Many of the contemporary artists LUMA has supported and continues to support, are placing their practice within the genealogy of radical avant-garde artists from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. The Emanuel Hoffmann Foundation Collection is one of the most extensive collections of European and Western avant-garde artists in the world. Maja Hoffmann’s early experiences with art, in her early adult years, were through the collecting practices of the Emanuel Hoffmann Foundation.
Through a unique selection of works of Bruce Nauman, Richard Long, Duane Michals, Cy Twombly, Alighiero Boetti and Rosemarie Trockel, this gallery reveals the links between artists of different generations that have been influenced by each other’s thought processes and ideas.
Upon setting up the programme and during discussions with artists, the realization that for many, the works in the Emanuel Hoffmann Foundation Collection have been instrumental in their career, provided the impetus to bring these voices together to reveal the cross-generational links, as well as addressing the familiar connections between Maja Hoffmann and her personal trajectory with the family’s collection.
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Alighiero Boetti was born in Turin, Italy in 1940. Although not formally trained in art, Boetti was preoccupied with the theory of creativity from an early age. Traveling to Afghanistan at the beginning of the 1970s, he was introduced to the traditional craft of embroidery, which marked a turning point in his career. His fundamental concern with the relationship between “order” and “disorder” is manifesting in his grid structures, derived from the “magical squares,” that feature sayings and aphorisms that stem from cultural, philosophical, mathematical and linguistic contexts. Having shown in Milan and Turin, Boetti had his first US solo exhibition in New York at John Weber Gallery in 1973. He continued to show throughout Italy and the United States until his premature death in 1994. He has been honored posthumously with several large-scale exhibitions.
Considered one of the most influential artists of his generation, Richard Long’s works have extended the possibilities of sculpture beyond traditional materials and methods. Central to Long’s work is the activity of walking. Since the mid-1960s, he has taken countless walks throughout the world, in such places as the Sahara Desert, Australia, Iceland and near his home in Bristol, United Kingdom.
The walks bring together physical endurance and principles of order, action and idea. From these walks emerge the idea and material for his works. Long’s sculptures commonly take the form of geometric shapes—circles, lines, ellipses, and spirals—and are often composed of minerals native, either to their location or to the British countryside Long has traveled by foot. He similarly sources mud and earth from his expeditions for use in performative paintings done on canvas or directly onto the wall.
Richard Long was born in 1945 in Bristol, United Kingdom and studied at the West of England College of Art before continuing on to the St. Martin’s School of Art and Design, London in 1966. Long represented Britain in the British Pavilion at the 1976 Venice Biennale and was awarded the Turner Prize in 1989. Long’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at major international museums and institutions, including the De Pont Museum, Tillburg, Netherlands; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, Scotland; Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain, Nice, France; and the Tate Modern, London, United Kingdom. In 1990 he became a Chevalier in l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French government and was awarded the highest international distinction for achievement in the arts, the Praemium Imperiale Prize for Sculpture in 2009. Long’s work is included in many prestigious public and private collections worldwide, including the Tate, London, United Kingdom; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada; and the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France. Richard Long lives and works in Bristol, United Kingdom.
Duane Michals (b. 1932, McKeesport, PA) is one of the great photographic innovators of the last century, widely known for his work with series, multiple exposures, and text. Michals first made significant, creative strides in the field of photography during the 1960s. In an era heavily influenced by photojournalism, Michals manipulated the medium to communicate narratives. The sequences, for which he is widely known, appropriate cinema’s frame-by-frame format. Michals has also incorporated text as a key component in his works. Rather than serving a didactic or explanatory function, his handwritten text adds another dimension to the images’ meaning and gives voice to Michals’ singular musings, which are poetic, tragic, and humorous, often all at once. Michals’s work belongs to numerous permanent collections in the U.S. and abroad, including the Israel Museum, Jerusalem; the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Moderna Museet, Stockholm; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto; and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Michals’s archive is housed at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh.
Michals received a BA from the University of Denver in 1953 and worked as a graphic designer until his involvement with photography deepened in the late 1950s. He currently lives and works in New York City.
Since the 1960s, Bruce Nauman’s radical interdisciplinary approach has challenged conventions while producing new methodologies for creating art and meaning. His rigorous, ascetic engagement with the existential dichotomies of life/ death, love/ hate, pleasure/ pain has embraced performance, video, holography, installation, sculpture, and drawing. From the attitudes and forms of his Post–Minimalist and Conceptual work to his most recent sound installations, persistent themes and ideas appear: the use of the body as material, the relationship between image and language, art and viewer, and the generative interaction of positive and negative space.
