Düsseldorf’s State Museums Acquire 200 Works from Dorothee and Konrad Fischer Collection

The collection includes big name minimalists and conceptual artists.

Dorothee and Konrad Fischer in 1969. Photo: © the gallery

Kunstsammlung NRW, the umbrella organization managing Düsseldorf’s state museums, has announced the acquisition of over 200 works from the private collection of the influential Konrad and Dorothee Fischer.

Konrad Fischer was one of the most influential art dealers of his generation. He was responsible for introducing American minimal and conceptual art to a European audience.

Throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s he promoted the work of artists such as Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, Bruce Nauman, Lawrence Weiner, and Sol LeWitt. Following his death in 1996, his late wife Dorothee successfully ran the gallery for another 20 years, until her death in May last year.

The gallerists largely ignored market trends and continued to champion minimalist art, arte povera, and conceptual art, even after their popularity declined.

“When Dorothee and Konrad opened the gallery in 1967, nobody in Germany or Europe had any idea what minimal or conceptual art were,” Thomas W. Rieger, director of Konrad Fischer gallery, told artnet News in May 2015. “What the two of them did was visionary. It was downright brave to exhibit a whole group of American artists whom nobody in Germany or Europe had even heard of.”

The acquisitions from the collection are now on view at the K21 Museum in Düsseldorf. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The acquisitions from the collection are now on view at the K21 Museum in Düsseldorf. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

According to the Art Newspaperthe deal was structured half as a purchase, and half as a donation. A quarter of the newly acquired works are installations, whilst the others consist of paintings, drawings, sculptures, and designs.

Negotiations with Dorothee Fischer over the acquisition with the Kunstsammlung NRW have been ongoing since 2009, and the deal was finally sealed by her children. It was of great importance to her that the collection remained in Düsseldorf and the surrounding region.

The works acquired from the Dorothee and Konrad Fischer collection are currently on view at Düsseldorf’s K21 collection until January 8, 2017.

The acquisition was supported by the Kulturstiftung der Länder, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Ernst von Siemens Kunststiftung, Kunststiftung NRW, friends of the North Rhine-Westphalia museums, and a private donation.


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