The current exhibition explores some new aspects of media art for the Mercedes-Benz Art Collection. It tracks and interprets important lines of development in contemporary photographic, video and installation art.
The Corporate Collection was started in 1977, and grew by engaging with the picture as a classical format, and the major trends in abstract-geometrical art in the 20th century. But even in the 1990s, careful attention started to be paid to the radically changing forms in which contemporary art was presented, and the new media that it was using. Light, video, photography and multi-media wall-mounted objects found their way into the collection.
The June 2001 exhibition picks up at this point with new acquisitions from the fields of photography, video and mixed media, and attempts to pursue some lines, but to redefine and justify others. There are acquisitions from the 1990s in the form of two neon works by François Morellet, a picture object by Thomas Locher, an audio work by Walter Giers and Pietro Sanguineti’s light-mirror object showtime.
The exhibition also shows some focal points—alongside the principle of continuing the abstract and conceptual tendencies (Zero, Minimal Art, the Constructivist tradition)—that apply to the biographical and artistic origins of the artists involved. There are just under 40 names in all, including five young artists whose biographies are closely linked with Stuttgart and Berlin (Heimerdinger, Miller, Reiner, Sanguineti, Westerwinter, Winter). The Mercedes-Benz Art Collection’s early and typical link with the “Zurich Concrete” group is continued by the contemporary Swiss artist mentioned above. Finally, names like Aitken, Dera, Hastings, Kosuth, Rockenschaub, Walther, Zittel and Zobernig, along with the other artists named, represent the Collection’s openness to developments in international contemporary art.