Last week it was announced that the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart has been selected as Museum of the Year 2021 by the International Association of Art Critics (AICA). It is probably the most important award for an art museum in Germany.
Image above: Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Photo: Dirk Wilhelmy
The German section of the International Association of Art Critics AICA (Association Internationale des Critiques d’Art), which presented the award, justified its decision, among other things, as follows:
“A particularly broad view of the art world has distinguished the museum in the capital of Baden-Württemberg for years. (…) Both immediate contemporary art and classical modernism come into their own with works by Otto Dix or Willi Baumeister. (…) The global art scene has just as much a stage in the house on Stuttgart’s Schlossplatz as the artistic creativity in the region,” the critics emphasised.
The Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, which opened in 2005 and has been directed by Ulrike Groos since 2010, has made a name for itself, according to the AICA critics, with exhibitions that skilfully transcended the conventional boundaries of the art categories. In 2015, this happened with “I Got Rhythm. Art and Jazz since 1920”: Works by African-American artists offered incisive examples of a second modernism that runs parallel to the well-known European art history. The particularly close relationship of the Swiss all-round artist Dieter Roth to language and literature was also the theme of the exhibition.
The important work complexes from the collection of the Stuttgart museum, for example by Dix and Baumeister, Josephine Meckseper or Nevin Aladağ, are presented again and again in special exhibitions under changing themes.
The exhibition series “Frischzelle” (Fresh Cell), which started in 2005, is a successful and important field of experimentation for young artists from Baden-Württemberg and is rotated annually.
With the exhibition on the role of the Stuttgart Art Museum under National Socialism, which attracted nationwide attention, the museum also confronted the dark chapter of its history in 2020, which began with an extensive donation in 1924. Active provenance research inquires into the problematic origins of some of the artworks that changed hands among the more than 15,000 pieces in the Stuttgart collection during the Nazi era.
The artistic work of women is another important accent of the constant expansion of the collection and the exhibition policy of the museum. In 2016, for example, the Johannesburg-born artist Candice Breitz let refugees from all over the world have their say in her video project “Love Story” at the Stuttgart Kunstmuseum.
From 19 February 2022 (on view until 10 July 2022), Gertrud Louise Goldschmidt (“Gego”), who was born in 1912 and died in 1994 as an emigrant in Venezuela, will make her solo appearance in the museum of the Baden-Württemberg state capital under the title “The Architecture of an Artist”.
“I am simply delighted – and proud – of this recognition for my team and myself for our work over the last few years,” says Ulrike Groos, director of the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart about today’s news from the association.
The AICA (Association Internationale des Critiques d’Art), based in Paris, was founded in 1948/49 and recognised by UNESCO as a non-governmental organisation in 1951. It has national sections with more than 5000 members in 95 countries. The purpose of the association is to promote the influence of art criticism, to safeguard the professional interests of art critics and to facilitate and improve information and international exchange in the field of visual arts. The German section of the AICA was founded in Cologne in 1951, today has about 200 members and annually awards the Museum of the Year, Exhibition of the Year and Special Exhibition.
Past recipients of the Museum of the Year title include the Bauhaus Museum Dessau (2020), the Folkwang Museum in Essen (2019), the Sprengel Museum in Hanover (2017), the Städel Museum in Frankfurt am Main (2012) and the Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz (2010).
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Kleiner Schloßplatz 1, 70173 Stuttgart