The Schmela Haus as a new project space in Dusseldorf's historic district. Eight contemporary works by Shaina Anand, Luca Frei, Group Material, Christine & Irene Hohenbuchler, Jenny Holzer, Sora Kim, Sarah Pierce, and Katerina Seda' reactivate the former gallery building as an exhibition space. The title of the exhibition, a citation from Joseph Beuys, stands for the works of the participating artists. All of them are characterized by a poetic engagement with society.
Curator: Lisa Marei Schmidt
On March 18, 2011, with the exhibition Aufruf zur Alternative, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen inaugurates the Schmela Haus as a new project space in Düsseldorf's historic district. Eight contemporary works by Shaina Anand, Luca Frei, Group Material, Christine & Irene Hohenbüchler, Jenny Holzer, Sora Kim, Sarah Pierce, and Kateřina Šedá reactivate the former gallery building as an exhibition space. This exhibition, with its site-specific installations, generates a network of links between the building’s history, its singular architecture, and its contemporary utilization.
In 1967, gallerist Alfred Schmela commission this building – later named after its proprietor – from renowned Dutch architect Aldo van Eyck. The first erected in the Federal Republic solely as a commercial art gallery, this building unites the functions of art gallery and private residence for the owner in a sophisticated way. Even back then, the Schmela Haus was regarded as an incunabulum of contemporary architecture. Its original intention and the function of its architecture are reflected in the works featured in this exhibition. These are found in the entry area, gallery, office level, and living space. For the first time, visitors have an opportunity now to explore the entire house, experiencing it through these works of art.
In programmatic terms, the title of the exhibition Aufruf zur Alternative / Appeal for Alternatives – a citation from Joseph Beuys – stands for the works of the participating artists. All of them are characterized by a poetic engagement with society. In 1978, Beuys formulated his appeal in the Frankfurter Rundschau for measures against the economic and ecological crisis, military threats and crises of consciousness and of meaning. The works in this exhibition take up his plans for wide-ranging protest and update them artistically and sociopolitically. As a historic and social space, the Schmela Haus offers an ideal setting for their reconfiguration.
Shaina Anand, Luca Frei, Group Material, Christine & Irene Hohenbüchler, Jenny Holzer, Sora Kim, Sarah Pierce und Kateřina Šedá.
New, site-specific installations have been produced especially for this exhibition by Sarah Pierce, Luca Frei, and Christine & Irene Hohenbüchler, as well as by Sora Kim.
Aufruf zur Alternative / Call for Alternatives, published by the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein- Westfalen, 2011. Edited by Lisa Marei Schmidt and Antonia Lotz, contains interviews with Ulrike Schmela and all of the exhibited artists, as well as archival materials related to the Schmela Haus. Design: SA M AEL, London/Paris, German and English, ISBN 978-3- 941773-11-0, 14.80 euros, the catalog will appear April, 2011.
Program in conjunction with the exhibition:
Thursday, April 14, at 7 p.m.
Thursday, June 9, at 7:30 p.m.
Workshop and performance with Sarah Pierce
Thursday, July 14, at 7:30 p.m.
Fritz Haeg (architect/artist), performance/salon
As our most recently acquired venue, the Schmela Haus on Mutter Ey Straße beautifully complements the architectural ensemble of the Landessammlung. Completed by Dutch architect Aldo van Eyck (1918-1999) in 1971 and now under landmarks protection, this building was the first erected in the Federal Republic specifically as a gallery. Its intricately interlocking architecture, constructed on five levels in pumice concrete blocks, was acquired by the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia after it was vacated by the gallery. Conceptualized for the Kunstsammlung as an experimental rehearsal stage, this locale will respond with a lively program to current artistic developments. The building opened in winter of 2009/2010 with the event series “Beuys ausstellen!” (Exhibiting Beuys!). During the exhibition “Joseph Beuys. Parallelprozesse / Joseph Beuys: Parallel Processes,” internationally known artists paid homage to this major German artist.
Our media partner is the newspaper Handelsblatt.
With support from Schlösser Alt.
communication / press office
Gerd Korinthenberg (press officer) Tel.: +49 (0)211.8381-730 firstname.lastname@example.org
Alissa Krusch (communication) Tel.: +49 (0)211.8381-117 email@example.com
Press conference: March 17, 2011, 10.30 a.m.
Opening of the Exhibition: March 17, 2011, 7 p.m.
Mutter-Ey-Straße 3 - 40213 Düsseldorf
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Saturdays, Sundays, holidays 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
1st Wednesday of each month KPMG Kunstabend (free admission from 6 p.m.) 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Opening hours on April 22, 24 and 25 (Easter): 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.