To mark the donation of 15 works and series of works from all phases of the oeuvre of the artist Hanne Darboven, who died in 2009, Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin has decided to celebrate the artist, the most important German conceptual artist, with an exhibition.
The exhibition Hanne Darboven. Correspondences uses the early drawings from the gift of Michael and Susanne Liebelt to show how the Munich born (1941) and later Hamburg-based artist at first sought to engage with the minimal art and conceptual art that surrounded her during her stay in New York, later creating large, independent work blocks with her numeric constructions based on calendar dates. After her two years in New York (1966/67), Darboven developed a system of cross sums of dates that then formed the base of her work. This method allowed her to represent time frames and thus an awareness of time in private, social, historical, and cultural terms.
In addition to the numerous individual sheets she inscribed and collaged, assembling them as extensive wall installations, she also repeatedly chose the medium of the book, the reception of which—reading or leafing through the pages—also represents a temporal process. In her wall-filling 1985 panorama “Menschen und Landschaften” (People and Landscapes) on view in the exhibition, Darboven explores the development of the postcard to a mass medium and asks about the power of the images in the field of tension marked by “patriotism, nationalism, cosmopolitanism, decadence,” one series of terms within the work.
A central part of the exhibition is correspondence with artist colleagues, friends, curators, and gallerists from the late 1960s and early 1970s, that makes the emergence of this unique system of inscription accessible.The presentation of the donation of Michael and Susanne Liebelt and the exchange of correspondence from the holdings of the Hanne Darboven Stiftung will be complemented with works by Darboven and fellow artists such as Carl Andre, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Daniel Buren, Sol LeWitt, Panamarenko, and Lawrence Weiner from the collections of the Nationalgalerie, the Kupferstichkabinett, and the Kunstbibliothek of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.Curators: Gabriele Knapstein, Petra Lange-Berndt and Dietmar Rübel / Assistant curator: Ina DinterThe exhibition is made possible by the Freunde der Nationalgalerie.