Stedelijk Receives Huge Donation from Collector Thomas Borgmann

Christmas has come early for the Amsterdam museum.

Lucy McKenzie, Untitled, 2004, photography on wallpaper, 200 x 243 cm. Photo courtesy Stedelijk Museum.

Christmas has come early for the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, which has just received a mammoth donation of over 600 works from German collector Thomas Borgmann.

The substantial donation will add to the museum’s growing collection of works by a number of artists such as Wolfgang Tillmans, Lucy McKenzie, and Cosima Von Bonin, the museum has announced in a release.

Wolfgang Tillmans, Deranged granny (self), 1995, framed, 214 x 143 x 6 cm. Photo courtesy Stedelijk Museum.

Wolfgang Tillmans, Deranged granny (self), (1995). Photo courtesy Stedelijk Museum.

Borgmann’s generosity has been an extraordinary boon to the Amsterdam museum, best known alongside its artistic holdings for a few perplexing incidents, namely incensed artist Rob van Koningsbruggen’s 2015 threats to piss on several important artworks, and art world weirdo Shia Laboeuf’s ‘metamarathon’ performance art piece.

“I have closely followed the Stedelijk ever since my first visit in the 1960s; this museum felt like a natural home for these works,” Borgmann commented in the release. “The Stedelijk has always impressed me with its thorough knowledge and high professional standards. The dedication and care for the collection are a wonderful combination with the dynamic and daring exhibition program.”

The German benefactor went on to emphasize his close relationship with the museum and its director, Beatrix Ruf, who has also issued a statement.

“The Stedelijk is honored to receive such an extensive and significant gift,” Ruf said. “Thomas Borgmann collected artworks of museum quality and monumental stature. I am extremely proud and grateful that the Stedelijk is able to expand its holdings with such an important contribution to the collection of the city of Amsterdam.”

Matt Mullican, Subject Driven (detail), 2008, yellow room, various objects 1970-2008, c. 400 x 453 x 190 cm. Photo courtesy Stedelijk Museum.

Matt Mullican, Subject Driven (detail), (2008). Photo courtesy Stedelijk Museum.

The donation includes all the various presentation forms of the exceptional work Angola to Vietnam (1989) by Christopher Williams, as well as three works in different media by De Rijke/De Rooij that the museum will add to its collection of the partners’ film works.

A further remarkable acquisition is the complete film oeuvre (16 mm films) of Canadian minimalist Jack Goldstein, who is widely considered one of the leading conceptual artists of his generation.

Additionally, Borgmann will make a long-term loan of a group of 10 monumental works and major installations by Isa Genzken and Martin Kippenberger.

The donation has greatly enriched the Dutch public art collection, not least because the donated work of other artists such as Enrico David, Thomas Eggerer, Cerith Wyn Evans, Jutta Koether, Henrik Olesen, Jorge Pardo, and John Stezaker had not previously been collected by Dutch museums.

Amsterdam’s city Alderman, Kajsa Ollongren has recognised this, remarking: “This is exceptional news for the Stedelijk Museum and our city. Contemporary art lovers will soon have an extra reason to visit the Stedelijk. The City of Amsterdam is very grateful to mr. Borgmann for this wonderful gift. The donation underlines the strong position of the Stedelijk in the international art world.”

In November 2017, the Stedelijk Museum plans to stage a representative selection of the works gifted by Borgmann.

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