The Biedermann collection
Contemporary art, passionately …
The Biedermann collection is one of the most beautiful collections of contemporary art in the world. It includes works by more than 150 internationally renowned contemporary artists—including an exceptional collection of paintings by Pierre Soulages—and is aptly organized around the great masters of contemporary art of the last thirty years as well as current and future trends: figurative and abstract art, paintings, installations, collages, drawings and sculptures.
Margit Biedermann, having discovered her interest in figurative painting, and in particular the works of the Neue Wilde (New Savages), this movement full of joy, fury and energy symbolic of German contemporary art at the time, started collecting her first works more than thirty years ago in Berlin. She purchased her first works together with her husband, Lutz: Helmut Middendorf, Rainer Fetting and Matthew Radford, laying the foundations of what would become an exceptional and multifaceted collection. A collection that is structured, logical, coherent, but above all very personal: each work is a choice and an encounter. A woman of passion and commitment, Margit Biedermann prefers direct contact with the artists she’s interested in, buys their outstanding works over years and accompanies them throughout their careers.
By buying and then renovating the current MUSEUMART.PLUS in Donaueschingen in 2008-2009 and adding an extension to expand the range of works on display as thematic exhibitions, Margit and Lutz Biedermann not only created a home to store and preserve the Collection in conditions worthy of the greatest museums, but also one that is open to the public. Thousands of visitors flock to the museum every year to discover works, artists and major contemporary art movements in a unique environment. This permanent dialogue, born out of a love of art discovered in Berlin at the end of the last century, is the logical extension of a passionate commitment to art.
A collection structured around two main currents
The first is the one that gained the commitment of the Biedermann’s collectors and patrons: the figurative works of the Neue Wilde first based in Berlin and then Munich, with powerful and furious brushstrokes in explosions of strength and colour. The second is abstract art. Intentionally centred on innovative and even marginal artists and creations, such as the New Roman School of Nunzio and Pizzi Cannella, which extends its figurative roots by liberating itself through a process of camouflage tending towards almost total abstraction. Associated with this trend are the works of the ‘alchemist painter’ Darío Álvares Basso, as well as David Nash's wooden sculptures and Paolo Serra's paintings in which he uses ancient techniques (egg tempera, lacquer, gold leaf).
For some years now, the collection has also included works by young contemporary artists working in particular on materials and surfaces in a conceptual and often radical approach: works by May Cornet, Andreas Kocks or Sebastian Kuhn. So many contemporary creators investing experimental and almost contradictory spaces between figuration and abstraction. Some of these latest acquisitions have already been loaned to various institutions, galleries and museums in the state of Baden-Württemberg and, collaboration with other museums permitting, should also be on display outside of Germany sometime in the future.
Key elements and representative artists
Today’s Biedermann collection consists in particular of works on Black by artists as diverse as Manolo Ballesteros, Ellsworth Kelly, Gerhard Langenfeld, Thomas Lenk, François Morellet, Nunzio, Felix Schlenker and Turi Simeti. And more figurative works such as those by Pizzi Cannella and Piero Ruggeri, for whom Black is above all emotion and vibration.
Light brings the colour to life in, among others, the works of Karl Gerstner, Helmut Middendorf, Pino Pinelli, Gert Riel, Stefan Rohrer and Sibylle Wagner, whose intensely polychrome work and bold ontrasts splash across the white stucco and cymatium moulding of the exhibition rooms. This vibrancy is offset by paintings from the German avant-garde movement at the end of the 1960s by artists such as Günter Fruhtrunk, Winfred Gaul, Otto Herbert Hajek, Georg Karl Pfahler, Lothar Quinte and the organic, vibrant and intensely bright universe of Dorothy Fratt. The fertile confluence of Streetart and Pop Art of Keith Haring’s works. And contemporary ‘classics’ such as Gianni Dessi and Alessandro Mendini. But also artists from Baden-Württemberg’s current cultural scene, talents recognized beyond regional borders and up-and coming masters of tomorrow: Ralph Fleck, Heidi Gerullis, Emil Kiess, Erich Hauser, Martin Kasper and Reiner Seliger. And then the teatrum mundi of Michael von Brentano. The dramatic power of the colours and shapes painted by Louis de Mayo. The dialogues shaped by architecture and recollection of Maria Elena González. The sculpture trees, stones and animals of Jinmo Kang. The lines and organic forms of Bodo Korsig. The ‘deconstructions’ inspired by Sebastian Kung. The animated geometry, powerful, colourful and serene breath of Camill Leberer. The free universe of Luigi Mainolfi, whose works take possession of space as strange and fascinating beings, flocks of living sculptures ready for take-off. And also Michael Müller, Hubert Rieber, Roland Schauls, Felix Schlenker, James Westwater, Axel Anklam, Alfonso Hüppi, Paul Schwer, Tony Cragg, Masayuki Koorida, Nika Neelova, Albi Maier, Thomas Putze, Angela Flaig, Zeljko Rusic, Hubert Rieber, Jo Winter, Jáchym Fleig...
Works, themed exhibitions and artists are presented and discovered through exhibitions organized by MUSEUMART.PLUS.
For more information:
‘Selection. Einblicke in die Sammlung Biedermann. Insights into the Biedermann Collection’, published by modo Verlag GmbH in Freiburg i. B.