< 100 years of Bauhaus

max bill, jakob bill, david bill:
three generations in comparison

23 February 2019 – 14 June 2019.

With Max, Jakob and David Bill, three generations of a family of artists come to the kunsthalle messmer. In honour of the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus, a total of around 90 works will be on show, which, despite the same artistic direction to which the three artists have devoted themselves, deal with concrete art in different ways and each seek and show an individual approach to it.

Max Bill (1908 – 1994), as one of the most important representatives of concrete-constructive art, places scientific paradigms and mathematical formulae in a strictly constructed artistic context. The teachings of the Bauhaus School, at which he studied between 1927 and 1928, were to shape his further creative path until further notice. In his work, elements of architecture, design as well as fine and applied arts are combined to form a harmonious interplay. In 1951 Max Bill founded the HfG Ulm together with Otl Aichinger and Inge Scholl, for whom he designed the building himself and was active as founding rector. Bill’s son Jakob Bill (*1942) took over the scientific-theoretical approach to his father’s art, but took completely different paths in his oeuvre and concentrated entirely on painting. His works are based on a geometric canon of forms with seemingly ethereal colour gradients, which is characteristic of his work. His grandson David Bill (*1976 – 2018) focuses on the examination of space and its division. Surfaces and objects are assembled in ever new form variables, separated and reassembled. The focus of his considerations is always the cube. The colours black and white emphasise this spatial play and lend his works additional dynamism. In addition to the universal genius Max Bill, the kunsthalle messmer exhibits his son Jakob Bill and grandson David Bill, thus presenting a generation-spanning development of artistic creation.

Bauhaus
The Bauhaus was opened in Weimar in 1919 by Walter Gropius. The design school becomes the most influential of its time. In 1925 the Bauhaus moved to Dessau and later to Berlin, where it was closed by the National Socialists. The Bauhaus was intended to serve the aestheticization of everyday life and to create a privileged relationship between art, architecture, design and craftsmanship. Although “Bauhaus” was appropriated anew by every generation, the word “Bauhaus style” has become a fixed term in architecture, painting and design. Typical for the Bauhaus is the use of basic forms such as squares, triangles, circles and the basic colours red, yellow and blue, as well as tubular steel furniture and white cube architecture. Functionalism is the guiding principle behind Bauhaus: form follows function.


David Bill: 4 seasons, 30 x 3 x 30 cm, sheet steel and paint, 2017. © messmer foundation

Click onhere to read the opening speech of Dr. Antje Lechleite.  

Click onhere to read the opening speech of District Administrator Hanno Hurth.

5th INTERNATIONAL ANDRÉ EVARD AWARD
for concret-constructive art

03.11.2018 bis 17.02.2019

The fifth time, kunsthalle messmer awarded one of the world’s most important art prizes in the field of Concrete-Constructive Art. The 100 selected works provide a deep insight into the current and international work of the concrete-constructive scene. The exhibition presents a tableau of various media and formal languages, which come together under the patronage of the concrete-constructive. This exhibition shows clearly how different and private the artists have dealt with the same direction of art.

André Evard, Le Couvert, 1924

A renowned jury of experts selected the winner of this highly endowed prize. The jury consists of the collector and museum founder Marli Hoppe-Ritter from Waldenbuch, Sabine Schaschl, director and leading curator of the Museum Haus Konstruktiv in Zurich, and Ewald Karl Schrade, gallery owner and initiator of the Art Karlsruhe. The winning prize of 10,000 euros will be shared among the top three artists of the exhibition. Also there was be an audience award.

The winners of the 5th international andré evard-award 2018 are:

1. Preis: Rüdiger Seidt (D) mit 5.000 €


Rüdiger Seidt, Circletetra, 2018

2. Preis: Antonio Marra (I) mit 3.000 €


  Antonio Marra, Die Weisheit der Seegurken, 2018

2. Preis: Christiane Grimm (D) mit 2.000 €


Christiane Grimm, Shades of blue, 2018.

The places 4 – 8 went in descending order to Werner Dorsch (D), Mariano Ferrante (ARG), Laszlo Otto (HUN), OMI Riesterer (D) and Christian Rudolph.

