The museum KIT in Düsseldorf, © Oliver Franke, Tourismus NRW e.V.

Cre­at­ing #urb­a­nana

Ar­ti­fi­cial but fond of art

Al­though ar­ti­fi­cial, #urb­a­nana has al­ways been fond of art. One of the reas­ons why urb­an art and av­ant­garde, off spaces, mu­seums and art so­ci­et­ies are deeply rooted in­to west­ern grounds.

The grand­moth­er of art fairs, the Art Co­logne and her young­est grand­child, the Art Düs­sel­dorf, are fixed points when nav­ig­at­ing through the in­ter­na­tion­al art world of #urb­a­nana. For your first stops and sta­tions, we re­com­mend the Mono­pol Art Maps when you are com­ing here with art hun­ger and thirst.

Urb­an Art

It is as if it was drip­ping from the walls right in­to our eyes. We do not need rose-col­oured glasses to be en­thu­si­ast­ic about the col­ours ad­orn­ing walls in Co­logne, Düs­sel­dorf and the Ruhr Area. Here is where urb­an col­or­ists re­claim pub­lic space for their mag­ni­fi­cent mani­fes­tos. To whom be­longs the city? All claims of own­er­ship left aside, urb­an art re­mains eye-candy for all search­ers of col­or­ful cal­or­ies. At the City Leaks fest­iv­al in Co­logne, the 40° Urb­an Art and the fest­ivals in the Ruhr Area, in­ter­na­tion­al artists take brushes and cans, some­times even light-di­odes, drones and tape in or­der to trans­form the yawn­ing spot­less­ness or grimy drear­i­ness in­to spec­tral spec­tacles.

Gal­ler­ies and pho­to­graph­ers

Hon­estly: Gal­ler­ies do not al­ways seem in­vit­ing, even when they are open. Be brave: It is worth­wile to de­mol­ish these truly ar­ti­fi­cial fears of con­tact. Why not in au­tumn? When Gal­ler­ies in Düs­sel­dorf and Co­logne be­come sis­ters in spir­it dur­ing the DC open and jointly ex­hib­it what the new sea­son brings. More pho­to­graphy is on dis­play every Feb­ru­ary, when Düs­sel­dorf cel­eb­rates the photo week­end. On that oc­ca­sion, more than 50 Gal­ler­ies and in­sti­tu­tions hon­our the city?s repu­ta­tion as the birth­place of the Düs­sel­dorf Pho­toschool (Düs­sel­dor­fer Fo­toschule). The Mu­seum Folk­wang in Es­sen dis­plays pho­to­graphy all year round. It is one of the 21 Ruhrkun­st­museen, who ? taken jointly ? have an im­mense po­ten­tial for ex­hib­i­tions in the Ruhr Area alone.

Zero hours in Art

This is art by tra­di­tion: The Young West (Jun­ger West­en) of 1948 was at home in the Ruhr Area. The Art Gal­lery Reck­ling­hausen (Kun­sthalle Reck­ling­hausen) hon­ours the group con­sist­ing of paint­ers and sculptors still today in award­ing artists with the Art­prize Young West (Kun­st­pre­is Jun­ger West­en). The Flux­us Move­ment es­pe­cially shook the art scene of the 60ies in Düs­sel­dorf and Co­logne. Roughly at the same time, Mack, Piene and Ueck­er formed the su­per­group ZERO in or­der to claim the ?zero hour? of art. Pop Art was treated am­bi­val­ently: With en­thu­si­asm ? as by Peter Lud­wig, whose Col­lec­tion of Pop Art is one of the largest in Europe and on dis­play in Co­logne, or with irony ? as by Richter, Polke and oth­ers who re­acted to Pop Art with coin­ing ?cap­it­al­ist­ic real­ism?.

Me­dia Art

Paint­ing, sculpt­ing, per­form­ance and dan­cing mean­while got a strong sis­ter: Me­dia art. Ju­lia Stoschek is tak­ing good care of her in Düs­sel­dorf, where her im­press­ive col­lec­tion of in­stall­a­tion, pho­to­graphy and video is on dis­play now and then. The inter me­dia art in­sti­tute (imai) in Düs­sel­dorf is an archive of video art since the 60ies un­til today. The ?Hart­ware Medi­en­Kun­stVer­ein? (HMKV) in Dortmund takes care of the pro­duc­tion, present­a­tion and com­mu­nic­a­tion of con­tem­por­ary me­dia art. The so-called Kun­stver­eine (Art So­ci­et­ies) are unique in their ways to sup­port and de­vel­op art in Ger­many. 

More is more

That was a lot. Nev­er­the­less, you still want more? Try the mu­seums­di­enst and their vast know­ledge about Co­lognes art mu­seums. A vis­it to the Kul­turken­ner will also boost your know­ledge and help you nav­ig­ate through cul­ture and art in NRW. The Mono­pol Art Maps are an­oth­er help­ful choice: con­sist­ing of six maps and 28 routes in total, they con­tain a lot of use­ful in­form­a­tion on urb­an art, cul­ture and scene in NRW.


Art & art so­ci­et­ies (Kun­stver­eine) in #urb­a­nana

In­tro­du­cing: Ten awar­ded Kun­stver­eine and more cul­ture-hot­spots

Der Neue Aachener Kunstverein, © Ralph Goertz

Art so­ci­et­ies

Monopol Art Map, © Tourismus NRW e.V.

Mono­pol Art Maps