Logo Kunst Museum Magdeburg

    NEAR & FAR.
    Stones, fish, paths, flowers, clouds

with Inken Hemsen, Dietrich Oltmanns, Lucas Reiner, Carl Vetter, Jeffrey Yang
1 September until 15 November 2020


Dietrich Oltmanns, Wald & Wiese, Lindenbrück 2005, 21 photos

We are about to lose ourselves - in hectic pace, in abundance, the inability to perceive what is around us. The encounter with art, which goes beyond mere observation and can give us an aesthetic experience of value, allows us to discover new aspects of the world, open up unexpected worldviews.

The works of art in the display “NEAR & FAR. Stones, fish, paths, flowers, clouds” offer a mediating role between us and nature and visualise what has often become invisible to us. Tracing their own location between culture and nature, the artists Inken Hemsen, Dietrich Oltmanns, Carl Vetter and Jeffrey Yang show their very own perspective on stones, fish, paths, flowers or clouds.

Aspects taken for granted are shown in a different light and point to the sensitive network between people and nature, the neglect of which not only destroys what makes us live, but also leads to our own uprooting and tiring restlessness.

Inken Hemsen studied art and design at the University of Arts Bremen from 1993 to 1999 and in Bergen in Norway. Her art deals with the perception of landscapes in their vitality. In sensitive photograms and graphics she reflects the uniqueness of moments and the particularity of places in their constant change.

Dietrich Oltmanns (born 1956 in Leipzig) initially studied cybernetics at the TU Ilmenau from 1976 to 1981 and startet working as a freelance photographer in 1983. Today Oltmanns lives in Berlin. His photographic series, which are often created using simple pinhole cameras, are evidence of his search for visual truth-finding - Oltmanns is not concerned with technical perfection, but with "mental accuracy", the matching of memory, emotion and image.

Lucas Reiner (born 1960, Los Angeles) adheres with conceptual rigour to a topic that has always had a mythical fascination for people: the sky. In his works, he juxtaposes us with images of the sky, which in the course of observation reveal a wide range of colours in initially reserved colours.
Between 1978 and 1986, Reiner studied art at the Parsons School of Design in New York, the Ottis College of Art in Los Angeles as well as the Parsons School of Design in Paris and the American University of Paris. Since 1985 he has been represented in numerous international exhibitions, including a. in Los Angeles, Munich, New York City, Rome.


Carl Vetter (born 1949 in Weimar) studied from 1971 to 1978 at the University of Fine Arts of Hamburg and now lives in Salzwedel. He develops spatial and audio-visual action concepts in and for landscape and cultural spaces. He often uses natural materials such as stones. His works never intervene in a destructive way, but always become an integrative part of the environment. They arise from the sensitive questioning of the same: "Time to recognize, develop, execute - time for the viewer to be there, to let in, to experience themselves."

The poet Jeffrey Yang (born 1974 in California, now lives in Beacon, New York State) looks at the world from the sea. He leads philosophy, poetry, politics, Google - the constructs of human thinking apparatus, back to where all life comes from: the sea. Poems about dolphins, crabs, seahorses or coelacanths are dazzling (water) reflections of human existence and self-questioning.

Inken Hemsen, Sommersturm, 2017, photogram




    Video works by Florian Fischer and Johannes Krell

opening 12 July 2020

Still Life (Still), 2014 © Florian Fischer and Johannes Krell

The three short films by Florian Fischer and Johannes Krell deal with natures: nature in its original form to an artificial environment, nature as it is influenced and changed by humans, and nature as a phenomenon. The first part of the trilogy "Still Life" was created in 2014 and moves between nature documentation and experimental essay film. In the course of the film, the original authentic natural space changes into an increasingly artificial world of images.
In “Kaltes Tal (Cold Valley)" (2016), the filmmakers deal with the paradox that man-made damage to nature can only be repaired by further destroying nature. It describes the work processes of a limestone mine. The salvaged material is processed and returned to nature through forest liming to counteract the soil pollution caused by acid rain.
The two-channel installation "Umbra" (2019) is devoted to ordinary and rare optical phenomena of nature. They produce familiar aspects like shadows or reflections on a water surface; but also unusual phenomena such as the so-called “Brockengespenst” or the pinhole effect during a solar eclipse. They are all united by their intangible, fleeting presence.

