Authentic cuckoo clocks from the Black Forest, plastic casts of gay couples on their wedding day, gaudily colorful high-heeled tchotchkes, miniature red Porsche 911s, a bright-yellow plastic duck, and a London telephone booth—these and a thousand other small objects will be on display at the Lenbachhaus starting in May 2015. We are delighted to announce that Hans-Peter Feldman’s installation “Laden 1975–2015” has found a new home in our museum.
Two years after the Lenbachhaus reopened its doors to the public, our presentation of “Art after 1945” is undergoing a complete redesign; the new exhibition will be inaugurated on May 19, 2015. In the future, new selections of rarely-seen works from our extensive collections will be unveiled every two years.
In the centre of the new presentation will be the sprawling installation “Laden 1975–2015” by the artist Hans-Peter Feldmann (b. 1941). Feldmann opened a store in central Düsseldorf in 1975, initially dealing mostly in antique technologies: nautical implements, photography equipment, geodesist’s tools, and vintage toys. In the 1980s, he added collectibles and souvenirs, including many articles that were not available anywhere else. The business did so well that Feldmann withdrew from the art world for a decade to devote all his energy to the shop. After forty years, Feldmann is now closing his store to transform the entire undertaking into a work of art that he has decided to entrust to the Lenbachhaus.
“Laden 1975–2015” ties in with the Lenbachhaus’s collection-building tradition in two ways. On the one hand, it is a new chapter in the history of environments and installation art in the Lenbachhaus, a history that begins with works by Joseph Beuys and also includes art by Anna Oppermann, Ilya Kabakov, and the room Gerhard Richter dedicated to Blinky Palermo. On the other hand, Feldmann’s work highlights an important trope: the artist’s private universe or encyclopedia, an anthology of objects or visual impressions of biographical significance. In this regard, Feldmann’s “Laden 1975–2015” adds to an important genre most prominently represented in the Lenbachhaus’s collection of contemporary art by Richter’s “Atlas.”