The Award for the lifetime achievement and creating and directing an exemplary gallery for high standing goes to:
Bernd Klüser – Galerie Klüser, München
Upon the recommendation of the BVDG, Bernd Klüser will be receiving the FEAGA AWARD 2016. This award is presented by the F.E.A.G.A. (Federation of European Art Galleries Association) to honour European galleries outstanding for their exemplary, enduringly influential propagation of art. The award ceremony takes place annually in the context of the art fair ART BASEL .
For decades now, Bernd Klüser has represented the vanguard on the German art market, and his gallery enjoys an international impact. Born in Wuppertal, Bernd Klüser has made a decisive contribution to Munich’s open-minded acceptance of contemporary fine art.
It was there that the law student began a collaboration, at the end of the 60s, with the legendary Heiner Friedrich, in whose gallery he developed various contacts with artists such as Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke and Blinky Palermo. In 1975 an encounter with Jörg Schellmann led to the founding of the Edition “Schellmann und Klüser”, a first class publisher of multiples and printed graphic artworks. Here, Joseph Beuys was the focus: his editions of objects and the corresponding catalogue of works were published – and one of his most important museum acquisitions was set in motion by Schellmann and Klüser. The installation “zeige deine Wunde”, fiercely debated at the time but a key work by Joseph Beuys, was acquired by the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus in 1979.
Cooperation with Andy Warhol began in 1980, with several exhibitions and the edition of a series of important serigraphic works. High standards were set, therefore, with the American Pop star and the German artist-icon. Since 1978 Bernd Klüser has been running his gallery single-handedly. But he has not followed any strict programmatic concept; artistic quality and subjective selection criteria have always taken a front seat. These high standards have been fulfilled by all the artists with whom Bernd Klüser – in some cases for decades – collaborates.
This applies, for example, to the co-founder of Arte Povera Jannis Kounellis, concept artist Christian Boltanski, the classics of the Italian Transavanguardia Enzo Cucchi and Mimmo Paladino, pioneers of Pop Art Alex Katz and his American compatriot Donald Baechler, the diverse work of Jan Fabre, minimalist painter Sean Scully, sculptors Tony Cragg, Olaf Metzel, Stephan Balkenhol, and since 2016, also Anish Kapoor. Now with his daughter Julia as a partner, the gallery is increasingly turning to the younger generation, with the outstanding Jorinde Voigt and her complex scores, or American artist Lori Nix with photos of the threatening worlds she creates herself.
Bernd Klüser has also made a striking contribution as a book publisher, e.g. with Hans-Georg Gadamer’s “Die Moderne und die Grenze der Vergegenständlichung”. In addition, he has made a name for himself as an editor and author. “Die Kunst der Ausstellung” – documenting 30 style-forming concepts from the history of the art exhibition is regarded as a seminal work even to the present day.
Not least, Bernd Klüser is a connoisseur and collector. In particular, his interest is focused on drawing, from the 16th century to the present day. This is a passion he cultivates together with his wife Verena Klüser, and which has become known since the major exhibitions in Munich at the latest. In 2013 the Pinakothek der Moderne presented 150 works on paper by Beuys and it was also possible to see approx. 350 drawings from six centuries in the Alte Pinakothek. The unconventional aspects of spontaneous master drawings, in which modern impulses are evident avant la lettre, are particularly important to the collector couple. Besides numerous sculptures, the Bayrische Staatsgemäldesammlung also received 150 drawings by Joseph Beuys on permanent loan.
By receiving the FEAGA AWARD, Bernd Klüser joins the line up of those who set standards for the vision and practice of ambitious gallery work. Previous prizewinners since 2005 have been: Ernst Beyeler, Denise René, Annely Juda, Hans Mayer, Soledad Lorenzo, Kaj Forsblom, Studio LaCittà, Ursula Krinzinger, Leslie Waddigton, Gisela Capitain and Fons Welters.
PRESS RELEASE BVDG (Berlin, 30th May, 2016)