Partner Museum of the "Blickachsen 10" exhibition
The Middelheim Museum is a unique institution where the magnificent interplay between art and nature results in exceptional experiences. The open-air museum provides a fascinating overview of more than 100 years of modern and contemporary art. Under stately trees and along broad paths, sculptures by such major artists as Auguste Rodin, Rik Wouters, Henry Moore, Juan Muñoz, Carl Andre, Panamarenko, Franz West, Erwin Wurm and many others enchant more than 300,000 visitors every year.
As one of the oldest European museums for modern and contemporary art, and indeed one of the oldest open-air museums worldwide, the Middelheim Museum shares important elements of its DNA with the "Blickachsen" Biennale in the historical setting of Bad Homburg. Through the dynamic dialogue they facilitate between nature and culture, and equally through their specific relation to public space, both initiatives aim to create broad social support for creativity and critical reflection in general, and for the visual arts in particular.
In the Middelheim Museum, the past forms a constant source of insight for the present: the collection of modern sculptures offers inspiration, lessons and a springboard for contemporary art in the museum. At the same time, new materials and techniques give rise to fresh ideas relating to possibilities for conservation and preservation. In a similar way, the historical gardens and architecture of Bad Homburg give a unique context to contemporary sculpture, offering new perspectives and new ways of seeing not only the art works on display but the environment in which they are presented.
The Middelheim Museum is both honoured and excited to have been invited by Christian Scheffel to co-curate the tenth edition of "Blickachsen". "Blickachsen" deserves great credit for its continued catalytic efforts in the exchange of expertise between key institutions such as Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Beelden aan Zee, Fondation Maeght and Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, to name but a few. The Middelheim Museum, represented by director Sara Weyns and co-curator Lieven Segers, brings to this exchange its specific knowledge of the Belgian art scene as well as a clear link with its own permanent collection and 2015 exhibition programme.
The emphasis herein lies on the blurring of the boundaries between art and life. This proposition was first formulated by artists at the same period in which art parks and open-air institutions such as the Middelheim Museum, and initiatives such as the sculpture exhibitions in Sonsbeek Park, came into their own. Its influence on art today, on the artists represented in the Middelheim collection and on new generations of artists, cannot be overestimated. In the selection of works presented at "Blickachsen 10", the curators and artists seek to investigate the (un)desired boundaries and limitations we create for ourselves when confronted with the public sphere. Together with the artists, we aim to propose inspiring, challenging, enjoyable and surprising experiences of art and life in Bad Homburg this summer.
Sara Weyns, director of the Middelheim Museum
Lieven Segers, artist and co-curator