21 September 2007 – 13 January 2008
LUST FOR LIFE. The Collection Ricke
Exhibition view, Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, 2007
In 2006, the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein acquired the Rolf Ricke Collection together with the Kunstmuseum St. Gallen and the Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt. The exhibition presents the higlights in this collection.
Rolf Ricke was a pioneer when it comes to the introduction of American art to Europe. As early as 1965, the gallerist travelled to New York for the first time and was stunned by exciting new artistic positions which he had known nothing about until then. On his return to Europe he instituted a new kind of gallery: a Producer’s Gallery, the main focus being on production. This meant that in the 1960s and 70s it was often artists from America and not artworks that were shipped across the ocean.
The Rolf Ricke Collection represents the fruits of more than 40 years of intense work, mainly with US-American artists. It consists of works by many great names, such as Richard Serra, Barry Le Va and Richard Artschwager, but also includes artists yet to be discovered, like Bill Bollinger or Lee Lozano. The first thing Ricke did to acknowledge the respective artist was to purchase an artwork for himself as a getting-to-know-you gesture. The collection contains many key works, often extending over different creative periods.
The collection also gives some indication of the ups and downs on the art market and changes undergone by art itself. In the 1970s, the gallery went through a worryingly difficult phase, and it was 1988 before Ricke travelled to New York again. The result was a new flowering of his collecting activities. It was then that he discovered artists like Fabian Marcaccio, Matthew McCaslin, Thom Merrick, Carl Ostendarp, Steven Parrino, Laurie Parsons, David Reed, Jessica Stockholder, Jeffrey Wisniewski, and also European positions such as that of Philippe Cazal, Urs Frei, Adrian Schiess and Birgit Werres, whose works he showed in his gallery programme.
The concept behind the exhibition “Lust for Life” involves each room radiating its very own atmosphere and reflecting the artistic intentions and methods of the respective period. An essential point here is that Rolf Ricke’s approach has always been a visual one. His gaze was attracted by a force that was energy-packed, unbroken and at the same time sensual: a Lust for Life.
The exhibition is produced by the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein and curated by Christiane Meyer-Stoll.
Richard Artschwager, untitled, 1999
Gary Kuehn, untitled, 1968
Portrait Rolf Ricke