Two of the most important collections of contemporary art have been brought together in a joint show this summer at Deichtorhallen
. One main feature of the collection of doctor and chemist Thomas Olbricht, who lives in Essen and Berlin, is a clear proclivity for eclecticism, in which context his programmatic focus lies on memento mori depictions. By contrast, Hamburg-based lawyer Harald Falckenberg is more interested in the grotesque, the political and the provocative.
The show presents a good cross section of contemporary art, with both decidedly contrasting themes and others that are placed in mutually complementary juxtaposition, such as death, sexuality, youth, images of women, the child-like, the private, the public, and the various forms of abstract art. The narrative element is very strongly present in the works of both collections. Beauty and horror, humor, everyday life and tragedy, not to mention political aspects all converge here, often in a surprising manner. The exhibition at Deichtorhallen shows both the many different layers to these two private collections and various unknown aspects of them.
On view are high-grade works by over 100 international artists such as Richard Artschwager, Maurizio Cattelan, Mark Dion, Damien Hirst, Mike Kelley, Martin Kippenberger, Takashi Murakami, Richard Prince and Gerhard Richter.
The northern Deichtorhalle with its footprint of some 3,800 sq.m. boasts the largest single coherent exhibition space for contemporary art in Europe. This Hall of Contemporary Art presents major projects, highlighting positions in art today. The focus tends to be on individual shows by internationally acclaimed painters, sculptors and designers. The projects are usually site-specific, having been developed in close cooperation with the artists themselves.
In this way, since 1989 more than 160 large-scale exhibition projects have been realized. Alongside extensive solo shows by famous artists of the likes of Andy Warhol, Martin Kippenberger and Louise Bourgeois, major exhibitions have been dedicated to younger artistic endeavors at a very early stage in their development, examples being Andreas Gursky (1994), Jason Rhoades (1999) and Jonathan Meese (2006). Moreover, the northern Deichtorhalle also runs themed shows and group exhibitions, and showcases selections from major international art collections.