ZERO and NOUVEAU RÉALISME: Questioning Reality, Ahlers Pro Arte Foundation, Hanover, 26 February – 26 June 2016
Artworks: Yves Klein, ahlers collection © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017
Since its creation in 1995, one of the main tasks of the Ahlers Pro Arte Foundation has been building up and continually developing its own collection of art, which enables it to contribute to the variety and quality of the ahlers collection. In line with its goals, its focus lies predominantly in German expressionism. Works by the artists of the Blauer Reiter group (Wassily Kandinsky, Franz Marc, Gabriele Münter, Alexej von Jawlensky, etc.) as well as the Brücke group (Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Erich Heckel, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, etc.) are showcased. Nevertheless, the ahlers collection also includes Emil Nolde, who was only a member of Brücke for a short period of time, Max Beckmann and Paula Modersohn-Becker.
In addition, the foundation takes an interest in the many connected artistic trends that have woven their way through the European art scene since the end of the Second World War, and in which the legacy of expressionism is still clearly evident. Examples included the international movement of nouveau réalisme (Arman, César, Raymond Hains, Yves Klein, Mimmo Roella, Daniel Spoerri, Jacques Villeglé, etc.) and ZERO (Heinz Mack, Otto Piene, Günther Uecker, etc.). Large groups of works by Dieter Roth, whose influence extended far beyond the Fluxus movement, and whose cross-disciplinary work continues to inspire many artists today, are represented in the collection alongside his contemporaries (Dorothy Iannone, Emmett Williams, etc.).
The collection’s other specialisms include, for example, Russian avant-garde art from the 1960s onwards (Grisha Bruskin, Erik Bulatov, Ilya Kabakov, Dmitri Prigov, etc.) and Chinese avant-garde art created from the 1990s onwards (Yue Minjun, Zeng Fanzhi, Zhang Xiaogang, etc.).
A catalogue documenting the ahlers collection and its history is currently in production.
Two Cats (Postcard to Lilly Klee), 1913 | Gouache und ink on light card | ahlers collection
Untitled coloured fire painting (FC 11) | around 1961 | Oil on burnt paper, mounted on canvas | ahlers collection © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2018
Calm Selb, ca. 1975 | Assemblage on fibreboard, in painted frame | ahlers collection | © Dieter Roth Estate, courtesy of Hauser & Wirth
Two small watercolours, 1916 | Watercolour and pen on paper, mounted on cardboard | ahlers collection