The Audience Award went to Antonio Marra. (The winner of the audience prize will be notified by us)

Participating artists 2018:

Dedicated to the Art Prize André Evard (1876-1972), who is regarded as a pioneer of Swiss Modernism and devoted himself during his lifetime not to the abstract-geometric art but also to the figurative form of paintings.

The term “constructive”, derived from the constructivism of Vladimir Tatlin’s relief constructions and the suprematist works of Kasimir Malevich (1914), refers to an abstract, non-objective painting and sculpture. Line, area and color are used freely. “Concrete” means the working method of an artist, who describes his work according to a predetermined, for example geometrical-mathematical concept and thus sets the spontaneous action limits. In its truest meaning, it is not “abstract,” since it does not abstract anything existing in material reality, but, on the contrary, materializes the spiritual. It has no symbolic meaning, and is produced purely by geometric construction. The term Concrete Art was introduced in 1924 by Theo van Doesburg and programmatically defined in 1930 in a manifesto when the group “Art concret” was founded.

Dalí – The magic of genius

02.06.2018 – 28.10.2018

Salvador Dalí, Saturn giraffe, 1974, drypoint etching on colour lithograph with embossing ©messmer foundation

Salvador Dalí (1904-1989) is undisputedly one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. To this day, the Spaniard still impresses with his surrealistic, imaginative and often enigmatic works and is revered as a genius even during his lifetime. The kunsthalle messmer is dedicating a large, outstandingly curated exhibition to the artist with 150 top-class works that have never before been shown in this region.

Numerous typical Dalí motifs can be seen in graceful, coloured woodcuts, photorealistic representations in the style of old masters or even in surrealistic nature studies, which show not only Dalí’s reading, but above all his outstanding talent as a painter and draughtsman. The artist was also not afraid of different materials, so he created sculptures made of bronze, brass and plexiglass, which are also part of the exhibition.

Dalí is not only an exceptional artist, but also the stories and legends about his person make him special. Already at the age of fourteen, Dalí attracts the attention of several important art critics with his first solo exhibition. However, he left the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 1924 without an examination, as he did not consider his teachers competent enough to evaluate his works. In 1929 Dalí finally found his personal style; the world of the unconscious that appears in dreams. Since then, melting clocks, crutches and burning giraffes have been the distinguishing features of his painting and have become symbols of the Surrealists.

The exhibition offers a good insight into the extensive graphic work as well as the unusual sculptures and at the same time provides insight into Dalí’s life. The diversity and high quality of the works invites visitors to discover the “Magic of Genius”. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue which can be purchased in the museum shop.

Otmar Alt – Life paths

03.02.2018 – 27.05.2018

Otmar Alt, The Rose Blossom, 1967, acrylic on canvas, 190 x 140 cm © Otmar Alt Foundation

As one of the most important and versatile artists of our time, Otmar Alt has been inspiring audiences with his colourful and imaginative visual language for decades. The kunsthalle messmer presents around 120 works from all the creative periods of the German artist and thus provides an exclusive insight into the complete oeuvre of Otmar Alt.

The special, often “puzzle-like” design of Alt’s works arouses curiosity and invites the viewer into a fantasy world, which he is supposed to discover and interpret individually with his personal gaze. The title of the pictures usually creates a possible access to the pictures and thus a scope for interpretation.

This exhibition traces the life of Otmar Alt and surprises visitors with the expressive colourfulness of his powerful motifs.

On Easter Saturday a special Easter family tour took place for the first time. The art of Otmar Alt was playfully introduced to the young visitors from the age of 5 and called upon to actively participate in the art. Besides painting pictures, the little ones could put together their own work of art from puzzle pieces and at the end paint their very own interpretation of the duck fox salad and buffer animal.

The kunsthalle messmer team would like to thank the committed young visitors and their parents for the numerous participants and the great interest!

Light and movement

18.11.2017 – 28.01.2018

I see something you can’t see! Or do you?

The new exhibition “Light and Movement” at kunsthalle messmer shows how deceptive one’s own perception can be. Here, everything revolves around bright colors, optical illusions, and kinetic art.

In this exhibition, the visitor is more than just an observer of art. They interact with the works and are thus included in the exhibition. Experiencing art is the programme here!

