Bernhart Schwenk

Curatorial Statement

The collection of contemporary art I am responsible for in the Pinakothek der Moderne, which was opened in September 2002, is still being developed. Nonetheless the collection already includes key works by international artists born around 1960, among them Tomma Abts, Francis Alÿs, Kutlug Ataman, Thomas Demand, Elmgreen and Dragset, Rineke Dijkstra, Peter Doig, Johan Grimonprez, Thomas Hirschhorn, Mark Manders, Bjørn Melhus, Stephan Melzl, Neo Rauch, Pipilotti Rist, Anri Sala, Markus Selg, Wolfgang Tillmans and Artur Zmijewski. The main display area for contemporary art in the Pinakothek der Moderne is the 400-m2 “skylight” hall (Oberlichtsaal) on the museum’s first floor, programmatically named “Room 21” – as in: art of the twenty-first century. During the first few years, presentation will follow a concept that provides for a dynamic rhythm of several changes per year, with loaned works supplementing the collection. Dialogue projects – such as John Bock with Michel Majerus, Neo Rauch with Manfred Pernice, collaborative works by Hiroshi Sugito and Yoshitomo Nara) will alternate with monographic exhibitions (such as Luc Tuymans or Peter Doig).

When it comes to expanding the collection, attention is paid to the international development of all artistic genres, but a specific point of reference for the museum’s purchasing policy will always be the collection itself, its history and the museum’s architecture. Characteristically, a key focus of the Pinakothek der Moderne’s collection lies on German art – based on the individual collections of Kruss (Kirchner), Franke (Beckmann) and Prinz Franz von Bayern (Beuys, Richter, Baselitz, Polke, Palermo) – and its scope is being constantly extended up to the present day. Equally, in the longer term the museum will continue to pursue the international exchange that has grown in importance since 1960.

A major focus of my teaching lies on how contemporary artists work with fragile and ephemeral materials and on the application of authentic means of preserving large-scale installation works.

Bernhart Schwenk (2007)

Bernhart Schwenk 2006, Copyright: Pinakothek der Moderne München
Bernhart Schwenk
Chief curator contemporary art | Pinakothek der Moderne Munich

Contemporary art
New forms of painting
Large-scale installation
Mixed genres (dance and film)