Now is the Time

25 Years Collection Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg


Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg, Germany


Press release

Andreas Gursky, Sarah Morris, Jeff Koons, Cindy Sherman, Neo Rauch, Firelei Báez, and many more: collection exhibition extended through October 13, 2019

Twenty-five years, more than 600 works—because our collection is so extensive and multifaceted, we are giving our visitors a little more time to explore our anniversary exhibition Now Is The Time. Through October 13, the large hall of the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg will be dedicated to our collection exhibition, before some of the works will travel on to be shown in various other international exhibitions. On the anniversary weekend alone, roughly 2,500 visitors took advantage of this unique opportunity.

Andreas Gursky, Jörg Immendorf, Sarah Morris, Jeff Koons, Cindy Sherman, Gilbert & George, Nam June Paik, Neo Rauch—you will find major players as well as important new discoveries such as Firelei Báez and Mariana Vassileva. Paintings alongside photographs, sculptures and expansive installations, as well as video and sound works: The anniversary exhibition provides the most comprehensive insight into the collection to date. It focuses on works from the last five decades and has a far-reaching national and international impact.

The poster motif for the exhibition Now Is The Time features an infectiously cheerful smile. It is the smile of a masked face that a craftsman for sacred masks in the Indian coastal region of Konkan had designed as a profane but personal motif and with which he now presents himself to the camera, sitting on a bicycle wheel along the side of the road. In doing so, he responded to a request from the Indian conceptual artist Gauri Gill addressed to the villagers that, instead of traditional motifs, their own states of mind between dream and reality should become the theme. The photograph of the person wearing the mask, who plays his own role here, is one of many new acquisitions to be seen in the exhibition which celebrates the twenty-fifth anniversary of the collection and embodies its current thematic orientation.

In 1994, the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg was founded with the goal of developing a literally outstanding collection. Now Is The Time: The programmatic title is derived from Michel Majerus’ equally programmatic work “What looks good today may not look good tomorrow” (1999) in the collection of the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg. After twenty-five exciting years the time has come to take the most comprehensive look at the collection to date. With more than 600 installations, groups of works, and individual pieces by one hundred artists, the collection now enjoys an international reputation and lends the industrial city of Wolfsburg a far-reaching aura as a cultural beacon. Works by seventy-nine international artists can be (re-)discovered in dialogical or thematic contexts on all the newly renovated exhibition levels of the museum. The spectrum ranges from the earliest acquisitions to recently acquired works that either tie in with existing themes or take on new directions.

Now Is The Time offers a dialog between works of late modernism and more recent positions, up to and including representatives of so-called global art. Thus, at the beginning of the exhibition, two works are juxtaposed in an exemplary manner: Jörg Immendorff’s commentary, painted on a large canvas, on the opening of the inner-German border in 1989, “Kleine Reise (Hasensülze)” (1990), in which Marcel Duchamp takes center stage, and the commentaries of Firelei Báez from the Dominican Republic, painted on fifty-eight separate pages, which address the legacy of the colonial period and thus simultaneously refer to her own origin and identity (2018).

A look back to the future: Caesuras and developments in art history over the last forty years are presented, as well as the diversity and simultaneity of artistic production. The collection began at a time when the globalization of art was only just beginning to develop. The building up of the collection thus took place in particular against the background of rapid visualization and medialization, the rise of the much quoted “flood of images,” which was reflected by the new art and becomes tangible with the works on view.

The key year of the collection is 1968. Almost all the works were created after this epoch-making turning point in contemporary history. In the exhibition, the spectrum ranges from works not shown for quite some time to the most recent acquisitions: from Franz Ackermann via Christian Boltanski and Elizabeth Peyton to Fiona Tan, and Thomas Zipp. In recent years, it has been possible to once again substantially expand the collection—above all with global, female, and political positions—especially thanks to the support of donations from private individuals and the Circle of Friends of the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg.

The Collection

Founded in 1994, the collection now unites more than 600 installations, work groups, and individual works by 100 artists. The key year of the collection is 1968. Almost all the works were created after this epoch-making turning point in contemporary history. In the exhibition, the spectrum ranges from works not shown for quite some time to the most recent acquisitions: from Franz Ackermann via Christian Boltanski and Elizabeth Peyton to Fiona Tan, and Thomas Zipp. In recent years, it has been possible to once again substantially expand the collection—above all with global, female, and political positions—especially thanks to the support of donations from private individuals and the Circle of Friends of the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg.

Artists in the exhibition

Franz Ackermann, Carl Andre, Nobuyoshi Araki, John M Armleder, Katie Armstrong, Richard Artschwager, Caroline Bachmann & Stefan Banz, Firelei Báez, Christian Boltanski, Stanley Brouwn, Tony Cragg, Jan Dibbets, Burhan Doğançay, Helmut Federle, Peter Fischli/David Weiss, Gilbert & George, Gauri Gill, Liam Gillick, Douglas Gordon, Andreas Gursky, Brian Harte, Eberhard Havekost, Jeppe Hein, Georg Herold, Gary Hill, Jörg Immendorff, Christian Jankowski, Sergej Jensen, In Sook Kim, Imi Knoebel, Ola Kolehmainen, Jeff Koons, Jannis Kounellis, Michel Majerus, Joseph Marioni, Maix Mayer, Gerhard Merz, Radenko Milak, Sarah Morris, Julian Opie, Nam June Paik, Verner Panton, Daniel Pflumm, Otto Piene, Julius Popp, Prajakta Potnis, Neo Rauch, Thomas Schütte, Cindy Sherman, Beat Streuli, Fiona Tan, Mariana Vassileva, Jeff Wall, James Welling, Tim Wolff, Erwin Wurm, Thomas Zipp.