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A PARTNERSHIP IN ART

The Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus has entered into a collaboration with Munich Re on contemporary art | 2013 – 2016

April 2013: Joseph Beuys’ Capri-Batterie is exhibited in the reception area of Munich Re’s Main Building on Königinstrasse in Munich. At the same time, the abstract bronze Dreiklang by Rudolf Belling from the Munich Re Art Collection moves to the Lenbachhaus. The sculpture exchange was the start and simultaneously the symbolic and visible embodiment of a three-year cooperation between the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus and Munich Re.

In keeping with the guiding principles of the Lenbachhaus and Munich Re’s corporate citizenship concept at the time, the partnership focused on projects devoted to the communication of contemporary culture which critically address relevant social issues. The curators of the two institutions worked together on the content of the partnership and devised various formats, which Munich Re also supported financially.

One focus was on the topic of work. In addition to lectures, discussions, film screenings and a colloquium, an extensive exhibition of works by contemporary artists was shown from 15 March to 29 June 2014 in the Kunstbau at the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus. 

„The exhibition PLAYTIME takes up the subtle critique aimed at the modern working environment by Jacques Tati in his eponymous film, and raises a variety of questions: How do artists from different generations and backgrounds engage with issues around work? What does it mean to work as an artist today? And how is the artist’s work different from other forms of work? The artists we have invited contribute a wide range of perspectives and methods. They not only address labor as such, but also the norms and behavioral precepts of a society defined by work. They examine existing power relations and gender-specific conventions in the working world and interrogate the connections between identity, the situations in which we live, and labor relations. Positions from 1960s socially critical and activist art enter into a dialogue with more recent pieces that reflect on the conditions in which we work today.“ (From the exhibition text, website of the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus)

In keeping with the guiding principle that “work concerns us all”, not only was it determined that admission to the exhibition be free of charge, the exhibition catalogue was to be too. This was published as an e-book for free download.

As part of the cooperation, Munich Re also provided two years’ financing for a traineeship for science students, aiming to bridge the gap between academic training and occupational requirements. At the same time, this was intended to give the trainee the opportunity to become acquainted with both a publicly financed traditional art institution and a corporation and its art collection.

Rudolf Belling, Dreiklang, 1919, in front of paintings by Wassily Kandinsky at Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus.
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023, Photo: Städtische Galerie im Lenbachaus, Munich Re