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Not Yet Titled: Museum Ludwig unveils a completely new presentation of the collection
Roy Lichtenstein, Explosion No.1, 1964. Lackiertes Metall, 251 x 160 cm VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2013. Foto: Rheinisches Bildarchiv Kln.

COLOGNE.- Museum Ludwig director Philipp Kaiser unveiled Not Yet Titled, a completely new presentation of the collection. This new display is more than a simple inventory-taking, but also includes new acquisitions and introduce a programmatic perspective on the future of the collection.

The display, which encompasses all the exhibition spaces in the building, still lacks a title because it seeks to stress the process-related and temporary character of what is necessarily a subjective view. New light is being shed on familiar pieces, and works that up to now have been in storage have been put on view and evaluated anew.

The museum as an institution is a place where the history of art is continuously studied, reassessed, and rewritten from a new, contemporary viewpoint. In this sense, the central concern of Not Yet Untitled is to highlight the provisional nature of all historical inquiry.

Both the third and lower floors of the museum trace different perceptions of reality from the early 1960s to the present. Items displayed on the third floor engage with the real world via media images and appropriation, as in the work of Andy Warhol, John Baldessari, and Sherrie Levine. By contrast, the lower floor has been devoted to “literal” approaches involving an emphasis on process, work, site-specificity, and political issues in art that ranges from the Minimalist sculptures of Carl Andre and Hans Haacke’s Condensation Wall to a recently acquired series of photographs by Allan Sekula showing workers leaving factories. The second floor therefore acts as a hinge between European modernism, late modernism in the USA, and Minimalism. The large gallery on the lower floor houses Michael Heizer’s monumental projection Actual Size (Elsinore), on display for the first time since the 1971 Guggenheim International in New York. This spectacular work was recently acquired for the collection by the Peter and Irene Ludwig Foundation to complement the museum’s two sculptures by Heizer. The other large gallery, on the ground floor, show another large-scale installation, a work by Conceptual artist Barbara Kruger that has not been on view since the museum purchased it in 1995. Not Yet Titled also features the museum’s first presentation of a 1995 video installation by Diana Thater. Neon pieces by Richard Serra have been restored for the occasion, and recent acquisitions of work by Monika Baer, Nairy Bagramian, Mark Boulos, Elad Lassry, Hans Haacke, and others are on view for the first time.

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