• Karin Kneffel
    Ohne Titel (Trauben), 2004
    Öl auf Leinwand
    240 x 199,8 cm
    Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden
    © 2013, ProLitteris, Zurich

Elective Affinities. Recent Painting and Drawing from the Museum Frieder Burda

At the same time as paintings and woodcuts by Franz Gertsch are being shown at the Museum Frieder Burda in Baden-Baden, the Museum Franz Gertsch in Burgdorf will be presenting recent painting and drawing from the internationally known collection of the Museum Frieder Burda. Under the heading “Elective Affinities,” the exhibition orbits around positions of contemporary painting by such artists as Johannes Hüppi, Karin Kneffel, Neo Rauch, David Schnell, Nedko Solakov and Corinne Wasmuht.

The businessman, collector and art patron Frieder Burda (born 1936 in Gengenbach in the Baden region of Germany) has been assembling a first-class collection of circa 1,000 paintings, sculptures, objects and works on paper since 1968. He has been running his own museum in Baden-Baden since 2004 that is supported by the Frieder Burda Foundation. His collection contains major complexes of works by the German Expressionists, the great German painters of his own generation, Georg Baselitz, Sigmar Polke and Gerhard Richter, and the Austrian Arnulf Rainer. Further emphasis is placed on American Abstract Expressionism and the late work of Pablo Picasso.

For the past ten years Frieder Burda has likewise dedicated himself to a younger generation of artists, assembling a remarkable number of important examples of contemporary art. In keeping with the focus on figurative art that marks the exhibition program of the Museum Franz Gertsch, a selection from this less well known part of the collection of the Museum Frieder Burda will be displayed—for the first time in Switzerland.

67 paintings and works on paper were chosen for the show that encompasses all of the museum’s exhibition spaces. (For the duration of this exchange between the two houses, no paintings or woodcuts by Franz Gertsch will be on display in the Burgdorf museum.) The works have been grouped thematically to a certain extent, whereby numerous cross-references within the exhibition parcours emerge. The human being and his relationship to nature and technology runs like a golden thread through the exhibition, encompassing classic genres as landscape, interior, portraiture and the still life. The exhibition at the Museum Franz Gertsch explores the elective affinities, the underlying relationships and gravitational forces that can come about between works of art. An initial affiliation between the works resulted from being selected by the collector, another one through being chosen for the present show and their combination in the exhibition spaces. What unites and distinguishes the artists, their themes and painting styles? Where are there attractions, where rejections?

The Museum Franz Gertsch invites you to discover the elective affinities in this part of the collection of the Museum Frieder Burda and in this exhibition. In the process, central questions concerning contemporary art are addressed: What is the position of painting and drawing today? How are art historical conventions being handled or called into question? How is the theme of painting itself being dealt with?

The exhibition was curated by Anna Wesle.

The exhibition catalogue (104 pages, 80 illustrations) has been published by Wienand Verlag and is available at the museum shop for CHF 48.00.

Elective Affinities. Recent Painting and Drawing from the Museum Frieder Burda

Recent painting and drawing from the Museum Frieder Burda is shown at the Museum Franz Gertsch