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"Generosity: Gifts and Loans to the ZKM Collection" opens at ZKM / Museum of Contemporary Art
Tony Oursler, „Hello?“, 1996, 1-channel video, 1-channel audio installation, 1 projector, 1 videotape, 1 videoplayer, tripod, doll, trunk, performance by Tracy Leipold, 71 x 92 x 51 cm, ZKM | Karlsruhe © Tony Oursler photo: Metro Pictures.

KARLSRUHE.- The exhibition “Generosity. Gifts and Loans to the ZKM Collection”, honors the act of giving and donating, through which the ZKM collection has been enriched in recent years, gaining significant artworks by internationally recognized artists. After the exhibitions “Architecture and Identity” (2010/2011) and “PRESENTation” (2012) provided insights into the ZKM collection for the first time, the exhibition “Generosity” focuses on those works that have been gifted or permanently loaned to the museum.

Artworks by more than forty international artists, who span across decades from the 1960s to today, are presented. Thematically complementing the works from the collection are works by Christin Lahr, Thomas Locher and Antje Majewski, who deal with different aspects of the social practice of donating and the social implications of exchanging gifts. In light of the ever-diminishing acquisitions that are possible for public museums, the practice of giving means a very welcome benefit for the collection – in the past as in the future.

Since the founding of the ZKM in 1989 the collection, first under the direction of Heinrich Klotz, and today under Peter Weibel, has grown to about 1500 works. Along with the worldwide largest collection of interactive media art, the ZKM owns – according to its programmatic orientation – around significant artists, numerous works of video and photography, which at the time of their creation had been examples of “new media.” But also in the traditional artistic genres of painting, sculpture, and drawing, works by renowned artists can be found in the ZKM collection. The gifts of art – often gifts from the artists themselves – express the dedication of the art collector class through the individual, family, or company donation. They are among the reasons that the ZKM has increased its international awareness and has made it more attractive as a partner and potential lender. Gifts of this kind furthermore secure the access to art by the greater public and present with this an immeasurable value for the general good.

Hans Peter Alvermann, Christoph Brech, Werner Büttner, Jim Dine, Jimmie Durham, Günther Förg, Georg Herold, Jürgen Klauke, Imi Knoebel, Christin Lahr, Thomas Locher, Urs Lüthi, Michel Majerus, Antje Majewski, Olaf Metzel, Albert Oehlen, Fabrizio Plessi, Otto Piene, Sigmar Polke, Thomas Struth, Günther Uecker, Franz Erhard Walther, Erwin Wurm, Herbert Zangs, among others.

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