possibilities offered by Asian art. With an exhibition of over 135 selected paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and graphic works, the Kunsthalle Mannheim presents Matisse as a pioneer of modernity and an example to his circle of younger contemporaries, whether they be the French Fauvists, the German expressionists or students of the Académie Matisse (1908–10)—a true artist’s artist. In addition to landscape paintings, among which number famous Mediterranean scenes, the exhibition includes still lifes, studio pictures, and portraits, as well as a series of figures in space and backs. The pinnacle and finale of the exhibition are Matisse’s four renowned life-sized “Backs”, which were created between 1909 and 1930 in a continual reduction of the artist’s sculptural expression. In addition to works by Matisse, which comprise about half of the works on display, André Derain, Georges Braque, Charles Camoin, Kees van Dongen, Raoul Dufy, Henri Manguin, Albert Marquet and Maurice de Vlaminck are also represented in the exhibition, as well as Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Alexei von Jawlensky, August Macke, Gabriele Münter and Max Pechstein. Works by the German pupils of Matisse Rudolf Levy, Oskar and Margarete Moll, Hans Purrmann and Mathilde Vollmoeller are also included. The works by these different artists combine to create an exciting dialogue and reveal new perspectives. It becomes evident that Matisse led the way to new form and content, simultaneously acting as a catalyst for individual artistic liberation. The exhibition includes works on loan from museums and private collections in Germany, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, the UK and the US. These include Nationalgalerie, Berlin; Pinakothek, Munich; Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich; Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart; Musée Matisse, Nice; Tate, London; Nasjonalgalleriet, Oslo; Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel; Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid; Art Institute, Chicago; and the Metropolitan Museum, New York.

Under the patronage of Franck Riester, minister of culture for the Republic of France, and state minister and German Bundestag member, Professor Monika Grütters, federal commissioner for culture and media.


Collection Focus – Cube 4:
John Bock. LiquiditätsAuraAromaPortfolio
25 October 2019 to October 2020
Opening: 24October 2019
Curator: Dr. Sebastian Baden

John Bock numbers among the most important contemporary performance and video artists of our time. In 2013, his impressive installation performance “Voll die Beule” for the Kunsthalle Mannheim exhibition “Only Sculpture!” had the audience in raptures. The work included three actors and also incorporated sculptures from the museum’s collection. The sculptural version of this performance will become part of the museum collection, together with a reconstruction of Bock’s first major work, “LiquiditätsAuraAromaPortfolio”, with which he made his international breakthrough at the 1998 Berlin Biennale. The artist preserved key elements of this installation, designed to resemble a film set and stage, and treated them as a piece in themselves. Now, they will be reworked as part of a reenactment and shown in a site-specific “room-within-a-room” at Kunsthalle Mannheim.


Collection Focus:
Gustav Seitz: Body and Soul
25 October 2019 to 1 March 2020
Opening: 24 October 2019
Curator: Dr. Sebastian Baden

Gustav Seitz (1906–1969) is one of the most expressive postwar German sculptors. On the fiftieth anniversary of the death of the Mannheim-based sculptor and draftsman, Kunsthalle Mannheim presents “Body and Soul.” The exhibition includes works from the museum’s own collection as well as works on loan focusing on the topics of love, idols, bodies, and portraits. Accompanying the sculptures are the artist’s extensive drawings and graphic works. The exhibition will be on display in two rooms in the Hector and the art nouveau buildings.


In the Graphics Collection:
Love—Everyday Life—Acrobats: French Graphic Art Around 1900
October 25, 2019 to January 12, 2020.
Opening: October 24, 2019, 7 p.m.
Curator: Dr. Thomas Köllhofer

France is the focus at Kunsthalle Mannheim in 2019. Complementing the “Inspiration Matisse” special exhibition is this presentation of graphic works by French artists from the turn of the twentieth century, drawn from the museum’s own collection. On display are works by Henri Matisse, Maurice Denis, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Émile Bernard, Pierre Bonnard, Édouard Vuillard, Georges Rouault, and others. Love, everyday life, and acrobats are the recurring motifs. Love is represented by the eponymous cycle (1892–1899) by Maurice Denis. Everyday life is represented by Émile Bernard’s scenes of rural Brittany and urban Parisian life. Acrobats are the subject of two color woodcuts by Max Pechstein and of Georges Rouault in his series “Cirque de Suares” (1930), which depicts a mysterious circus world.


Second Biennial for Contemporary Photography
29 February to 26 April 2020
Opening: 28 February 2020

The Biennial for Contemporary Photography takes place every two years in Mannheim, Heidelberg, and Ludwigshafen. Combining an international outlook with strong ties to the region, contemporary and historical photographs are juxtaposed, inspiring a reexamination of photography’s traits and changing styles. The concept of a biennial for contemporary photography is unique in Germany and plays a leading role, bringing together cultural institutions, sponsors, and partners on a regional, national, and international level. It is a collective project that helps to shape a sense of communal identity.


Major Special Exhibition:
Anselm Kiefer
2 October 2020 to 24 January 2021
Opening: 1 October 2020
Curator: Dr. Sebastian Baden

Anselm Kiefer’s influential work is characterized by his consideration of German history, Judaism, and forms of memory culture. The expansive ground-floor gallery in the new building is the ideal setting for this exceptional, internationally renowned artist known for his often highly emotional work of stunning haptic materiality and his demanding mythical interpretation of human history. The major special exhibition at Kunsthalle Mannheim, whose key works are on loan from the Grothe collection, focuses on three key phases in the artist’s life. Large-scale multidimensional paintings and sculptures are shown including “The Language of Birds” (2012), “Census (Leviathan)” (1987–89), and “Palm Sunday” (2007).


Main Autumn Exhibition:
James Ensor
2 October 2020 to 24 January 2021
Opening: 1 October 2020
Curator: Dr. Inge Herold

The autumn show focuses on James Ensor’s painting of masks and death motifs, which was seized from Kunsthalle Mannheim in 1937 and is now on display in Liège; on his “Still Life With Chicken,” acquired in the 1950s as a replacement for the lost work; and on his central “Self Portrait as a Skeleton,” in which Mannheim still lifes may be seen. In addition, there are around forty to fifty international loans on the subject of self-depiction (masks and death). These are still lifes which show how closely connected these themes were in Ensor’s oeuvre. Strange masks in motion, masks encountering death—the artist repeatedly painted these eerie scenes, reminiscent of a tragic carnival. Elements typical of Ensor’s work include the ambiguities of a deceitful reality, disguises as a sign of fear, disgust with the world, and vanitas symbols. At the same time he creates still lifes in the Dutch tradition, with potent evidence of masterly painting integrating masks and skulls. The exhibition is complemented by Ensor’s graphic works, comprising 93 pieces with a focus on landscape, along with the “La Gamme d’Amour” portfolio of a puppet show with text, music, set, and costumes written and designed by Ensor. The show premiered in 1920. This exhibition commemorates Ensor’s first exhibition in the Kunsthalle in 1928.


Special Exhibition Cube 0:
15 November 2020 to 10 January 2021
Opening: 14 November 2020
Curator: tbd

This exhibition takes place every two years, alternating between Wilhelm Hack Museum, Kunstverein in Ludwigshafen, and Kunsthalle Mannheim. A broad spectrum of artworks drawn from all genres is on display. The joint exhibition project, organized by Kunsthalle Mannheim, Kunstverein, and Port 25, will take place for the sixth time in 2020. It reflects the cultural diversity of the metropolitan region of Rhein-Neckar.


Program is subject to change. Find the latest information at www.kuma.art.

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