Curious? seeks to highlight to a broader public the pioneering role played by private collections at the beginning of the 21st century. With this exhibition the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany
pays homage to the outstanding achievement of private collectors whose commitment is crucial to the breadth and diversity of our cultural landscape and often surpasses that of public museums.
In the years to come the relationship between private collections and public museums will be one of the central questions determining the future of public institutions and private patronage of the arts. The Art and Exhibition Hall can act as a showcase for the wider landscape of art.
Presenting 145 works by 57 artists, the exhibition throws into sharp relief the key questions that have shaped contemporary art over the past decades and provides a glimpse of the complexity of art in the years to come, which will be marked by an extreme diversity of individual artistic positions.
The exhibition tells the story of contemporary art in chapters of varied comprehensiveness. Central to the narrative is the question how art responds to the current political, social and private reality, and each visitor should ask of contemporary art how it responds to his or her own experience of reality.
What unites all the artists presented in this exhibition the majority of whom were born in the 1960s and 70s is that they develop their work on the basis of clear concepts and strategies. Their creative practice follows two main lines of enquiry that come to the fore in this exhibition. One gives rise to a radical paring down of form and a minimalist use of material, the other to clearly legible figuration and the broad use of narrative devices. Contemporary art invites reflection and offers food for thought. All it takes the viewer to make use of that offer is a healthy dose of curiosity.