Bruce Nauman was born in 1941 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He received his B.S. in 1964 from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and his M.F.A. in 1966 from the University of California, Davis. From 1966 to 1968, he taught at the San Francisco Art Institute, California, and in 1970 he taught at University of California, Irvine.
Recent solo exhibitions include “Mapping The Studio: Bruce Nauman Video Works,” National Gallery of Victoria International, Melbourne (2005); “Pay Attention: Bruce Nauman Videos from the Collection of Barbara Balkin Cottle and Robert Cottle,” Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Arizona (2005); Bündner Kunstmuseum Chur, Switzerland (2005); Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin (2006, traveled to Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana; Museum of Contemporary Art, Florida; Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, California; Musee d’Art Contemporain, Montreal, Canada; Australian Center for Contemporary Art, Melbourne; and Queensland Art Gallery, Australia, through 2008); Tate Liverpool, England (2006, traveled to Museo d’Arte Donna Regina, Italy); University of California, Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive, California (2007, traveled to Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Italy; and The Menil Collection, Houston); Centre d’Art la Panera, Colombia (2008); Museu de Arte Contemporanea, Portugal (2008); Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Poland (2009); Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania (2009); Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Michigan (2009); Center for Contemporary Art, Japan (2010); Musée d’Art Contemporain Lyon, France (2010); The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2010); Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin (2010); Neues Museum Weserburg Bremen, Germany (2010); Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (2012); Göteburgs Konstmuseum (Gothenburg Museum of Art), Sweden (2013); Institut Valencia d’Art Modern, Spain (2015); Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris (2015); and Skulpturenpark Waldfrieden (Waldfrieden Sculpture Park), Germany (2015). A recent monograph was dedicated to him in Venice, at the Punta della Dogana (2021).
Rosemarie Trockel (b. 13 November 1952) is a German conceptual artist. She has made drawings, paintings, sculptures, videos and installations, and has worked in mixed media. From 1985 she made pictures using knitting-machines. She is a professor at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, in Nordrhein-Westfalen.
Cy Twombly was born in 1928 in Lexington, Virginia. He studied art in Boston and New York, and then at the Black Mountain College at the beginning of the 1950s.Twombly has developed a gestural vocabulary in which each line and colour is infused with energy, spirituality, and meaning. Emerging as a prominent figure in the mid-1950s following extensive travels throughout Europe and North Africa, he produced works that are simultaneously personal and mythological, allowing narrative, language and inner visions to erupt from his intimate, abstract notations.
Although he was a contemporary of Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, his work soon digressed from the aims of American postwar abstraction. While prevailing tendencies of the period, such as Pop art, sought to abandon historical narratives altogether, Twombly directed his focus toward ancient, classical, and modern poetic traditions. In the late 1950s he moved to Italy, where he produced colourful, diagrammatic works, that feature erotic allusions and sly jokes while maintaining an abstract charge. Shortly thereafter the sebaceous, bright colours of these works gave way to the more austere greys and blues of the “blackboard” paintings, in which terse, white scrawls and loops recall the powdery effects of chalk on a blackboard. As Twombly continued to work in various locations over the following decades—including Rome, Lexington, and his final residence, in Gaeta, Italy—places, landscapes, and natural forms came to figure prominently in his drawings, collages, photographs, and watercolours. For Twombly, the poetic and the rational were not mutually exclusive. Collage, which engaged him briefly in 1959, then began to appear more regularly in 1971, allies Twombly to the Dadaists and their descendants, such as Rauschenberg and Johns.
Visual information from everyday life—travel postcards, reproductions of paintings, scientific illustrations, personal drawings, and more—entered his work as a way to explore the potential of both structure and meaning. From his student days on, Twombly also captured his daily life in photographs. He recorded the verdant landscapes of Virginia and the coasts of Italy; close-up details of ancient buildings and sculptures, studio interiors, and still lifes of objects and flowers. Beginning in the early 1990s, he used specialized copiers to enlarge his Polaroid images on matte paper, resulting in subtle distortions that approximate the timeless qualities of his paintings and sculptures.
In 1995, the Cy Twombly Gallery opened across the street from the Menil Collection in Houston. A collaboration between the Menil, Dia Foundation, and Twombly himself, the gallery serves as a permanent home for a number of important works made between 1953 and 2004. In 2010, Twombly was selected to install a permanent work at the Louvre: a painted ceiling for the Salle des Bronzes. The ceiling spans 3,750 square feet and pays homage to the greatest Hellenic sculptors, from Phidias to Praxiteles.