Future Spaces – State Apartments – Avant-Gardists and Old Masters
The Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden are making preparations for a special year in 2019
The first major exhibition set to be held at the Albertinum in 2019 – “Visionary Spaces. KANDINSKY, MONDRIAN, LISSITZKY and the Abstract-Constructivist Avant-Garde in Dresden 1919 – 1932” – is to be seen as a contribution to next year’s Bauhaus anniversary and will be flanked by an exhibition project in the Kupferstich-Kabinett as well as an installation in the atrium of the Albertinum. The term “visionary spaces” is used here to refer not only to abstract-constructive spatial concepts but also to the “thought spaces” of the avant-gardists. The exhibition project “Inventing the Future” at the Japanisches Palais (Japanese Palace) will focus on the way young people in Saxony see their future and explore the ideas, visions, worries and wishes they have for it. Archives constitute a society’s “memory spaces”, and in 2019 the Archiv der Avantgarden (AdA) will be investigating the explosive nature of archives in cooperation with prestigious partners. The public can also look forward to magnificent new museum spaces thanks to the opening of the reconstructed state apartments in Dresden’s Residenzschloss (Royal Palace) and the long-awaited reopening of the Semperbau am Zwinger (Semper Building at the Zwinger) further to full refurbishment. The Münzkabinett will greet visitors with an exhibition on its 500-year history, while the Kupferstich-Kabinett is set to pay tribute to the “artist’s artist” Rembrandt with an exhibition titled “Rembrandt’s Mark”. These are just a few of the highlights presented today by Director General Marion Ackermann, Minister of State Eva-Maria Stange and Director of Finance Dirk Burghardt as part of the annual press conference given by the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (Dresden State Art Collections, SKD). The SKD’s longstanding main sponsor – Savings Banks Finance Group – was represented by Andreas Rieger, Company Spokesperson for Ostsächsische Sparkasse Dresden, who underlined his organisation’s commitment to further intensive cooperation next year.
Launched in 2018, the “Sundays at the Museum: Entry is Free from Three!” format has proved extremely popular with the general public and will be retained in 2019. It invites Dresden’s citizens in particular to enjoy an afternoon of discovery, learning and creativity for free. As a result of the resounding success enjoyed to date, 2019 will again see a different SKD museum open its doors to the public for free from 3 p.m. onwards each Sunday. A special programme of events and activities for children and families will also be delivered in conjunction with free Sunday entry.
A total work of art performed in an art museum: February saw the electronic music pioneers KRAFTWERK bring their 3D multi-media show to the Albertinum as part of the symposium “Museum | 3-D | Digital”. Broad-based interdisciplinary discourse between creative artists and researchers on the opportunities, challenges and prospects for innovative 3D technologies will continue to be an area of focus for the SKD in their role as a forum for cultural exchange in the coming year, with the congress “DDD | The 3D Digitalization of Cultural Property” scheduled for June 2019.
The donation of the Hoffmann collection in March brought one of the world’s most important private collections to the SKD. The addition of around another 1,200 works spanning artistic stances and movements in the fields of painting, photography, drawing, sculpture, installation art, film and video art from the 1910s to the present day represents an almost immeasurable augmentation of the SKD’s holdings of contemporary art. Set to open at Salm Palace in Prague on 3 December 2018, the exhibition “Dimensions of Dialogue – Dimensionen des Dialogs” will display selected pieces from the recently donated Hoffmann collection alongside Czech exhibits from the National Gallery Prague as well as work by contemporary Czech artists. The core objective of this joint exhibition project between two institutions at the heart of Europe is to continue and intensify the dialogue between not only their respective cities but also the artistic stances exhibited. The project reinforces the extensive cooperation already engaged in by the SKD and the National Gallery Prague.
In July, the joint efforts of the Free State of Saxony, the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, the Ernst von Siemens Kunststiftung, the Kulturstiftung der Länder and the friends association Freundeskreis der SKD successfully led to the acquisition of the bronze statuette “Mars” by Giambologna. The sculpture completes an ensemble of three other small bronzes by the Renaissance artist already held by the SKD and due to be exhibited for the first time in Freiberg in early 2019.
Visitors still have until the end of February 2019 to dive into artistic realms, discover the fantastical, dream-like side of art and explore their own creativity at the “Children’s Biennale – Dreams & Stories”. Open since late September 2018, the Children’s Biennale is being held in cooperation with the National Gallery Singapore and has already been a great success with children of all ages, attracting over 17,000 visitors to date. From mid-November 2018 onwards a room specially designed by the Danish-Icelandic artist Ólafur Elíasson will host the creation of a city of the future from around three tonnes of white Lego bricks. The “cubic structural evolution project” will also tour Saxony in the SKD’s new “museummobile”.
The SKD will be celebrating a variety of anniversaries in 2019:
The Münzkabinett – the oldest collection within the SKD network – will be 500 years old in 2019, and from April onwards this anniversary will be marked with a special exhibition at Dresden’s Residenzschloss. Exhibits will include not only unique numismatic objects but also noteworthy documents and publications taken from the Münzkabinett’s five centuries of history.
The Kupferstich-Kabinett will take the 350th anniversary of the death of Rembrandt as an opportunity to celebrate one of the most creative and radical artists of all time. Dresden’s impressive collection of the Dutchman’s work will form the foundation for an exhibition focusing on Rembrandt as a draughtsman and printmaker. Valuable international loans will also be on display. “Rembrandt’s Mark” will open to the public in the Kupferstich-Kabinett on 14 June 2019.
