Frankfurt's Städel Museum
opened its garden season on 30 April 2013 with a big celebration: in honour of prominent new sculpture acquisitions made recently in conjunction with the expansion of the museum's contemporary art holdings, beginning in April 2013 the Städel presents its garden, along with the extensive sculpture collection displayed there, in an entirely new guise.
On the grounds of the garden surrounding the museum building, a large number of fascinating artworks offer an opportunity to make unique discoveries in the open air. Within this framework, newly acquired installations, some comprising interactive elements, by Olaf Nicolai, Tobias Rehberger and Jan Svenungsson as well as Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller enter into dialogue with works by such artists as Fritz Wotruba or Michael Croissant which have already long been among the collection of the Städel Museum and now are integrated into the new setting. Per Kirkebys Tor II (Gate II,1987) and Markus Lüpertzs Hirte (Shepherd, 1986) likewise are represented along with works recently acquired and installed in the Städel Garden. The new arrangement of the sculpture collection presented in the museum garden creates surprising visual axes. The Städel Garden with its striking skylights the façade of the Städel extension building beneath the Städel Garden has been integrated into the overall museum ensemble with unusual lines of sight, and the back garden brought to new life. At the same time, the festive opening of Sculpture in the Städel Garden forms the prelude to the newly conceived series In the Städel Garden, which provides a framework for the presentation of performance and installation works by various artists beginning immediately: the performance Watering Hole (2013; length: approx. 45 minutes) by the artist Adrian Williams, who lives in Frankfurt, launched the series. Watering Hole is a complex work combining music, text and sound objects with a spatially expansive choreography for a large number of musicians and singers. The series In the Städel Garden is being made possible by the newly founded society of friends of the garden, the Städel Gartengesellschaft, in which private individuals have joined to provide financial support for the presentation of actions, installations and performances of contemporary art in the Städel Garden to a wide public.
The Städel Museum's garden grounds form a unique ensemble which we would like to make more accessible than ever to all of the citizens of Frankfurt by opening it for the art of the present, explains Max Hollein, director of the Städel Museum. Our successively expanding sculpture collection in the garden is an on-going invitation to experience fascinating and surprising encounters with contemporary works.
As head of the contemporary art collection Dr Martin Engler adds, following the expansion of the Städel Museum and the exhibition space for contemporary art, it is only logical that we now also create a special setting for exceptional contemporary works which bear a direct relation to their surroundings.