Performance of artist Gigi Masin in 2016, © Markus Luigs


No­tori­ous ex­change between art and pop

The state-funded arts university in Düsseldorf - the Kunstakademie - is internationally known, acclaimed and famous for the wide variety of ideas and experiments that its graduates have created. The list of highlights ranges from the Düsseldorf School of Painting in the 19th century to the avant-garde artists Joseph Beuys, Gerhard Richter and Günther Uecker from the end of the 1950s to the end of the 1970s, through to the internationally famous Düsseldorf School of Photography under Bernd and Hiller Becher since the 1990s. The central location of the Kunstakademie and the compact old town ensured, and still do, that artists and the music scene come into contact with each other at regular intervals, and influence each other like in no other pop city in the world. Without the meeting between avant-garde artists and the experimental musicians in the Creamcheese, Kraftwerk and NEU! would not have become the unusual works of art that they now are. The Ratinger Hof as a centre of the Düsseldorf punk scene was also a place where art and pop could meet. “The artists were interested in the punks, and those who thought: what on earth is that? That was this interaction”, Gabi Delgado from DAF explains. “And suddenly, 20 or 30 people thought: we can do just what we want”. This inspirational connection still exists today. The Salon des Amateurs, one of the most fascinating and bold clubs in the city, was established near the Kunstakademie.

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Performance of the duo Toresch, © Markus Luigs