Museum fur Moderne Kunst MMK 1991-2011 Twenty Years of Presence

Today, twenty years after it first opened, the MMK is among the world’s leading museums of contemporary art. In its short history it has assembled a unique collection meanwhile comprising more than 4,500 works of art dating from the 1960s to the present. However, it has never before been possible to show the museum’s extensive holdings in their entirety. Now, with the anniversary exhibition, the MMK has enlarged its exhibition space to twice its normal size by presenting the collection concurrently in the MMK, the Zollamt project space and the MainTor-Areal on the bank of the river Main in Frankfurt.

Serge Spitzer & Ai Weiwei, “Ghost Gu coming down the Mountain,” 2005/06 Installationsansicht MMK, MainTor, 2011. © Photo: Axel Schneider.

The exhibition on view 19 June–9 October 2011, in the MainTor-Areal spread over seven floors, displays a crosssection of contemporary art. This includes major works by Nam June Paik, Thomas Demand, Sarah Morris, Hanne Darboven, along with even more recent perspectives in contemporary art, seen in pieces by Cyprien Gaillard, Tue Greenfort, Tomas Saraceno, Simon Dybbroe Moeller and others.

Works never previously shown in the MMK, by such artists as Michel Majerus, Wilhelm Sasnal, Charlotte Posenenske and Alighiero Boetti supplement the canon, which is arranged according to associative principles over 4,000 square metres of floor space.

On some of the floors the exhibition spaces are offices that largely retain their original form. Elsewhere in the building internal walls have been removed to create larger display spaces for such works as Stephan Balkenhol’s 57 Pinguine (57 Penguins) and the vase installation by Ai Weiwei and Serge Spitzer. For paintings or delicate works on paper like those by Thomas Bayrle or Christian Boltanski, the offices have been turned into small “cabinet”-style galleries. Some pieces enter into dramatic symbiosis with the MainTor architecture.

These include Marcel Odenbach’s large-scale video installation, being shown in what was once a sports hall for employees; or Tobias Rehberger’s installation Milan, Moscow, Dubai, Singapore, and Tokyo for which former offices have been converted into a cafe. This temporary museum café provides access to a 600-square-metre roof terrace where visitors can relax while enjoying a view of the Main.

The MMK main building, is presenting such icons of the collection as Roy Lichtenstein’s Yellow and Green Brushstrokes, Andy Warhol’s Green Disaster, Bruce Nauman’s Perfect Balance and Gerhard Richter’s Fußgänger (Pedestrians). Works long hidden away in storage, for example by Katharina Fritsch, Joseph Beuys, Sturtevant, Mario Merz, Marlene Dumas, Douglas Gordon and Lothar Baumgarten impressively demonstrate the diversity of the MMK’s collection. Much of the third level is devoted to American Pop Art, which is on display there in a dialogue with examples of Minimalism and other artistic tendencies of the 1960s and 70s. In a separate room on the first level, the archive of Frankfurt artist Peter Roehr, donated to the MMK this year by collector and former gallery owner Paul Maenz, is on view for the first time. In the central hall, Michael Beutler is premiering his work outdoor-yellow 13 for the MMK.

The MMK’s unique post-modern architecture has lost none of its fascination, and many of the works on display—by artists including James Turrell, Peter Fischli/David Weiss, Gregor Schneider and Bill Viola – have been developed over the past two decades for specific spaces within the museum. The most recent pieces to follow in this tradition are a group of photographic works by Wolfgang Tillmans and a room installation by Isa Genzken, both being acquistioned on the occasion of the museum’s twentieth anniversary. In the MMK Zollamt, situated immediately opposite the main building, the large-scale, five-screen video installation. Whenever on on on nohow on / airdrawing by Peter Welz—executed in collaboration with the world-famous choreographer William Forsythe—is on view for the first time.

MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst
Domstraße 10
60 311 Frankfurt am Main

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