Sammlung Peter C. Ruppert – Concrete Art in Europe after 1945

Peter C. Ruppert died on 11 February 2019 after a serious illness in Berlin. The museum in the Kulturspeicher loses its art-loving collector and the city of Würzburg loses its honorary citizen.

The collection shows the presence of Concrete Art in 23 European countries and the various innovations and forms it has undergone since 1945.

The picture of Europe in the "Peter C. Ruppert Collection - Concrete Art in Europe after 1945" is becoming increasingly diverse. In recent years the collection has been further enlarged by the collector Peter C. Ruppert. This was always done in exchange with the museum in the Kulturspeicher Würzburg, where the collection has been on permanent loan since 2002. The countries of Eastern Europe in particular have experienced considerable growth in the collection with works by several artists, including Tamas Henczse, Tamas Konok, István Nadler, János Megyik (Hungary), Wieslaw Luczay, Jan Pamula (Poland) or Milan Dobeš, Marián Drugda, Viktor Hulik (Slovakia).

Special trouvaillas among the new acquisitions are, for example, a work by the Italian artist Dadamaino from the Zero period or a relief by her compatriot Enzo Mari.

A total of 30 new works have been acquired in recent years that have not yet been shown to the public in the collection - reason enough to present the entire collection anew after four years. To this end, all six rooms of the collection, i.e. the entire southern wing of the museum in the Kulturspeicher, were redesigned and almost all the works changed their place. While the last presentation was primarily about artist groups and artist associations, this time the motto is "Rendezvous of the countries". The focus here will be on the different varieties of Concrete Art in individual countries: art from 23 European nations will be presented on 1,850 square meters. Concrete art from the former GDR will also be represented with convincing examples. It is embedded and at the same time highlighted in the field of Concrete Art in Germany. This forms one of the focal points of the collection and is now presented in two opposite rooms on the first floor. Other focal points are France, Switzerland and Great Britain.

In the course of the new presentation, there will also be a "family reunion" in the Swiss section: Max, Jakob and David Bill, i.e. grandfather, father and son, will each represent Concrete Art in different ways and will now present their works next door.

On the occasion of the temporary exhibition "Lichtbild und Datenbild. Traces of Concrete Photography", which emanated from the Ruppert Collection, a work by the Finn Ola Kolehmainen and a work by the British artist Richard Caldicott were added to the collection. Both were integrated into the photo department of the Concrete Art Collection at the end of the temporary exhibition.

The Peter C. Ruppert Collection is probably internationally unique in its liveliness, quality and European standards. Unaffected by the zeitgeist, it offers a platform for an art that, following its predecessors in Bauhaus and Constructivism in the 1950s and 1960s in particular, continued to shape itself in many ways in Europe and has lost none of its fascination to this day. As its name indicates, the collection concentrates on Concrete Art from the period after the Second World War and continues to follow its development to this day. Since its beginnings, Concrete Art has had a special affinity for mathematics without illustrating science. This also applies to younger representatives such as Esther Stocker and Axel Rohlfs. They, like the older representatives of Concrete Art, are concerned with the creation of an autonomous visual world that explores questions of dynamism and tranquillity, balance and tension, chance and order, and thus touches upon the fundamental questions of life. The model of nature plays no role here. In her strong contrasts, her intense colours and her often suggestive use of light, she achieves surprising visual effects despite her logical construction.

To date, the collection contains 418 works by 254 European artists. This convincing cultural message has been documented since 2002, the opening year of the Museum im Kulturspeicher with the Concrete Art Collection, under the honorary patronage of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, currently Thorbjørn Jagland.

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