Sammlung im Wandel: Die Sammlung Rudolf und Ute Scharpff
30 x 28 cm
108 color and 10 b/w illustrations
The current Scharpff Collection comprises works that date from 1958 to 2013: from Piero Manzoni, central figure of a European neo-avant-garde aiming to expand the framework of painting, to André Butzer, a painter of the new millennium finding his artistic measure between science fiction expressionism and post-minimal abstraction. Between the two lies the essence of an intense fifty years in the life of two collectors, and their active engagement with the perceptual challenges posed by contemporary visual thinkers.
Rudolf and Ute Scharpff began collecting art at the beginning of the 1960s. Their main interests always were contemporary: first the Nouveaux Réalistes, then in the 1980s recent German painting and American art especially from the New York scene, and finally the exploration of artistic positions in today’s open field of possibilities. Since many works from the collection have meanwhile found permanent homes in museums, the current collection portrayed in this book is both an expression of the collectors’ recent passions and a survey of artistic positions that have remained relevant over the last five decades.
Chronologically arranged, the artworks present an excerpt of contemporary art history through the mirror of the collection. Its focus today is on painting, and the essay by Stephan Berg connects core artists such as Albert Oehlen, Christopher Wool, Neo Rauch, and André Butzer, who are all represented with distinct works from several phases, back to the inspiration of Philip Guston, himself a late entry to the collection. Accompanying the numerous illustrations are analytical texts as well as artist quotes and critical reflections, which make both the artists’ individual development and the changing face of the Scharpff Collection as a whole come alive to the reader.