The short films received numerous awards, including the German Short Film Award in Gold in the category Documentation in for "Kaltes Tal (Cold Valley)” in 2016 and the Golden Bear for Best Short Film at the Berlin International Film Festival for "Umbra” in 2019.

Umbra (Still), 2019 © RosenPictures GbR




    Wieland Förster
    Describing life
    90th birthday exhibition


21 May - 30 August 2020

Wieland Förster, embrace II, 1973, photo: Thea Henkel

The sculptor Wieland Förster, born in Dresden and now living near Berlin, turned 90 at the beginning of this year. Only few sculptors in the second half of the 20th century managed to add new aspects to the long history of the human figure in art. Wieland Förster succeeded, because he did not reject the idea of modern sculpture and their endeavours not just to illustrate the visible world but to explore its order.

In the GDR, Wieland Förster avoided the official expectations of illustrating daily political events by focusing on and attaching his art to basic humanistic values, visible through his view of nature and landscape. He pointed out that all of his sculptural forms derive from the egg as a basic geometric form and as a symbol of life.  
This links with Wieland Förster's two main themes: love and death, embodied in women and men. Behind this polarisation lies the personal, sad experience of his generation that was too young be torn out of their lives and into war, and that had to deal with the question of war later on. This arc of suspense can be seen on the bronze door of the high-column chapel entitled "Joy and Suffering" at the Kloster Unser Lieben Frauen and runs through the pieces of art in the exhibition as well as his extensive literary work.

The exhibition shows a selection from the extensive collection of Förster’s work in the art museum. The majority of the exhibited works were created in the 1960s till 80s and shows how contemporary history merges into art history. Central sculptural pieces of art of Wieland Förster, such as the "Great Walking Man" from 1969, the "Portrait Stele Erich Arendt" or the "Great Neeberger Figurine" from 1974, are in the sculpture park of the Kunstmuseum.






    Martin Assig · Horst Bartnig · Irma Blank ·  
    Eberhard Blum · Heinz Breloh · Ludwig Ehrler ·
    Ruth Francken · Günter Fruhtrunk · Hermann 
    Glöckner · Wieland Krause · Edda Renouf

21 May - 16 August 2020

The German word “Partitur” derived from the Italian word “Partitura”, meaning partition, devision. The word is usually used in music, where the individual voices of a composition are recorded in the respective scores (“Partitur”). In this exhibition, this, figuratively, stands for works of art that are similarly divided into compositions and created in a coordinated manner. This mode can be found in individual and compound works, often characterising image series and cycles.

The artists in this exhibition show a wide range of distinctive signatures and styles - between gestural open expressions and geometrically disciplined formations. However, despite the individual means of expression (e.g. through lines, colours, geometries, symbols etc.) they all have in common that they are subject to elementary order systems. In the 20th century, artists found new ways of combining art from elementary, often abstract forms, in a new and complex way in order to establish an unused visual language beyond existing traditions. The artists direct us less to what we perceive in a piece of art, but rather how we perceive.

The broad selection of these works has a common background. Almost all of them come from the collection of the Kunstmuseum Magdeburg and attest to the collection growth in recent years. Many of the works are donations, for example from Ingvilt Goetz, Munich, Eva-Maria Fruhtrunk, Paris, Ann Holyoke-Lehmann, Berlin, Jörn Merkert, Spatzenhausen, Gerlinde and Hans-Dieter Harig, Hanover, purchases by Freunde und Förderer des Kunstmuseums or permanent loans from the State of Saxony-Anhalt and the Stiftung Kunst und Kultur der Stadtsparkasse Magdeburg.


