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K20 and K21 presents 2023 exhibition program

Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen 2023 Exhibition Program

Etel Adnan: April 1, 2023—July 16, 2023
​Press conference: Thursday, March 30, 2023, 11am at K20

The first extensive monographic exhibition of Etel Adnan’s work in Germany is jointly organized by the Lenbachhaus in Munich and the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen in Düsseldorf. Etel Adnan, who was born in Beirut and lived from 1925 until 2021, is a significant modernist figure. Her literary and artistic creations are distinguished by a significant and real exchange between the Arab and Western worlds. The poet, journalist, painter, and philosopher who divided her life between Lebanon, France, and California mixes a wide range of artistic mediums, languages, and cultural expressions in her work. After the Algerian War of Independence (1954–1962), Adnan refused to continue work-ing in French and showed solidarity with Algeria: “I didn’t need to write in French anymore, I was going to paint in Arabic.” Her political clarity, as well as the close connection between writing and painting, became an essential feature of her oeuvre.

An exhibition cooperation of the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus and Kunstbau München and the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, curated by Sébastien Delot, Direk-tor LaM, Lille Métropole Musée d’art moderne.

The exhibition is sponsored by the Rudolf August Oetker Foundation.

Chaïm Soutine: September 2, 2023–April 14, 2024
Press conference: Thursday, August 31, 2023, 11am at K20

The exquisite works of Cham Soutine will be featured in an exhibition at the Kunstsammlung (1893–1943). His paintings are vibrant blasts of color that are both stunning and dramatic. He depicted people who, like himself, are on the lowest rung of society, such as pageboys, chefs, and altar boys. These, along with the paintings of swaying landscapes and butchered animals, are examples of how he depicted the divided outlook on life of an entire era.

In Belarus, Soutine was raised. He relocated to Paris in 1913. Soutine chose the city as his home, but he never truly fit in because he had trouble speaking French and was used to social conventions. Emigration and the permanent uprooting of the individual as a result is the exhibition’s central theme. This individual and societal issue extends to the present, when rootlessness has morphed into a fundamental aspect of the contemporary approach toward living in the twenty-first century. One of the key representatives of classical modernism, Soutine had a significant impact on painting after 1945 and is highly regarded in German art circles.

JENNY HOLZER: March, 11—August 6, 2023
Press conference: Thursday, March 9, 2023, 11am at K21

The renowned American artist Jenny Holzer will have a massive show at the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen beginning on March 11, 2023. (b. 1950). Since the 1970s, Holzer has gained recognition for her innovative use of new technology and thought-provoking writing in a variety of media. The exhibition in Düsseldorf by Holzer will span K21’s Bel Étage and temporary exhibition galleries and feature a variety of works, including posters, paintings, and stone sculptures, that touch on topics including populism, war, and absurdity. Her artwork challenges viewers to wrestle with opposing viewpoints and develop their own compassionate, open-minded stances in difficult discussions, in keeping with Holzer’s deeply democratic philosophy and artistic practice. As a result, the exhibition serves as a venue for public discourse on current global issues.

Ströer ist Partner of the exhibition of Jenny Holzer.

Isaac Julien: September 16, 2023–February, 2024
Press conference: Thursday, September 14, 2023, 11am at K21

The first comprehensive exhibition of British artist and filmmaker Isaac Julien’s work to be held in Germany shows the scope of a ground-breaking body of work from its inception in the 1980s to the present. Julien was born in London in 1960. In his early films as well as the very artistic film pictures of the significant, globally acclaimed video installations of the last twenty years, Julien’s critical thought, which is directed above all at an intense engagement with the culture and history of colonialism, is reflected.

The exhibition is being developed in cooperation with Tate Britain, London, where it will be on view from April 27 to August 20, 2023.

Andrea Büttner: October 21, 2023–February 2024
Press conference: October 19, 2023, 11am at K21

Andrea Büttner, a Stuttgart native born in 1972, incorporates social and ethical themes into her artistic production. She addresses the ambivalent interplay between aesthetics and ethics in her research-based works on a variety of subjects, including pov-erty, shame, work, craft, religion, ascription of value, vulnerability, community, botany, philosophy, and art. The internationally renowned artist poses fundamental questions about the connection between private artistic production and public exposure, between mechanisms of representation and ascriptions of value in art and society, using a variety of conceptual methods, materials, and media, including installation, video, sculpture, glass art, and ceramics.

Andrea Büttner hopes to integrate the numerous threads of her present study and work with the show at K21. She focuses on a number of themes, including the ambivalent role that arts and crafts play in the formation of national and religious identities, the structural relationship between shame, labor, and power, as well as the issue of value creation processes and valuation systems. She also discusses fascist continuities in the ecology movement.

The exhibitions in the Bel Étage of K21 are supported by the Stiftung Kunst, Kultur und Soziales der Sparda Bank West.