The biographies of galleries are highly revealing. A number of important gallery owner personalities with small venues were indispensable to the standing and respect earned by the art of the early modern period and embody the close connection between practice and aesthetics, between art education and art dealing. Another hundred years of gallery and gallerist history show the varied ways, both personal and impersonal, that the important role and the function of the gallery owner and the gallery can be perceived and employed.
Admittedly, the art world has become more and more scene-oriented while concentration and acceleration have reached staggering proportions. Galleries of contemporary art scarcely have time to develop their own biography. Ideally within three years of entering the scene, galleries should have established their presence and attained the status of a star gallery. A parallel with artists’ careers is impossible to ignore.
Battles of the titans and cockfights are fought at the top of the pyramid of the medially omnipresent art world by means of vast gallery spaces – new space – new power.
Twenty of the forty-four years of our exhibition activities have now played out in the same premises at Neptunstrasse 42 and we consider this an occasion to be commemorated with a special exhibition. The dialog between the intrinsic characteristics and architectural conditions of our location has provided us and the artists of the gallery with unforeseeably rich and inspiring possibilities. Presented in changing segments over the coming months, the exhibition shows the profile of the gallery in close correlation with the spaces that gave this profile its visibility. The first works to be featured are by Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, Robert Mangold and Robert Ryman.
The opening exhibition in 1993 was a very special event. The work group by Dan Flavin that illuminated the gallery spaces bears the dedication “For the Vernas on opening anew.” We are delighted to once again have the opportunity to show one of these works.
Three wall drawings by Sol LeWitt in 2001, 2004 and 2009 each delivered a powerful experience. Art that combines permanence and ephemerality and causes the here and now to appear especially important and valuable. The wall and the space are conditions for the temporary existence of the work of art. The installation of a wall drawing for the current show constitutes a key accent.
Since 1993, the gallery has hosted solo exhibitions by the following artists: Forrest Bess, James Bishop, Antonio Calderara, Andreas Christen, Joseph Egan, Dan Flavin, Richard Francisco, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, Robert Mangold, Brice Marden, Agnes Martin, Rita McBride, Ree Morton, Giulio Paolini, Sylvia Plimack Mangold, David Rabinowitch, Glen Rubsamen, Robert Ryman, Fred Sandback, Myron Stout, Richard Tuttle, Robert Wilson, Jerry Zeniuk.
Dan Flavin - Lights, Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, March 16 – August 18, 2013
Andreas Christen - Lumineux ! Dynamique ! Espace et vision dans l’art de nos jours à 1913, Galerie Nationale du Grand-Palais, Paris, April 9 – July 29, 2013
Forrest Bess - Seeing the Invisible, The Menil Collection Houston, TX, April 11 – August 18, 2013
Joseph Egan - A Coat of Many Colors, Gartenflügel Kulturelles Forum, Ziegelbrücke, April 27 – May 26, 2013
Rita McBride - lonelyfingers Konversationsstücke,
March 17th – June 2nd, 2013,
Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach
Work Groups from the 70s and 80s
June 15 to December 24, 2020
AGNES MARTIN Religion of Love | RICHARD TUTTLE Illustration
Publishers: Estate of Agnes Martin Dream Tree Project, Inc. Richard Tuttle Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne, Germany
Folds & Rips
Edited and published by Dieter Schwarz
A Fair Sampling
Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne, Germany
Forrest Bess (1911–1977) Museum Fridericianum,
Kassel, Germany, February 15 to September 6, 2020