Robert Therrien: Ohne Titel (Butterfly), 1990, Sammlung Lafrenz © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2010
Exhibition | 8.05.2010 - 12.05.2013

Minimal. Here and Now

Works from the Lafrenz Collection
The Lafrenz Collection has substantially influenced the self-concept and image of the Weserburg, the collector’s museum in the middle of the river Weser, since its inception. As early as the 1970s, the Hamburg-based pharmacist Dr. Klaus Lafrenz had assembled a powerful and unmistakable collection of key positions in Minimal Art, Conceptual Art, Arte Povera, and related art trends from the United States and Europe. What particularly stands out is their questioning of the media and materials as well as of the basic conditions of the artist’s perception of these. Indeed, most of Lafrenz’s paintings, sculptures, and installations do not represent anything in a mimetic sense, do not depict anything that might exist outside of themselves. Instead, they create in a sensorial way unmistakable situations and confrontations that are immediately transferred into the space and ultimately to the viewer as well.

Since his death in 1999, his son Björn has continued his father’s work on behalf of his family with amazing consistency, which becomes apparent time and again in his acquisition of work by young and most recent artistic stances that are in turn in a position to enter into a dialogue with older ones. This results in astonishing combinations within the newly assembled and extended collection, to intelligent reverberations and responses. Yet the second and third generation of younger artists is not interested in the formal continuation of a recognizable pictorial language, for instance in terms of a “Neominimalism” or “Neoconceptual Art,” but in a critical inquiry into reality occurring under changed conditions.

Kitty Kraus: Ohne Titel, 2005-2009, Sammlung Lafrenz, Courtesy Galerie Neu
Hermine Anthoine: Mes Supports a Reveries Rurales , 2000 Sammlung Lafrenz
Hermine Anthoine: Mes Supports a Reveries Rurales , 2000 Sammlung Lafrenz

Björn Lafrenz’s attitude as a collector is similar to his fathers, despite his belonging to a younger generation: he, too, collects contemporary art by young artists, often just beginning their careers; he, too, has his finger on the pulse of time, without wanting in any way to be in pursuit of a kind of zeitgeist. Neither father nor son ever followed the trends of the art market; they consistently trusted their own views and convictions. Thus, the collection was able to find its own organic and distinctive form and is today considered to be one of the most important private collections in Germany.

This new presentation, which takes in the entire third floor of the Weserburg, directs its focus toward younger artistic stances. In doing so, it creates space for dynamic dialogues between early works from the 1970s and those of the current generation of artists, who take up the stylistic elements of their predecessors, occasionally subject them to scrutiny, and in this way enable new perspectives on apparently familiar art. Two generations of collectors and artists meet here for an encounter that has never taken place in another collection of art. Indeed: Doppelte Rotation, or Double Rotation, in the sense of a transgenerational mobility within the collection. At the same time, however, this applies to the viewer within the framework of his or her aesthetic reason: in the wealth of his or her thoughts, feelings, and questions while visiting the exhibition.

Blick in die Ausstellung mit Werken von Louis Cane, Jake Berthot und James Reineking, Sammlung Lafrenz



Josef Albers, Hermine Anthoine, Jake Berthot, Louis Cane, Alan Charlton, Rolf Deimling, Cordula Ditz, Johannes Esper, Frank Gerritz, Peter Joseph, Ellsworth Kelly, Harald Klingelhöller, Kitty Kraus, Daniel Lergon, Richard Long, John McCracken, Michael Pfisterer, Larry Poons, Charlotte Posenenske, James Reineking, Ulrich Rückriem, Reiner Ruthenbeck, Richard Serra, Robert Therrien.


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