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Kunstmuseum Bochum

A villa in the historic city park was where it all began for the Kunstmuseum Bochum. It was here that the Städtische Kunstgalerie für Kunst nach 1945 (Municipal Art Gallery for Art after 1945)was founded in 1960. Since then, the museum has expanded its collection to include international art which dates from 1900 to the modern day, and has made a name for itself with themed exhibitions which span a range of disciplines.

One thing which made the Kunstmuseum Bochum stand out in particular was its interest in Eastern Europe, which founding director Peter Leo dared to explore while the Iron Curtain was still in full force. In addition to collecting art from contemporary Western European artists, he also collected art from Poland, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. It took only one decade for the collection to reach museum proportions. The second director of the museum, Peter Spielmann, expanded its range to include international art from 1900 to the modern day and further broadened the museum's interest in Eastern Europe.


Realising a dream

Since 1997, the Kunstmuseum Bochum has been under the management of Hans Günter Golinski. His management has led to the museum exhibiting and collecting international art on an even grander scale, with the collection now boasting pieces from Mexico, Chile, Israel, Korea and China. He is currently realising his dream of displaying the collection in the restored Villa Marckhoff – where the museum's story first began.

Today, the museum boasts a collection amounting to more than 5,000 works. Its main focus is on 20th- and 21st-century international art, and particularly on Czech symbolism and Cubism, the Eastern European Avant-Garde surrounding Kasimir Malewitsch, German Expressionism and international trends in the field of Surrealism.

Collections of works, exceptional individual works and temporary exhibitions

This relatively young collection is characterised by significant collections of works from artists from the COBRA movement and the German Informel, independent art from former Eastern Bloc states, and exceptional individual works from artists such as Francis Bacon, Gerhard Richter or Frank Stella. What's more, it is constantly being updated with temporary exhibitions of contemporary art.

Since 1983, the Kunstmuseum Bochum's exhibitions have been housed in a new building, which was designed by Danish architects Jørgen Bo and Vilhelm Wohlert. The building can be recognised from a distance due to the installation which decorates its façade – "Skyline", a discontinuous blue neon arc designed by François Morellet.

Insider tip: don't ignore the unassuming lump of concrete to the right of the Kunstmuseum Bochum. This is actually another work of art. The shop counter, which was encased in concrete in 1972 by Wolf Vostell, bears the impressive name "Olympia-Hymne". We also recommend taking a glance in one of the event rooms. In 2006, Katharina Grosse created a wall here which is well worth seeing.

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