Artists such as Victor Vasarély, Hans Kotter, Regine Schumann, Carlos Cruz Diez, Siegfried Kreitner, Kammerer-Luka, Adriano Piu, Ludwig Wilding and many others invite the visitor to intensive perception, show its limits and exceed them.

Victor Vasarély (*1906, †1997, Paris) is a French painter of Hungarian descent. Vasarély first devoted himself to constructive, geometric forms before turning to kinetic art. Later, he co-founded the Op-Art style, which deals primarily with optical effects such as the appearance of movement or flicker and optical illusions.

Regine Schumann (*1961, Goslar), also a German painter and light artist, focuses in her works on fluorescent materials that unfold their effect under black light. The added light energy always results in different effects of light and colors. Schumann assembles her color bodies according to Goethe’s theory of color, which attempts to capture color in its entirety. Her goal: to create “room temperatures”.

The German artist Hans Kotter (*1966, Mühldorf am Inn) works in the field of photography, conceptual and object art. His works also include minimalist light installations in intensely luminous colors, as they will also be shown in the exhibition. At the center of his work is the relationship between light, color, and space.

From Italy comes another important representative of kinetic art, the painter and sculptor Adriano Piu (*1954, Friuli). Already in his youth he devoted himself to painting and quickly found pleasure in working on metal sculptures. The combination of painting and sculpture can be seen in the exhibition in the kunsthalle messmer. Here Adriano Piu shows his series INTERLOCUTORY MOVEMENT with sliding wooden elements. He thus offers an exciting variety of represented motifs and enables the viewer to interact with the art.

The concepts of light, movement, colour and space are also at the centre of attention in the numerous other works of art, including works from the Messmer Collection itself. The works on display offer a great deal of variety and interesting possibilities for perceiving art in general and from one’s own point of view. Not only visually, many new perspectives are opened up.

4th international André-Evard-Award

13.02.2016 – 24.04.2016

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For the 4th time the kunsthalle messmer presented the André Evard-award, dedicated to the swiss artist André Evard (1876 – 1972). Already in 1913 he occupied himself with geometric abstraction, as one of the first artists in Switzerland doing so. 

More than 750 artists from 47 different countries applied to be considered for the award.

In a pre-elimination only 108 artist were chosen to present one work each in the kunsthalle messmer. You can find the nominees here.


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A jury declared Betty Rieckmann winner of the award. The visitor-chosen award went to Bodo Sperling.

