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Frankfurt's Städel Museum receives donation from art book publisher Benedikt Taschen
Martin Kippenberger (1953–1997), Sculpture "Family Hunger", 1983. Painted styrofoam, wood. Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main. Photo: Städel Museum© Galerie Gisela Capitain, Köln. Acquired in 2013 as a gift from Benedikt Taschen.

FRANKFURT.- The art book publisher and art collector Benedikt Taschen’s generous donation provides the Städel Museum with a further addition to its holdings of contemporary art. The outstanding group of fifteen works from Benedikt Taschen’s private collection comprises items by renowned artists such as exceptional paintings by Werner Büttner, Martin Kippenberger, Markus Oehlen, Albert Oehlen, Walter Dahn, Jiri Georg Doukoupil, and Andreas Schulze from the 1980s as well as sculptural statements by Georg Herold, Hubert Kiecol, Terence Koh, and Paul McCarthy. The donation significantly enriches the Städel’s holdings in the field of present-day art. Part of the works are on display as of now in the Städel’s new presentation of its contemporary art collection in the garden halls.

“With his publishing house, Benedikt Taschen has achieved extraordinary things for the understanding and propagation of art, especially of contemporary art. But Benedikt Taschen is also an outstanding collector with an impressive feeling for new developments and present-day subjects. I am very happy about his donation, which augments the Städel Museum’s contemporary art collection and especially its holdings in the field of German painting of the 1980s that is so important to us. I am deeply indebted to him for this step,” says Max Hollein, Director of the Städel.

“The Städel Museum is one of the great museums to be found in Germany and in the world. Its extraordinary collection is based on its founders’ generous donations. Sympathizing with these old civil traditions and out of our great respect for the Director of the Städel, Max Hollein, my wife and I decided to fill some little gaps in the field of present-day art with our donation. Shortly, we will also donate a group of contemporary works to the currently crisis-ridden MOCA in Los Angeles. 'Sharing is caring', as you put it in English when you try to make children clearly understand early on that they are not alone in the world and have to learn to share for the common good – their toys and sweets in this case. Since I have two little boys with my wife Lauren, next to the three now grown-up children from my first marriage, this rhyme has become a familiar mantra for us again in the course of the last decade. This was the birth of our idea to also return toys from us, the parents, to the community that has made so many things possible for us,” Benedikt Taschen, born in Cologne in 1961, comments on his donation to the Städel Museum.

Benedikt Taschen’s donation comprises eight works by proponents of the so-called “Junge Wilde”, a group of painters who took the art world by storm in the 1980s. With works by Werner Büttner, the brothers Markus and Albert Oehlen, and Martin Kippenberger, it encompasses the most prominent representatives of German painting in the 1980s. “Roter Fuß” (Red Foot), a joint effort by Walter Dahn and Jiri Georg Doukoupil from 1982, as well as Andreas Schulze’s two-part work “Ohne Titel” (Untitled) of the same year also testify to the importance of the donation made by the collector and patron Benedikt Taschen.

“While the quality of this important period of German contemporary art has generally been overlooked for a long time, Benedikt Taschen realized the significance of these artists quite early on. The works of his collection impressively evidence this kind of painting’s fascinatingly autonomous realms and overwhelming pictorial power,” says Dr. Martin Engler, head of the Städel Museum’s collection of contemporary art.

Benedikt Taschen’s donation lastingly reinforces the Städel collection’s department of German painting of the 1980s, which the Museum has focused on in recent years not least in the course of the addition of important works from the Deutsche Bank Collection. The results of the Städel’s intense investigations into this hitherto little researched period of German art history will be presented in the first comprehensive museum show dedicated to this subject in the Städel Museum in the summer of 2015.

List of artists: Werner Büttner, Walter Dahn, Jiri Georg Doukoupil, Georg Herold, Hubert Kiecol, Martin Kippenberger, Terence Koh, Paul McCarthy, Albert Oehlen, Markus Oehlen, Andreas Schulze

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