art set free
Andreas und Oswald Achenbach – Alexander Archipenko – Stephan Balkenhol – Max Beckmann – Giovanni Bellini – Bernardo Bellotto – Joseph Beuys – Arnold Böcklin – Jan Peeter Brueghel – Lucas Cranach d. Ä. – Lovis Corinth – Otto Dix – Max Ernst – Caspar David Friedrich – David Hockney – Angelika Kauffmann
and many more besides will see their artworks "set free" from storage: "We're back! For the first two weeks after the re-opening, there will be no charge for admission. For as the "treasure house of the Düsseldorf citizenry" we are looking forward, together with the public, to the re-opening and to the opportunity to meet up once more with works or art which we have long had to do without: doubtless all our visitors will each have their own favourite." (Beat Wismer)
With the re-opening on 7 May 2011, the Museum Kunstpalast will be able, after being closed for more than two years for a huge renovation project, to unveil its treasures once more, and put some 450 selected artworks from the Middle Ages to the present day on display.
The new presentation will illustrate the variety of the collections in the Museum Kunstpalast, one of the few institutions in the Rhineland to accommodate important collections of paintings, sculpture, graphic works, glass, crafts and new media under one roof. Over an area of 5,500 m², the museum will present its permanent collection in a concept developed by the team of curators under General Director Beat Wismer.
The high points of the collection include the Rubens Gallery with the paintings "The Assumption of the Virgin" and "Venus and Adonis" by the gallery's eponym, as well as other painters active at the court of Elector Jan Wellem, such as Frans van Douven and the aforementioned sculptor Grupello.
A further strength of the collection is the field of 18th and 19th-century painting which has been extended in recent years with new acquisitions such as two works by Angelika Kauffmann, which will now being presented here for the first time.
Other highlights will be the artist rooms - designed by the artists themselves—such as "Fish Flies on Sky" (1983–1985) of Nam June Paik, who attached his multimonitor installation beneath one of the ceilings, or the room with works by Joseph Beuys, or the ZERO-Lichtraum, set up jointly by Heinz Mack, Otto Piene and Günther Uecker at the documenta in Kassel in 1964 as a homage to Fontana, and a permanent part of the museum's collection since the 1970s.
Another unique element of the Museum's collection are the legendary "Creamcheese" (1967–1977) with works by Günther Uecker, Gerhard Richter, Daniel Spoerri and others and Thomas Schütte's room installation "Furniture for 'One Man Houses'" (2005), which in 2010 was given to the museum on permanent loan from the collection of the Stadtsparkasse Düsseldorf.
The newly displayed galleries will also allow the public to see a number of newly acquired and freshly restored works as well as new permanent loans: for example "Large Head with Small Man" (2010) by Stephan Balkenhol recently loaned to the collection.
As a living art museum with a highly varied, cross-cultural collection, and at the same time as the repository of the large collection of the Düsseldorf Art Academy and the location of AFORK (the artistic-photography archive of the Rhineland art scene) the Museum intends to let the art tell its stories and to illustrate, the history of the Düsseldorf art collection.