Martin Assig, Thinking, from the series "St. Paul", 2012, photo: Kunstmuseum Magdeburg




    Michael Hofstetter
    emotions, abysses, coincidences, misfortunes

14 May - 30 June 2020

Michael Hofstetter‘s art seeks an exchange of ideas. He uses clothing, photography, interviews, films, objects, even rooms to question our usual view of art and life and reinforces this by using old materials that Hofstetter recycles and repurpose. Many of his pieces of art appear frisky and fleeting. They show smoke, blazing fire, neon lights, or words and invite us to enter into the art, to bath in the light, to hide in the smoke and to immerse into the meaning of written words and symbols, where we can get lost in their “feelings”, “abysses” and “coincidences”.

On the east facade of the art museum is Hofstetter‘s neon work “upcycling”. With this work, he describes the most important task of art: phrased by Theodor W. Adorno, it should always address and use all possibilities as opportunities for life.

Michael Hofstetter, born 1961 in Stuttgart, studied German studies, philosophy and art history in Tübingen, painting and graphics at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Munich, and photography at the School of Visual Arts New York. He lectures at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Munich.


Michael Hofstetter, upcycling, 2013/2019, photo: Kunstmuseum Magdeburg






The Bauhaus and its Consequences 1919 to 2019 
September 22, 2019 to February 9, 2020


Photography is the image medium that, in addition to architecture and design, is still particularly associated with the Bauhaus in the perception of the viewer. Photography, with its technical flexibility, offered the best conditions for the central idea of the Bauhaus to shape real society through visionary thinking. The exploration of the world with the camera, the crossing of photographic boundaries, creative impulses, such as experiments with light and shadow, promoted a "new seeing" (Neues Sehen); that made the emergence of photography into modernity possible in the first place.

The photography at the Bauhaus between the two opposing positions of Lazlo Moholy-Nagy, who propagated a new exploration of photographic possibilities, and Walter Peterhans, who sought the change from "new seeing" to applied material photography, serves as the starting point for the exhibition, wich shows examples from 1920s to the present.

The exhibition shows the spotlight-like effects of one hundred years of Bauhaus on photography along the time axis to present day. How do influences, references, interpretations in the photographic visual language and comparisons over the decades up to the present day of photography look like? 


Artists (selection)

Bauhaus until 1945
Lucia Moholy, László Moholy-Nagy, Xanti Schawinsky, T. Lux Feininger, Herbert Bayer, Marianne Brandt, Hannes Meyer, Erich Consemüller, Florence Henri, Gyula Pap, Jaroslav Rössler, Alexander Rodtschenko, Albert Renger-Patzsch, Hans Finsler, Wols, Edward Weston, Itzak Kalter, Ré Soupault, Ruth Hallensleben, Irena Blühová

Since 1945
Heinrich Heidersberger, Otto Steinert, Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind, Hilla and Bernd Becher, Ezra Stoller, Walter Funkat, Albert Hennig, Anthony Linck, Krimhild Becker, Gottfried Jäger, Brian Eno, Nicolas Nixon, Richard Misrach, Ed Ruscha, Evelyn Richter, Ulrich Wüst, Kurt Buchwald, Anna und Bernhard Blume, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Joachim Brohm, Matthias Hoch, Maix Mayer, Michael Wesely, Christof Klute, Laura Bielau, Ricarda Roggan 

Project with Students
Bernadette Keating, Mihai Sovaiala, Julius Schreiner, Valentina Plank, Dana Lorenz, Sophia Kesting, Johannes Ernst, Felix Bielmeier, Christoph Brückner, Isabell Hoffmann, Florian Merdes, Nicole Burnett , Alexander Rosenkranz, Nea Gumprecht, Florian Weber


Photo: top: Marianne Brandt, Self-Portrait, simultaneous, around 1927, © VG Bild Kunst; bottom: Joachim Brohm, Moholy-Nagy House, 2015, © VG Bild Kunst