The Ernst Schering Foundation in Berlinhas spent the last five years working with the Kupferstichkabinett at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin in building a collection of contemporary drawing that is to be kept permanently at the Kupferstichkabinett. A key motivation behind the partnership is the long-term strengthening ofthe museum's position as a forum for international drawing. This idea of permanently binding an external foundation's collection to a public institution is hugely significant in the age of low or even non-existent art acquisition budgets.
The exhibition 'System and Sensuality' presents for the first time all acquisitions of drawings purchased by the Ernst Schering Foundationsince 2008, the bulk of which are non-figurative works by German, British, and American artists, which only in a few cases present a graphic rendering of external realities and spaces.The works and series by the ten artists represented in the Schering Collection are minimalist in the broadest sense andamount to investigations in the graphic medium ofthe systematic and conceptual use of line - the draughtsman's essential means of expression. Despite all the precision and planning of the graphic process and the frequent high degree of abstraction, the works created as a result are imbued with a sense of dynamism and sensuality that is entirely their own and which cast a spell over the spectator in the act of their being viewed closely.
The artists also allow change and disorder to have a functional place within the graphic system they develop, and the result, for example, is often a rupturing of grid-like linear structures. In several of the works, the boundaries - already so permeable in contemporary drawing - to other artistic forms of expression such as music, dance, motion and performance art, sound or sculpture are frequently transcended. Apart from a few exceptions, all drawings in the Schering Collection were made after 2000.
On show are over 80 works in all by: Tom Chamberlain, William Engelen, Nadine Fecht, Claude Heath, ChannaHorwitz, Linda Karshan, Bernhard Leitner, Carsten Nicolai, Ignacio Uriarte and Jorinde Voigt (Collection of the Ernst Schering Foundation). Added to this are selected works from the Kupferstichkabinett's own collection of contemporary drawings by Frank Badur, Max Cole, Corinne Laroche, Jenny Michel, Karin Sander, Owen Schuh, MalteSpohr, and German Stegmaier, who enter into an eloquent dialogue with their counterparts in the Schering Collection.
The exhibition and accompanying catalogue, published by Wienand(Cologne), are sponsored by the Ernst Schering Foundation, Berlin.