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mumok presents a representative selection from the collection of Alexander Schröder
Exhibition view Optik Schröder II. Works from the Alexander Schröder Collection), mumok / February 3 to May 27, 2018. From the left: Manfred Pernice, exscape 9, 2006, Dietrich Orth, Spiegelbild Attrappe, 1988, Manfred Pernice, Manfred, Kleiderhaken, 2005 © mumok, Photo: Stefan Korte.

VIENNA.- The exhibition Optik Schröder II at mumok – Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien presents a representative selection from the collection of Alexander Schröder. This collection includes important works by Kai Althoff, Tom Burr, Bernadette Corporation, Claire Fontaine, Gelitin, Isa Genzken, Anne Imhof, Sergej Jensen, Pierre Klossowski, Manfred Pernice, Martha Rosler, and Reena Spaulings, and is one of the most important German private collections of contemporary art. These works illustrate some of the key conceptual trends and positions in the development of Western art in the past three decades, including references to social issues, queer lifestyles, the critique of institutions and the economy, critical investigation of public spaces and architecture, poetry, and contemporary forms of critical painting. This comprehensive overview shows a collection built up consistently since the mid-1990s and based on close proximity to the artists and sensitivity for new developments. Optik Schröder II illustrates an exemplary philosophy of collecting focusing on the nature of the contemporary, on curiosity, expertise, humor, independence, and outstanding aesthetic judgement. This approach is not put off by large installations, which would normally be expected in museums but not in private collections.

Collecting as Dialogue with Contemporary Artists
Alexander Schröder was born in 1968 in Berlin and grew up in Hamburg. He came from a family of architects and studied art in the early 1990s at the Berlin University of the Arts, where he graduated in 1996 as a master student under Prof. Katharina Sieverding. In 1994 he founded the Neu gallery together with Thilo Wermke in Auguststraße in central Berlin. Today this is one of the best-known international galleries for contemporary art. In conjunction with his work as a gallery owner, Schröder established his own collection. His intimate knowledge of the art world meant that he was able to formulate collecting as an activity that made buying artworks into a form of dialogue with the artists, an intellectual game celebrating shifting roles within the system of the art world. Today his collection comprises around 500 works, of which about 100 will be shown in Vienna. There was a first exhibition from the collection in spring 2006 at the Kunstverein Braunschweig, and now, more than ten years later, this is the second public presentation.

A key feature of the collection is its timely, intensive, and continuous interest in outstanding positions in contemporary art. Artists whose works particularly shape the collection’s character include American conceptual artist Tom Burr, born in 1963, who works with text and photography, the Scottish painter and installation artist Lucy McKenzie, the Danish conceptual artist Henrik Olesen, and the Cologne artist and musician Kai Althoff (born 1966). The Alexander Schröder Collection holds a significant number of 30 works by Althoff, created between 1990 and 2013—a retrospective at MoMA New York last winter was devoted to the artist. At mumok, these works will be shown together as an “exhibition within an exhibition.” Some of the works presented in Vienna will be shown in Europe for the first time.

The mumok’s collections of socially-related, minimalist and conceptual art spanning from the 1960s through to the present—exemplary of an extended art concept—are ideal setting for presenting the Alexander Schröder Collection. Optik Schröder II presents a subjective though representative panorama of present-day artistic work. In the selection of those art works on display the exhibition facilitates a perspective on the art of our decade while at the same time underscoring—somewhat painfully— some of the lacunae in the mumok Collection.

Curated by Karola Kraus

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