<4th International André Evard Prize: The nominated artists.>

ABERER, ILSE (DE)
ALBISSER, PAUL (CH)
ARÓSTEGUI, ROSARIO (ARG)
BACHMAYER, JENS (DE)
BACHMEIER, WALDERMAR (DE)
BAMERT, DANIEL (CH)
BARTHOLDT, REGINE (DE)
BARTNIG, HORST (DE)
BEHL, ULRICH (DE)
BENEDECK, BARNA (HUN)
BLECKMANN, GUNDULA (DE)
BÖHM, Miriam (DE)
BRANDSTETTER-HISS,GETTI (CH)
BRIELS, HELENE (NL)
BROCKMANN, ULRIKE (DE)
BUGAUD, Michel (FR)
CALAND, NATACHA (FR)
CHAPUIS, DOMINIQUE (FR)
DAETWYLER, SUZANNE (CH)
DIEHL, EDGAR (DE)
DORSCH, WERNER (DE)
EHRENHOFER, STEPHAN (CH)
ERNST, RITA (CH)
FLAKE, MONIKA (DE)
FLEPP, AFRA (CH)
FRIJNS, Tijl Orlandno (NL)
GANTNER, UELI (CH)
GINTER, Hans (DE)
GLASS, Ingo (RO)
GRIMM, CHRISTIANE (DE)
HANKEL, PETER (DE)
HÄRTL, Rudolf (DE)
HOFFMANN, GISELA (DE)
HOTTER, GERHARD (DE)
HULÍK, Viktor (SVK)
JÁSZBERÉNYI, ANRÀS (HUN)
JÁSZBERÉNYI-SZENDOFI, EVA (HUN)
JOAO, MARÍA ESTER (ARG)
JUNGHANNS, CHRISTIAN (DE)
JUSZCZYK, JAMES (USA)
KAISER, Dr. JOACHIM (DE)
KÄPPELI-VON-BÜLOW, KARIN (CH)
KIPFMÜLLER, KLAUS (DE)
KÖNGETER, UTE (DE)
KÖNIG, ULF (DE)
KOTULLA, Andreas (DE)
KOVACIC, Vesna (SL)
KUPFER, JAKOB (DE)
LAMPERT, HUBERT (DE)
LICINI, BERNHARD (CH)
LOBISCH, MECHTHILD (DE)
MALIN, BERNHARD (DE)
MARRA, ANTONIO (IT)
MARTEN, DORIS (DE)
MATSUMOTO, RURI (JPN)
MILLOTTE, PIERRE (DE)
MITTERER, GABI (AU)
MOLITOR&KUZMIN (DE/UKR)
MOSSBRUGGER, Eva (DE)
MORI, MITSUKO (JPN)
MUNOZ, MARIA (CHL)
NAVROT, KNUT (FR)
NEUMANN, HANS-CHRISTIAN (DE)
NOWACK, PETER (DE)
OGAWA, Fumiari (JPN)
OGRODNICZEK, EMANUEL (DE)
OTTERBACH, AXEL (DE)
PAMULA, JAN (PL)
PERTUSOT, AURÉLIE (FR)
PREISLER, RÜDIGER (CHL)
REITSPERGER, OTTO (AU)
RIECKMANN, BETTY (USA)
ROHLFS, AXEL (DE)
RÖHM, VERA (DE)
ROOS, HANS (NL)
ROSENBOOM, SIBYLLE M. (DE)
SANDFORT, BERNHARD (DE)
SCHLEMME, FRIEDRICH-DANIEL (DE)
SCHMIDT-OSTERKAMP, Tanja (DE)
SCHNEEBELI, ROLF (CH)
SCHOPPEL, PETER (DE)
SCHORCHT, Michael (DE)
SCHRAMM, WILHELM (AU)
SCHWAB, MATTHIAS (DE)
SEGAWA, Go (JPN)
SEIDT, Rüdiger (DE)
SHAPIRO-OBERMAIR, EKATERINA (RU)
SIEBER, RENÉ D. (DE)
SOMM, PETER (DE)
SPERLING, BODO (DE)
STEEGMAIER, HARTMUT (DE)
STILLER, MAX (DE)
STRADA, GIOVANNA (IT)
TABARY, Francis (FR)
TANGERMANN, FRANK (DE)
TEUFEN, DOMINIQUE (CH)
TINTI, VOLKER (DE)
VACHER, PHILIPPE (FR)
VIOT, JEAN-PIERRE (FR)
WACKERNAGEL, PETER (DE)
WAGNER, MICHAEL (DE)
WILDFÖRSTER, DAGMAR (DE)
WILLING, Martin (DE)
WINKLER, GUIDO (NL)
WÖLLMER, REINHARD (DE)
YIM, So-Ah (KR)
ZALAVÁRI, Joseph (HUN)
ZIELINSKI, TEZÈT THOMAS (PL)
ZINNER, BIRGIT (AU)

Picasso and the women

24.06.2017 – 12.11.2017

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of its exhibition, the kunsthalle messmer is dedicated to the life and work of one of the most important modern artists: Pablo Picasso.

Born in 1881 in Málaga, Spain, Picasso developed into the most productive and richest artist of his time until his death in 1973. His expressive and diverse oeuvre includes over 50,000 paintings, drawings, graphics, collages, sculptures and ceramics. With Georges Braque he is regarded as the founder of Cubism.

The exhibition focuses in particular on the depictions of women in the life of the great painter, who, as muses and inexhaustible sources of inspiration, influenced and enriched his life and work in equal measure.

Some of the women in Picasso’s life were themselves artistically active and of considerable talent. They profited from the closeness to this artistic genius, but were always in his shadow, from which they could hardly or not at all free themselves. Thus, many of the works of his life companions show the more or less clear influence of Picasso.

