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Museum Frieder Burda, Designed by Richard Meier, in Baden-Baden Proves to Be Crowd Puller
Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden.

BADEN-BADEN.- The Museum Frieder Burda in Baden-Baden, created by New York building designer Richard Meier, proves to be a true crowd puller. Since the opening in October 2004, more than one million art lovers have visited the museum.

The snow-white building is situated in Baden-Baden’s famous Lichtentaler Allee and adjoins the old National Gallery (Staatliche Kunsthalle), built 100 years ago. In Germany, this is the first time that a national and a private cultural institution work together in such a unique way. Especially fascinating is the interplay of alternate views from outside nature to art and from inside the museum back out to the surrounding park. In New York, the museum has been awarded the American “New York Chapter Design Award“. This important prize for architecture, assigned by the renowned “American Institute of Architects (AIA)“, honors the “excellent design and first-rate execution“ of the building in Baden-Baden.

Not less attractive is the exhibition program of the museum. In the next great exhibition the museum Frieder Burda shows under the title ”Mysterious realities” the two American artists Duane Hanson and Gregory Crewdson. From 27 November 2010 to the 6 March 2011 the museum presents about 30 realistic figures by Duane Hanson in dialogue with 20 large format works from the series ”Beneath the Roses“ by the photographer Gregory Crewdson.

The year 2011 is mainly marked by the great solo exhibition „Neo Rauch in Baden-Baden“ from 28. Mai 2011 to 18. September 2011.

A clear structure for the „daylight museum” building
Richard Meier, who has constructed various noteworthy museum buildings including the Museum of Applied Art in Frankfurt, the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona, compares the building to „a big villa“. For the architect, a kind of „jewel in the park“ has been created along Baden-Baden’s famous Lichtentaler Allee. The museum captivates by virtue of its clear structure as well as by the application of light and glass. It creates an alternate relationship between interior and exterior, from art into nature and from the verdant Boulevard into the world of art. Thus, a highly sophisticated „daylight museum“ was born.

Richard Meier: “Light is an important key feature, the most important ‚building material’ used here. The daylight which brightens the Lichtentaler Allee and the town of Baden-Baden is of a very high quality and clearness; it now floods the museum’s interior. Thus, the visitor is allowed the chance to observe the artwork in the same natural light used by the majority of artists while creating their masterpieces. The Collection Frieder Burda displays a unique charisma by its idea and material conversion, not least because space and the experience of art have a special quality of interaction here, at this place.“

Meier is known for his superior handling of buildings in sensitive environments. Meier: “The building is harmoniously developing along the Lichtentaler Allee and compliments the Kunsthalle. The result is a compatible ensemble“. The outer facade’s powder coated aluminium plates (75 x 120 centimetres) will be maintained in a muted white – the typical colour of the buildings of Richard Meier. In Meier’s appraisal, the new building has the effect of being “very open, very transparent and light“. Frieder Burda speaks about Richard Meier: “Richard Meier is one of the greatest architects of our time. His anti-monumental style has always impressed me tremendously. The lightness that characterizes his work is particularly obvious in Baden-Baden.”

The Frieder Burda Foundation bears all expenses
Builder is the Frieder Burda Foundation, which was founded in 1998 by the Baden-Baden art patron. The most important goal of the foundation is to make the internationally acclaimed collection permanently accessible to the public. The Frieder Burda Foundation beared all the expenses of approximately 20 million euros, public funding was not employed. This also pertains to the operating costs of the new museum.

Collector Frieder Burda stresses that the museum is not supposed to be a short-time event. “100 years ago, Baden-Baden was attributed the reputation of being ‘Europe’s summer capital’. Therefore, my biggest dream was to create an art centre that initiates as many people as possible into art and helps them enjoying it. Chances have never been better.“

Impressive works of later period Picasso
The Collection Frieder Burda has its roots in Expressionism and today comprises round 1000 paintings, sculptures and drawings. The focus is on classical modern and contemporary art. The Frieder Burda Collection includes a total of eight impressive works from Picasso’s later period. The fascination of colour and the emotional expressive qualities of painting are at the centre of the collector’s interest in art. This perspective has given rise to a Collection with a personal style, bringing together pioneering positions of painting in the 20th and 21st century.

American artists of the New York school of Abstract Expressionism created an art tradition in their own right. In addition to paintings from Gottlieb, de Kooning, Pollock and Rothko, the collection contains a significant work by Clyfford Still – a true rarity in the European museum scene. Furthermore, the collection encompasses in particular a selection of German post-war art.

Georg Baselitz is brilliantly represented in the collection. Other highlights are two major works by Baselitz’ former Berlin companion Eugen Schönebeck as well as Anselm Kiefer’s almost six meter long painting „Böhmen liegt am Meer“.

The most important and comprehensive collections of art works in the entire Frieder Burda collection are those by Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke and Arnulf Rainer. Numerous examples of all the periods of their creative life provide a broad overview of these artists, who so tremendously influenced contemporary art.

For several years now, Frieder Burda has dedicated himself to the art of the young painter generation, in particular Neo Rauch, Uwe Kowski, Tim Eitel and Matthias Weischer. Burda’s recent acquisitions include photographs by the American Gregory Crewdson and the German Axel Hütte, as well as artworks by Johannes Hüppi, Karin Kneffel, Susanne Kühn, Heribert Ottersbach, Eberhard Havekost and Robert Rauschenberg. During the past three years, Frieder Burda has acquired approximately 200 paintings, mostly created by young artists. Frieder Burda: “I don’t want to stagnate; I want to continue to develop, and this I try to do by buying young art.”

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