Arts & Design
F | Museum Angewandte Kunst
REDEFINING APPLIED ARTS
When the Museum Angewandte Kunst was inaugurated in 1985, it stood out for its white and expansive architecture designed by Richard Meier. Yet somewhat out of step with its building style, the museum of applied arts then steered a course of presenting oriental carpets, Buddhas and Ming vases, which made for a somber and sedate atmosphere. It was not until 2012 that a new director, Matthias Wagner K, dared to stir up the dust. The museum thus regained its initial bright and breezy air. And ‘applied arts’ was redefined. Fashion icon Jil Sander got her first museum show there; Stefan Sagmeister presented a Beauty Show; Wagner K exhibited hipsters, hamsters and mobile phones; and Contemporary Muslim Fashions became the subject of much debate. In addition, Wagner K has opened his museum’s doors to festivals, such as the RAY photography triennial or the B3 biennial. This fall, the House of Norway is guest in what is currently the most exciting museum in the region.
FRM | Exhibitions | Summer / Autumn
From Bengal Stream to Van Gogh
There are over 100 museums in the region with a wide range of exhibitions throughout the year. The following is just a small selection of the overall offer. Autumn Edition.
- WI | What's Up? & Rachel Maclean | Aug-Nov
- FRM | Blickachsen | Art in Public Spaces | May-Oct
F | Museum | Städel Museum
Only the Best For Its Citizens
“The best for this town and its citizens.” In this spirit, banker and art collector Johann Friedrich Städel created Frankfurt’s most important art foundation some 200 years ago. At this time the “Städelsche Kunstinstitut” comprised a stately edifice, 1.3 million guilders, 476 paintings, 4,600 drawings and 10,000 graphic prints. The art works − every piece personally collected – consist primarily of Dutch masters of the 17th century but also Flemish, German, French and Italian works, most of them landscape and historical paintings. Today this private institution is a popular venue for holding large internationally recognised exhibitions, especially of classical paintings. For example, in 2019 the Städel will show Titian and the Venetian masters of the Renaissance (comprising the largest Titian retrospective ever shown in Germany), The Mysteries of Material, and Making Van Gogh.
FRM | Art Schools & Studios
Habitats of aspiring artists
Offenbach was long considered Frankfurt’s poorer cousin and often looked down upon or derided. But times are changing. One reason is the city’s HfG_OF_MAIN (Hochschule für Gestaltung, or University of Art and Design), a thriving hotbed for young creatives. For a long time in the shadows of Frankfurt’s more celebrated Städelschule and its many international students, HfG Offenbach has since caught up and has a pull effect in all matters of art. This means that together the adjoining cities now have two habitats teeming with a vibrant and young art scene. In addition the region is home to many studio houses, the two main ones being Basis and AtelierFrankfurt where some 200 artists create and present their work. Main smaller studio buildings are Waggonfabrik Mainz, Zollamt Studios Offenbach and Atelierhaus Darmstadt. Studios and art schools open their doors to the general public several times a year. The summer highlight is a three-day HfG tour with cross-media and film night, and during December several studios organise Christmas art fairs.
FRM | Art Schools & Studios
Art Centres and Talent Pools
The museums and exhibitions located in FrankfurtRheinMain are just the tip of the iceberg. Thousands of artists have also made the region their home, clustering around the many art schools and studio houses spread across the region. These are some of the main sites of this vibrant art scene:
- OF | HfG Hochschule für Gestaltung | University of Art and Design
- F | Städelschule | Academy of Fine Arts
- F | Basis | Studio House
- F | Atelierfrankfurt | Studio House
- OF | Zollamt Studios | Art Studios
- OF | Atelierhaus B71 | Art Studios
- WI | Walkmühle | Art Studios
- MZ | Waggonfabrik | Art Studios
- DA | Atelierhaus Darmstadt | Art Studios
- Spessart | Bad Orb Kreativquartier | Art Studios
DA | Feature | Darmstadt
A Creative City
Darmstadt is, and has always been, a hotbed of creativity in the region. It is home to Mathildenhöhe, a compound of stately artists’ and museum buildings best known for the eponymous artists’ colony founded in 1899. The compound is the site of the Wedding Tower, a landmark of German Art Nouveau, as well as buildings by famous architects of the early 20th century, such as Joseph Maria Olbrich and Peter Behrens. The city of Darmstadt is also the birthplace of the Darmstadt Secession, a revolutionary artist community founded in 1919 by artists including Max Beckmann, Ludwig Meidner and Paul Hindemith. A New Darmstadt Secession was founded in 1945 and continues on to the present day. Near Darmstadt there is also the Mediencampus Darmstadt-Dieburg, perhaps the most exciting new media academy in the region.
F | Exhibitions | Bauhaus
The Living Bauhaus
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Weissenhof, Oskar Schlemmer and the Triadic Ballet, Mart Stam and the cantilever chair: three artists, three works, one name: Bauhaus. The famous institute for architecture, arts and design was founded in Weimar 100 years ago. Although Dessau and Weimar were home to the academy of this new modernity, it was in Frankfurt where many of the ideas and concepts were implemented. For this “New Frankfurt”, city planner Ernst May and architects like Friedrich Kramer and Martin Elsaesser created a form of social and modern housing with revolutionary ideas such as the Frankfurt kitchen or Frankfurt bathroom. Design assumed social responsibility. Walking through May‘s settlements is an easy way to explore living Bauhaus. In commemoration of the 100th anniversary, Frankfurt will also hold three extraordinary exhibitions.
FRM | Art in public | Blickachsen
Excursions in art and Area
For over two decades, the international art biennale Blickachsen – meaning lines of vision – has been exploring how sculpture, nature and architecture intersect. The biennale invites artists – this year including Yoko Ono and William Forsythe – to take over parks and natural areas across the region with scenographic or interactive sculptures. Blickachsen 2019 also features sound artist Satch Hoyt. On the campus of Frankfurt University, he juxtaposes the pale backdrop provided by the prodigious, history-laden university buildings against colourful stele-like totems made of plastic and QR code-generated sounds and texts, alluding to the African diaspora. In Kurpark Bad Homburg, artist duo Winter/Hörbelt adapt the idea of visual axes in the form of a large tube made of beverage crates. In total, around 60 installations by some 30 international artists are on view at six locations. A good opportunity to discover interesting places as well as artworks!
FRM | Events | Rentrée
TOUR D’HORIZON OF THE ART
In France, transitioning from summer to fall is couched in a beautiful collective experience called la rentrée. Meaning ‘the return’, it refers to a shared reawakening following the summer months and holidays. FrankfurtRheinMain, too, has its rentrée. Theatres are starting the season with an open house day, where people can look behind the scenes and get sneak previews. Oper and Schauspiel Frankfurt will start on September 1, while Mousonturm is marking its rentrée with a festival: Unfuck my future. How to live together in Europe. The visual arts are likewise preparing to kick off the season. Frankfurt’s galleries have organised a small festival and weekend of openings clustered around Fahrgasse. This gives way to the big museum openings of fall 2019, to feature three artists from three epochs: Rembrandt’s etchings (Darmstadt), Making Van Gogh (Städel) and Lee Krasner (Schirn). One last tip: many Frankfurt museums offer free admission on the last Saturday of the month.