The Museum Ludwig: Exhibitions in 2016

The Museum Ludwig in Cologne. Photo: Lee M.This year in Cologne – from Fernand Léger and Heimo Zobernig to Karl Schenker.

COLOGNE. In February 2016 the Museum Ludwig will launch a new exhibition series that questions the approaches and conventions of the institution’s own work. HERE AND NOW at Museum Ludwig aims to renegotiate the format of conventional museum exhibitions, announced

The concept of this exhibition series is based on cooperation with international contributors who do not necessarily come from the visual arts. A space for interdisciplinary experiments will be opened in which artistic modes of production such as design, music, and theater as well as archives, record labels, and publishers can participate. An additional variation in this series, which has been deliberately kept open, can include collaborations with visual artists in which, for example, the museum’s collection is reflected upon as a determining element of the institution.

Heimo Zobernig, ohne Titel, 2015; Modellfoto. Photo: Artist’s archiveHERE AND NOW at Museum Ludwig

February 20 – May 22, 2016
Heimo Zobernig
Curator: Yilmaz Dziewior

The exhibition series will begin with the Austrian artist Heimo Zobernig, who is known around the world for his diverse oeuvre. His experimental approach to the concept of sculpture often leads him to previously unexplored boundaries between art and architecture or design. For instance, he developed two large-scale, black installations for the floor and the ceiling of the Austrian pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2015, which also playfully question the relationship between bodies in space.

Part of the both radical and minimalistic – and in fact site-specific – installation will now be featured in the exhibition HERE AND NOW at Museum Ludwig. In rooms that were originally intended for works on paper, a built-to-scale replica of the installation from the pavilion will serve as a stage and a pedestal for the museum’s sculpture collection. This placement, which is both unusual and succinct in its directness, expresses a subtle sense of irony in regard to artistic genius and the independent conception of an oeuvre, which simultaneously offers a new commentary on and humorously challenges the sculptures on display from the museum’s own collection.

October 8 – November 27, 2016
Home Visit
Curator: Leonie Radine

This autumn the exhibition series will continue with another unconventional format, in which art will be shown in private apartments and houses throughout the city. Instead of being confined to the hermetic space of the museum, works by selected artists will make a Home Visit. Under this title, six individuals from the cultural landscape in Cologne will open up their homes on one of three Saturdays to show works ranging from performance to video, painting, sculpture, and installations.

Fernand Léger, The Divers, 1943; Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum. © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2015. Photo: Imaging Department, Courtesy of President and Fellows of Harvard CollegeApril 9 – July 3, 2016
Fernand Léger. Painting in Space
Curator: Katia Baudin

With this exhibition in a landmark year for the museum (forty years after its founding and thirty years after the move to its current location), the Museum Ludwig is examining Fernand Léger’s exploration of painting in architecture and space. The starting point of the exhibition is the mural Les Plongeurs (The Divers, 1942), which the French artist conceived for the home of New York architect Wallace K. Harrison (1895-1981), and which Peter and Irene Ludwig acquired specifically for the new museum building in Cologne thirty years ago.

Fernand Léger (1881-1955) created murals for private homes as well as public buildings, including the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The Museum Ludwig will show murals that have never before left their original locations as well as temporary murals which have not or rarely been shown since, such as the one that Léger created for the Milan Triennial in 1951(curated by Charlotte Perriand). The presentation also includes little-known sketches for murals and projects in public and private buildings as well as paintings, sculptures, and numerous documents (photos, correspondence, texts and archival materials).

Léger’s quest to extend painting beyond the limits of the easel and integrate it within social space and architecture, thus creating what he coined a new space (nouvel espace), is illustrated by a number of projects – both realized and unrealized. In addition to the focus on murals, the exhibition will also include works by Léger in experimental film, graphic design, carpet design, and costume and set designs as well as church decorations, such as the stained glass window designs for the Sacré-Cœur church in Audincourt, designs for the avant-garde ballet ensemble Ballets Suédois, and Ballet Méchanique, one of the most influential experimental works in the history of film.

Fernand Léger, who initially trained and worked as an architectural draftsman, developed close ties to key protagonists of modern architecture around the world. In addition to Wallace K. Harrison, his circle of friends included Robert Mallet-Stevens (1886-1945), Le Corbusier (1887-1965), Charlotte Perriand (1903-1999), Paul Nelson (1895-1979), André Bruyère (1912-1998), and Carlos Raúl Villanueva (1900-1975), with whom he collaborated on projects.

The exhibition will trace the evolution of Léger’s exploration of painting in space from the early 1920s until his unexpected death in 1955 thus taking a new, lively look at one of the most stimulating and influential artists of modernism, who sought to achieve a synthesis of the arts. (Next)

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