This summer, the north wing of Herrenchiemsee Castle, built by Ludwig II, provides the glamorous setting for artworks from the Pinakothek der Moderne
. For the first time on this site, modern meets tradition, Europe meets America. Exhibition spaces filled with major works by Georg Baselitz, Joseph Beuys, Sigmar Polke, Arnulf Rainer and Eugen Schönebeck respond to largescale installations by Dan Flavin, Andy Warhol, Willem de Kooning and John Chamberlain. Created since the 1950s, these artworks correspond to the expansive architecture precisely because it remains fragmental in this section of the building. They are not integrated in the enfilades, built between 1879 and 1886 and reminiscient of the Bavarian kings enthousiasm for Louis XIV. Instead, they are presented in the uncompleted, two-storey section of the palace characterized by unfinished red brick walls. There, where the utopia of limitless beauty could not be realized, is space for the reality of contemporary art: on the simple and unadorned walls of these spaces Baselitzs broken »Helden« (Heroes) of postwar Germany find a refuge, as well as the crosses by Rainer, with which the artist questioned form and symbol, thereby enabling once again a lively discussion about painting. The mass-cultural issues explored by Warhol and Beuys and their attention to mundane and ordinary materials enter a controversial alliance with this singular location. Flavin's fluorescent light installations simultaneously fascinate and irritate because, as the artist explained, they »allow no room for contemplation, psychology, symbolism or mystery«.
The exhibition builds on the diverse cultural achievements of the House of Wittelsbach, whose knowledgeable representatives passionately collected works by the best artists of their time and eventually made these collections available to the public. Today, this tradition of art collecting, to which the exhibited works also attest, is supported by a broad public. Thanks to this extensive commitment, the past and the present meet at Herrenchiemsee this summer. One of Germany's most famous structures, the palace complex is situated on an enchanting and beautiful site located between Munich and Salzburg and can now be experienced as a whole.