12 Region Borderless

30.04.2017 – 19.06.2016

From Kandern via Freiburg to Ottersweier, from Rottweil to Schallstadt – the kunsthalle messmer in Riegel looked in all directions in this special exhibition. The view went into the region and yet boundlessly far beyond it. Because “12” brings together artists who have found an independent and unmistakable signature in the past decades and whose paintings, installations and sculptures are known far beyond the national borders. This of course means “glasses” by Peter Dreher, a large figure installation by Jürgen Brodwolf, wooden sculptures by CW Loth, opulent painting and many, many encounters with “old” acquaintances.

Thomas Kitzinger, A3-11 to A7-11-2011, A6-05, 2005, oil on aluminium © Thomas Kitzinger courtesy Gallery Albert Baumgarten, Freiburg

Participating artists were:

Werner Berges
Gerhard Birkhofer
Jürgen Brodwolf
Peter Dreher
Manfred Emmenegger-Kanzler
Elisabeth Endres
Angela M. Flaig
Thomas Kitzinger
CW Loth
Celso Martínez Naves
Wolfram Scheffel

10 years messmer foundation
The highlights of the collection

4.10.2015 – 07.02.2016


To mark the 10th anniversary of the messmer foundation, the foundation opens its depots and presents a unique collection of its most important works in the kunsthalle messmere. The exhibition brings together such renowned artists as Georges Braque, Carlos Cruz-Diez, André Evard, Lucio Fontana, Paul Klee, Alberto Magnelli, Günther Uecker and Victor Vasarely. On the basis of these important representatives of abstract art, the exhibition provides an exciting insight into the historical connections between classical modern art, Op Art, kinetic and concrete-constructive art.

One focus of the exhibition is devoted to the art of the pioneering Swiss avant-gardist André Evard, of whose estate the founder Jürgen A. Messmer acquired a large part in 1978 and which is now administered by the messmer foundation. In his long life, Evard has created an extremely multi-faceted and highly individual work, which is why he is rightly described as a pioneer of Swiss modernism. In the juxtaposition of his early enamel works and his important series, such as “Les roses, “Le couvert”, “Symphonia”, “Compisition abstraite” and “Kabuki”, Evard’s unique artistic development from Art Nouveau to his constructively-geometric works is vividly demonstrated.

While the cubist and constructive works of André Evard and Georges Braque open the door to abstraction in the first half of the century, artists after the Second World War expand the non-figurative repertoire and penetrate completely new areas: Thus Op Art deals with the phenomenon of perception, Kinetic Art specifically incorporates movement into its works, and the concrete-constructive directions seek a purist way to embody the spiritual on the basis of mathematical-geometric principles. The broad spectrum ranges from Victor Vasarely’s and Bridget Riley’s pulsating geometric compositions to Carlos Cruz-Diez’s vibrating striped paintings, Lucio Fontana’s perforated works, and Anton Stankowski’s and Klaus J. Schoen’s clear and harmonious constructions.

The collection, which today comprises more than 1,000 works of art by over 150 important artists, offers a fascinating cross-section of the “10 Years of the messmer Foundation” with its exhibits. With top works by some of the most important artists of the 20th century, this top-class exhibition offers a multifaceted view of the various developmental trends in abstract art.

Andy Warhol
King of Pop Art

King of Pop Art 

From 02.05.2015 to 27.09.2015

In Andy Warhol, kunsthalle messmer presents the most important exponent of American pop art, and one of the most dazzling personalities of the 20th century. Like no other artist, Warhol revolutionised modern visual language and changed our conceptions of art forever.  His series of movie stars and glamorous politicians, of cans of soup and dollar bills, have long ranked among the true icons of art history.  Using series as an artistic means of expression became Warhol’s signature, and serigraphy his most popular medium. This exhibition sheds light on the most important stages of his artistic development. Beginning with a selection of early sketches from the 1950s, the exhibition stands as testament to Warhol’s trailblazing evolution, from his beginnings as a graphic designer to being christened ‘king of pop art’.

Born the son of eastern European immigrants and growing up in a poor district of Pittsburgh, Warhol and his career embody the American Dream, from a poor, sickly child to a successful graphic designer in New York and a star of the international art scene. He always knew how to be provocative and shock his audience with both the subjects of his artworks and his lifestyle. As a student of the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, he broke with the cult of the artist’s own hand by reproducing his sketches and having his friends colour them. This was a concept that he took with him to his legendary Manhattan-based Factory, which proved true to its name: Warhol didn’t consider it to be an artist’s studio, but as an actual factory for producing his art. It was here that his famous prints of Marilyn Monroe and Campbell’s Soups were created.

Art and business blend into one in Warhol’s work and in the way he marketed himself. What began at the Factory in the 1960s reached its peak in the 1970s when, for $25,000, Warhol painted the portrait of each person who was willing to pay that sum. Serial imagery is a motif that extends across all of Warhol’s work and is the expression of his compelling way of thinking.  This principle represents industrialised mass production, but also the democratisation of social habits, because every American drinks Coca-Cola or eats Campbell’s soup, from the president to the humble labourer.

A highlight of the exhibition is the ten-part series Marilyn, which Warhol began only a few days after the actress’ tragic death. With this series, the artist not only produced one of his most famous series, but also immortalised the Hollywood starlet as an iconic figure of modern art and pop culture. Further classics, like the large-format portrait of Goethe, Campbell’s Soup Cans, Mao and Flowers, as well as Flash – Warhol’s representation of the assassination of John F. Kennedy – make this exhibition a truly unforgettable experience.

Past Exhibitions

Messmer & Friends – Insights into the collection
29. October 2011 – 25 February 2012

Water  Fantasy and Reality – Facets of an Element
2 July 2011 – 23 October 2011

Kinetics Art in Motion – From Tinguely via Soto to Vasarely
26 February 2011 – 26 June 2011

Gerd Grimmfor 100. birthday: fashion, girls, metropolises
13. November 2010 – 20. February 2011

Salvador Dalí Graphics from the Pierre Argillet Collection
5 June 2010 – 10 October 2010

The TOP 80 | 2nd International Evard Prize 2010
International, hochkarätig, konkret-konstruktiv

6 March 2010 until 20 May 2010
600600 artists from 33 different nations took part in the 2nd International André Evard Prize in 2010 and submitted works from the fields of painting, graphics and sculpture. 80 top-class artists were nominated for the prize in the course of several selection procedures and presented in a group exhibition.
The expert jury, which met during the exhibition, consisted of Mrs. Karola Kraus (former director of the Staatl. Kunsthalle Baden-Baden), Dr. Christina Schroeter-Herrel (art historian, Deutsche Bank AG) and Prof. Gerhard Frömel (visual artist and lecturer at the Kunstuniversität Linz). The winners of the Second International André Evard Art Prize were the Austrian-based artist Inge Dick (born 1941) and the Stuttgart-based artist Wolfram Ullrich (1961). The award ceremony took place in May 2010 with the participation of Freiburg District President Julian Würtenberger and the laudator Dr. Christina Schroeter-Herrel, curator of the Deutsche Bank AG Art Collection. An audience prize was also awarded as part of the Second International André Evard Art Prize. The winner of the Audience Award was the Swiss artist Peter Somm.

Victor Vasarely 50 Years of Constructive Art in Paris
17 October 2009 to 21 February 2010

Tribute to André Evard
9 June 2009 to 27 September 2009