Stories from the Collection
Felix Gonzalez-Torres "Untitled" (Klaus Barbie as a Family Man), 1988 C-print jigsaw puzzle in plastic bag 7 1/2 x 9 1/2 in. Edition of 3, 1 AP with 2 additional AP Photo: Lance Brewer © Felix Gonzalez-Torres Courtesy of The Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundati

Press information

On the occasion of its 150th anniversary, the Hamburger Kunsthalle is staging the exhibition UNFINISHED STORIES based on major parts of its collection of international contemporary art counting among the most relevant of its kind in Germany: masterworks, rarely seen pieces, new acquisitions and site-specific works being exposed again for the first time in many years. The history of art from the 1960s up into the 2000s unfolds, displaying a simultaneity of the unequal, a synchronicity and overlapping of various styles and movements.

UNFINISHED STORIES relies on the narrative potential of art and its ability to give rise to stories that captivate, enrich, touch, irritate and provoke us – and invite us to develop them further. UNFINISHED STORIES tells stories in the plural form. Structured along various narrative threads, the exhibition is concerned with a number of central themes in art that have been reexamined repeatedly across the generations: there is, for
instance, the human in relation to issues of gender, the nation and society (A. R. Peck, Bernhard Heisig, Sigmar Polke, Andy Warhol), along with the resulting – at times critical – images of the self and the other (Maria Lassnig, Rebecca Horn, Annette Messager, Tom Wesselmann, Allen Jones). It is family constellations, love rapports and interpersonal relationships in general that are under scrutiny here (Paul McCarthy, Abramović/Ulay, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Gerhard Richter). Moreover, material itself gains in relevance; processuality, transformation of energy and temporality are important keywords in this context (Jannis Kounellis, Mario Merz, Andreas Slominski, Anna Oppermann). A further narrative thread highlights the innovative strategies pursued in art since the 1960s that called traditional conventions into question. Especially the viewer adopted an increasingly important, action-oriented role. Franz Erhard Walther, Arthur Köpcke and Felix Gonzalez-Torres therefore occupy a central position in the exhibition, as representatives of an »open concept of an artwork« that understands art as a collaborative practice involving the viewer as a finisher of the work.

Supported by: Freunde der Kunsthalle e. V., Deutsche Bank AG