Immediacy and spontaneity are what makes for the fascination of the drawing. Like no other medium it allows to try out individual pictorial inventions and to articulate artistic ideas, frequently taking an experimental approach.
Already the artists of the early modern age appreciated the drawing for the possibility of directly connecting the thinking to the working process and of immediately translating ideas into visibility. Joseph Beuys still referred to it as an “extension of thought.” Almost like a collection of ideas captured on paper, the 250 works from the German private collection of Bernd and Verena Klüser afford an exceptional insight into the art of drawing from the 16th to the 21st century.
The show starts out from outstanding masters of the late Renaissance and Baroque periods, from Parmigianino or Giovanni Battista Tiepolo to Anthonis van Dyck and Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn and to Jean-Honoré Fragonard. From there, the gamut extends to German and French works from the 19th century, including Caspar David Friedrich, Philipp Otto Runge and Carl Gustav Carus as well as Eugène Delacroix, Théodore Géricault or Victor-Marie Hugo. Classical Modernism is represented by artists such as Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Constantin Brâncusi, and Alberto Giacometti. A special focus is on art after 1945, a section that features significant bodies of work by Joseph Beuys, Blinky Palermo, and Andy Warhol. Drawings by Cy Twombly as well as by Tony Cragg, Olaf Metzel and Jorinde Voigt mark the transition to the most recent contemporary period.
The exhibition title, “Back to the Future,” in a way puts the genesis of the Klüser Collection in a nutshell: originally a contemporary art collection with an increasing share of works of classical Modernism, the collecting focus has broadened since the 1990s so as to include older drawings from the Renaissance up to the Romantic period. The synopsis of the works unfolds a panoramic view of the art of drawing, throwing a bridge between works from history and from the recent present.
The drawing has always been a seismographic medium whose lines also traced the basic delineation of society. Over the centuries and in walking through the exhibition, it reveals itself as a kind of intimate cosmology, a field of experimentation with ideas as well as a medium of transformation that is able to capture on paper both the visible and the invisible, construct and reality.
Curator: Stephanie Damianitsch
Concept: Stephanie Damianitsch, Bernd Klüser, Anne Vollenbröker, Hans-Peter Wipplinger