Contrary to the city’s traditionalist reputation, in the mid-1920s Dresden witnessed the cementing of innovations in the world of art that were still controversial at that time. From March 2019 onwards, visitors to the Albertinum will be able to visually experience Dresden’s considerable contribution to the advent of the modern age. Held in cooperation with the Kupferstich-Kabinett and the AdA, the special exhibition “Visionary Spaces. KANDINSKY, MONDRIAN, LISSITZKY and the Abstract-Constructivist Avant-Garde in Dresden 1919 – 1932” will also be embedded into celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Bauhaus.
In autumn 2019 the Albertinum and the Kunsthalle im Lipsiusbau will host a major retrospective of A.R. Penck, who was born Ralf Winkler in Dresden in 1939 and died unexpectedly in May 2017. In the year of what would have been his 80th birthday, the SKD will use the exhibition “A.R. Penck. Terror in Dresden” to pay tribute to the life and work of an artist of international renown. The exhibition will focus not only on sketchbooks, artists’ books and Super 8 films (from which the exhibition takes its title) that have received minimal attention in the past, but also Penck’s wide-ranging activities in the field of music as well as some of his most famous paintings, sculptures and graphic art.
Archives constitute a space for memories within a society. They not only reflect and generate world views and constellations of knowledge, but also document ideas as they form and are transformed into reality. In 2019 the AdA will address the explosive nature of archives at both local and international level. What can archives do for today’s society? How can historical ideas be translated into contemporary narratives? These questions will form the starting point for the project “All of Life. Archives and Reality”, which is set to run from 19 May to 25 May. A cooperation between the SKD, the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), the Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art, the Pina Bausch Foundation and a number of other Dresden-based archives, the project will take the form of a week-long international academy during which experts will explore the extent to which the potential of such archives can be activated, presented, imparted and studied. The AdA will act as both the forum for and object of the research carried out. The academy and the closing presentation of its results will be followed by a three-day international congress. A parallel lab-type presentation of a variety of documents and objects is also planned.
The annual press conference also reported on construction activities that will lead to a number of outstanding openings and reopenings in 2019. Significant strides are being taken towards the completion of the Residenzschloss as a European art and science project, with the opening of the Kleiner Ballsaal (Small Ballroom) in January set to be followed by the reopening of the reconstructed state apartments in September. In 2019 it will have been exactly 300 years since Augustus the Strong had the state apartments created on the occasion of the wedding of his son, Prince-Elector Frederick Augustus, to Maria Josepha, daughter of the Holy Roman emperor Joseph I. The Turmzimmer (Tower Room) is due to reopen with a collection of precious objects from the Porzellansammlung.
The ceremonial reopening of the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister on 7 December will be another splendid highlight. After several years of refurbishment and part closures, the gallery is set to reopen with an entirely new permanent exhibition hung geographically by school and examining central themes from each of the respective periods. World-famous masterpieces such as Raphael’s “Sistine Madonna”, Rembrandt’s “Ganymede” and Bernardo Bellotto’s Dresden vedutas will act as points of reference. The exhibition will also emphasise the fruitful mutual interaction between painting and sculpture. To give an example, the way in which visitors experience the art on display will be intensified by the integration of the pre-1800 sculpture collection into the route through the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister. In keeping with Gottfried Semper’s original intentions for the historic plaster casts from the Mengs collection, visitors will marvel at Dresden’s renowned Antikensammlung in the large sculpture hall in the east wing. They can also look forward to a new coloured wall covering, an innovative lighting concept and multi-media formats providing background information on individual pieces and the context within which they were created. In addition, new spaces made available for temporary exhibitions will provide an opportunity to exhibit a large number of works that would otherwise lie dormant in storage.
Eva-Maria Stange, Saxon Minister of State for Science and the Arts:
“Anyone who leafs through the SKD’s programme for 2019 will see that each of the 15 museums within the SKD network fulfils the objective of being a ‘museum for all’ in its own particular way. The youngest of visitors and their parents are given just as much careful consideration as researchers and experts, while major exhibitions in Dresden are complemented by presentations in rural areas. Rembrandt receives just as much special attention as Bauhaus, Richter and Penck. It would be almost impossible to not be fascinated by such a diverse collection of art from all eras and continents. I am grateful to Director General Marion Ackermann and all SKD employees for the expertise, passion and creativity with which they pass on their enthusiasm for art. It is my hope that the residents of Saxony and their guests will allow themselves to be infected and, in doing so, experience both the personal enjoyment and the sense of togetherness and community that art can spark.”
Marion Ackermann, General Director of the SKD
“The plans forged by the SKD’s employees for 2019 are those of a dynamic and extremely productive museum network that actively seeks to participate in the shaping of the future with positivity and using a variety of means. One aspect of particular importance to us is the continuation and intensification of both our presence at numerous locations within the Free State of Saxony and dialogue with the public – whether they are already engaging with us or still need to be won over by our programme. To give an example, we will be taking ‘The Invention of the Future’ as our motto as we survey the younger generation throughout Saxony on their visions of the future, which will then be adopted into an exhibition project at the Japanisches Palais in Dresden. The new SKD ‘museummobile’ will also be touring around Saxony. The acquisition of Giambologna’s ‘The Dresden Mars’ is a wonderful piece of good fortune for the SKD, and the bronze statuette will be presented for the first time in Freiberg at the start of the year. The major exhibition at Schloss Hubertusburg in Wermsdorf will build on the huge success of our premiere there five years ago.”
Andreas Rieger, Company Spokesperson for Ostsächsische Sparkasse Dresden:“Social participation is a matter of considerable importance to both the SKD and the Savings Banks Finance Group. It should therefore come as no surprise that we’ve found a number of ways to successfully reflect that common interest throughout our longstanding partnership. In 2018 alone, over 10,000 visitors from near and far made use of the Savings Banks Discount.”