The depictions of wives and lovers in the life of the painter run like a red thread through his artistic work. The exhibition in the kunsthalle messmer impressively reflects the stylistic development of his painting and the changing relationship to his wives. It comprises more than 100 works by Picasso from important private collections and conveys in a unique way, beyond the painter’s artistic oeuvre, unprecedented insights into the works of Picasso’s women. In addition to Françoise Gilot’s own paintings, drawings by Dora Maar and works by Sylvette David, who also served as a model for the painter many times and is herself a well-known artist today, will also be on show.

Christo and Jean-Claude – Objects, Drawings, Collages

28.01.2017 – 18.06.2017

The exhibition in the kunsthalle messmer uses around 100 exhibits – including drawings, collages, objects, graphics and photographs – to present the artistic development of these exceptional artists towards increasingly sophisticated and sophisticated works of art. It shows all the important creative periods, illustrates and documents the working methods and spans a wide range – starting with the early works, through the world-famous projects such as the “Surrounded Islands”, the Pont Neuf, the “Umbrellas” in Japan and California, the veiled Reichstag in Berlin or the “Gates” in New York.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude – two names that are immediately and inseparably linked in our memory to an unmistakable work! The world-famous American artist, born in 1935 in Gabrowo, Bulgaria, continues to inspire with his spectacular and enormously ambitious art projects, in which he always turns wonderfully crazy ideas into reality with a lot of charm, wit and a sharp analytical mind. The unique and formative art experiences, mostly presented in the open air, remain anchored for decades in the collective art memory of an entire society.

The artist couple finances their projects themselves and lets visitors participate free of charge. The temporary works of art, which can only be admired for a few days or weeks, live on through drawings, photos, collages and editions and thus remain intact beyond the duration of the actual project.

At the beginning of his career, Christo primarily tied up everyday objects with string, paper, fabric and adhesive tape – his critical response to the iconic exaggeration of commercial goods propagated by Pop Art artists and to the packaging aesthetics of our society that are increasingly striving for perfection. However, it would be too one-dimensional to reduce his works to pure consumer criticism. Rather, they are experiments and games with the aesthetics of a veiled object, a building, or parts of a landscape temporarily hidden from the viewer’s gaze, but which are always recognizable in their outlines and thus remain a memory of themselves.

State Exhibition Baden-Württemberg

02.12.2016 – 22.01.2017

Center for Visual Arts and Intermedial Design at the State Institute for School Sports, School Art and School Music in cooperation with the kunsthalle messmer ZKIS

Dance_Draw Fig. 1 © ZKIS, Thomas Putze

Drawing is the earliest way to communicate. Even before a child can communicate linguistically, it can express itself through “drawing” and “signs”. “Drawing” is a unique approach to represent and explain the world. Drawing is also an expression of creative diversity and a formal means of transporting content.

Drawing” and “Drawing” allow communication where language and verbal exchange are not, not yet or no longer possible. Therefore, for good reason, “drawing” is part of the educational mission of the school, in which the “art of drawing” is taught to pupils in art classes.

In the wonderful rooms of the kunsthalle messmer, selected student works of all school types from all regional school art exhibitions of the 21 state school offices were shown. The creative variety of the exhibits was very worth seeing.

In addition, “Hello World”, a world first, was presented in which a smartphone can be used to draw in virtual space and create a three-dimensional sculpture.

Joan Miró – The passionate painter poet

25.06.2016 – 27.11.2016

In summer 2016 the kunsthalle messmer dedicated itself to the well-known Spanish artist Joan Miró

The title of the exhibition referred to Miró’s relationship to poetry. This relationship runs through the artist’s entire oeuvre and took place on several levels. This aspect of his art should become clear in the exhibition: Divided into 12 rooms, important works of his oeuvre were shown, from the unique, dreamy surrealism of the 1930s to his gloomy late work. The show gave an impression of Miró’s oeuvre as a whole.

The artist himself was a passionate reader. 1700 books adorned his extensive library. Important names such as Dostojewski, Freud, Nietzsche and Goethe were represented here and of essential importance for the artist’s fantastic works.

Poetry also stands for everything that goes beyond language. In this way, Miró’s art is transcendent. Psychic processes take shape on his canvases. Images and impressions resulting from dreams and other states of the subconscious are held firmly. Much, which cannot be put into words, he presents in his pictures… Thus develops a unique pictorial language with coincidental, almost childlike naive character, for which Miró is so famous…