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Franziska Holstein: FREUNDSCHAFTSANFRAGE NO.2 – Von der Heydt-Museum | 01.04.-24.09.2023

Editors’ Choice

The Von der Heydt Museum in Wuppertal is currently showing the exhibition FREUNDSCHAFTSANFRAGE NO.2 with works by the artist Franziska Holstein. In this exhibition series, the museum invites contemporary artists to bring their own works into dialogue with works from the muaseum’s collection.

Image above: Installation view. Franziska Holstein, untitled, wall painting, 2023 © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023 / Courtesy: Friese Gallery, Berlin. Photo: Jurit

Form and colour denote nothing other than what they themselves are – this fundamental realisation of the early 20th century opened up a whole new field of free design and visual experimentation for artists. This is evident in many of the works in the collection of the Von der Heydt Museum. The artistic approach from which the painter Franziska Holstein (*1978 in Leipzig) designs her pictorial cosmos is also very concentrated and based on clear geometric basic forms as well as a limited colour scale defined for each series of pictures. What distinguishes her from Constructive or Concrete Art, however, is her processual work: She develops her tableaux by laying one layer of paint on top of the other, creating pictorial surfaces that are as austere as they are dynamic and lively.

DEEDS NEWS - Raumansicht 2 - Josef Albers, Interaction of Color - Courtesy Galerie Friese, Berlin - Photo Amir Rezaloo
Room view 2. Josef Albers, Interaction of Color (front), Josef Keller Verlag, Starnberg 1973 © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023. Franziska Holstein, untitled (HDV), 2022, and untitled (HDV), 2023, each 18-part series © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023 / Courtesy: Friese Gallery, Berlin. Photo: Amir Rezaloo

As part of the exhibition series “Friendship Request”, Franziska Holstein, guided by the criteria “sharp-edged, two-dimensional, concrete”, has selected major works from the museum collection together with curator Beate Eickhoff. Three rooms conceived by Holstein, in which she shows her most recent works, now enter into a dialogue with three rooms curated by the museum team.

Paintings by Otto Freundlich, Josef Albers, Victor Vasarely, Max Bill, Aurélie Nemours, Verena Loewensberg, Günter Fruhtrunk, Leon Polk Smith and Ellsworth Kelly, among others, prove to be exciting points of reference. Franziska Holstein contrasts them with a stringent concept developed from her own artistic approach, which is also about system, variation and combination. Particular highlights are large-scale wall paintings that have been specially realised on site. She installs extensive screen-print series in which she plays through formal variations and compositional systems as wall-filling collages.

DEEDS NEWS - Laszlo Moholy-Nagy - Von der Heydt-Museum Wuppertal
Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, QXX, 1923. oil on canvas 79 x 69 cm. Von der Heydt Museum Wuppertal

“Friendship Request” is a series of exhibitions in which the Von der Heydt Museum invites renowned contemporary artists to engage with the museum’s rich holdings.


Von der Heydt-Museum
Turmhof 8
42103 Wuppertal


Exhibition days:

Saturday, 01 April – Sunday, 24 September 2023

Opening hours:

TUESDAY – FRIDAY, 11 A.M. – 6 P.M.
THURSDAY, 11 A.M. – 8 P.M.
SA + SO, 11 A.M. – 6 P.M.

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