The Foundation for Art and Culture Bonn (German: Stiftung für Kunst und Kultur e.V.) has since served as a think tank, and as a driver and organiser of activities embracing the entire spectrum of contemporary visual art, which launched as a private sector initiative in 1986. Its main focus lies in the conception and staging of exhibitions, curating collections, holding public discussions on cultural policy and shaping the public space, be it in Bonn, Berlin, Duisburg or Salzburg. The overarching objective of the Foundation is to foster art and culture as an essential, stimulating and integral part of our civic society, to promote discourse and to deliver on our mission statement of seeking to “help shape society”, as the great Joseph Beuys once formulated it.
Having Ideas is Good, Implementing Ideas is Better. This is the dictum which has inspired the activities of the Foundation for Art and Culture over the past 30 years – in the service of art and cultural diversity.
The Foundation has staged landmark thematic exhibitions, showcased the art scene of one specific country and mounted solo and group exhibitions, featuring among others Tony Cragg, Anselm Kiefer, Gilbert & George, K.O. Götz, Jörg Immendorff, Markus Lüpertz, Gerhard Richter, Sean Scully, Günther Uecker and many other artists. Among the most ambitious projects were the exhibitions “60 Years. 60 Works. Art from the Federal Republic of Germany from 1949 to 2009” and “ARTandPRESS” in Berlin’s Martin-Gropius-Bau, “CHINA 8″, held simultaneously in nine museums across the Ruhr region, and “Art from the Holocaust. 100 Works from the Yad Vashem Collection”, presented in Berlin’s German Historical Museum or “Luther and the Avantgarde” in the Old Prison in Wittenberg. The recent exhibition “Deutschland 8 – German Art in China” in Beijing just attracted over 650,000 people in just six weeks.
Culture and Economy
Our activities require an enormous investment in terms of commitment, powers of persuasion and expertise. Our experienced, flexible team supervises all the phases of a project from the first draft to the inauguration, liaises with artists, sponsors, members and media representatives, and is responsible for the catalogues, advertising and handling the logistics.
Art in the Public Space
The Foundation actively promotes art in the public space at its domicile through its “Bonn Art Project”: Since 2014, a work has been commissioned each year for Bonn’s “urban museum”. To date sculptures by Marcus Lüpertz, Tony Cragg and Bernar Venet have been installed around the city.
The hitherto most ambitious art project in public space has been launched in Salzburg: In collaboration with the Salzburg Foundation, we have over the past 10 years forged a unique sculptural tour, known as the Walk of Modern Art. Altogether 12 works by internationally acclaimed contemporary artists, ranging from Anselm Kiefer to Erwin Wurm, are now on show around the historical Old City, freely accessible to the general public. With the “Krauthügel Art Project”, launched in 2014, the Foundation and the Salzburg Foundation have been transforming the panoramic meadow beneath Hohensalzburg Castle into an open-air gallery.
In the Ruhr region, the Foundation has been supporting the initiative PUBLIC ART RUHR – Neuenthüllung (New Revelations) by the RuhrKunstMuseen, which has been rescuing forgotten public works from their slumber and restoring them to their former splendour.
MKM Museum Küppersmühle for Modern Art
In 1999, the Foundation established the MKM Museum Küppersmühle for Modern Art in Duisburg, which it has been operating since its inception. Here we stage four exhibitions each year and with the Ströher Collection boast of the most important collections of German art worldwide.
The museum approximately 3600 m² of exhibition space and is located in a former granary at the inner harbor of Duisburg. It was rebuilt to plans by the Basel architects Herzog & de Meuron. Initiator of the museum project was the Duisburg art collector Hans Grothe. Grothes collection included over 800 works by more than 40 German artists. Since the takeover by the Darmstadt collector couple Sylvia and Ulrich Ströher, the number of exhibits and the represented artists has increased considerably. All in all, it is one of the most extensive collections of German post-war art, so that visitors can expect changing works and groups of works by the most influential German artists from the 1950s to the present day.
Up to four temporary exhibitions are annually added to the permanent collection, including retrospectives by renowned artists, themed group exhibitions, presentations of current developments by individual artists or the art scene in a single country. The exhibition series “Akademos” introduces the work of the professors of the Düsseldorf Art Academy and annually the nationwide sponsorship competition “Jugend Interpretiert Kunst / Deutsche Bank Foundation Youth Art Prize” takes place.
In 2007, works by the German-Turkish artist Mehmet Güler were shown. In 2011, the museum housed an exhibition of sculptures by British sculptor Tony Cragg, taken from the Louvre. In 2015, the museum was part of the major exhibition China 8 – Contemporary Art from China on the Rhine and Ruhr, which was presented in a total of 9 museums.
Several thousand square metres of exhibition space, a glittering array of featured artists ranging from Anselm Kiefer to Gerhard Richter, a diverse programme of exhibitions and a stunning architecture straddling the boundary between industrial culture and the White Cube – Welcome to the MKM Museum Küppersmühle! Located in the heart of Duisburg’s vibrant Inner Harbour district, and celebrated as one of Germany’s largest, privately-run museums, the MKM has since its opening in 1999 become a cultural beacon across the Ruhr metropolis. The world-renowned team of Basle-based architects Herzog & de Meuron has transformed the former mill and grain storage silo into an art museum, providing currently some 3,600 sq.m. of exhibition space.
With the Ströher Collection, the MKM houses one of the most extensive collections of German post-war art, showcasing primarily paintings by the most influential artists dating from the 1950s to the present day. Among the artists featured in the MKM are: Georg Baselitz, Peter Brüning, Abraham David Christian, K.O. Götz, Candida Höfer, Gerhard Hoehme, Anselm Kiefer, Norbert Kricke, Markus Lüpertz, Adolf Luther, Heinz Mack, A.R. Penck, Otto Piene, Gerhard Richter, Hans-Christian Schink, Bernard Schultze, Emil Schumacher, K.R.H. Sonderborg, Fred Thieler und Günther Uecker.
Among our key cornerstones are the close links forged between culture and industry and commerce. And by virtue of the generous support of committed enterprises and private sponsors we have succeeded hitherto in implementing some 300 art projects.