Ein Leben in Bildern. Ein Porträt des Sehens für Rudolf Zwirner

The exhibition "A Life in Pictures. A Portrait of Seeing for Rudolf Zwirner" traces the various stages of the gallery owner’s life as reflected in art. Works from different periods of origin are juxtaposed to create exciting dialogues, enabling conclusions to be drawn about existential themes of humankind.

Since 1956, all aspects of Rudolf Zwirner’s life have been closely linked with art, the development of which he decisively shaped in the second half of the twentieth century up to the present day: professionally as a gallery owner, secretary general of documenta II, cofounder of the world’s first art fair, and curator, but also privately in intensive exchange with artists. "Life in Pictures. A Portrait of Seeing for Rudolf Zwirner", shown on the occasion of his ninetieth birthday, makes a plea that art as an essential part of the human condition. The more than fifty works in the exhibition, which come from museums, private collections, as well as the Deutsche Bank Collection, which owes important acquisitions to the Zwirner gallery, paint an artistic portrait of this impressive, multi-faceted man. At the same time, however, they stand for the constants, ruptures, and developments in art and the art trade since the postwar period, which Zwirner decisively influenced and shaped. Rudolf Zwirner was already associated with most of the artists represented in the show in the early stages of their careers and participated in their later successes.

Featuring Georg Baselitz, Joseph Beuys, Louise Bourgeois, Serge Charchoune, Max Ernst, Dan Flavin, David Hockney, Martha Jungwirth, Konrad Klapheck, Astrid Klein, Maria Lassnig, Agnes Martin, Olaf Metzel, Henri Michaux, Piet Mondrian, Blinky Palermo, Francis Picabia, Sigmar Polke, Gerhard Richter, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, and others.

Curated by Philipp Bollmann and Michael Müller

Photo © 1971 by Angelika Platen