19 February - 5 May 2013
Rhineland,1970s: The art scene is flourishing and-with its academies, galleries, a young art fair and new institutions—has an active network. The Bonner Kunstverein was founded a few years ago. In 1970 Erhard Klein, librarian at the university, opens his gallery at Königstrasse 71 in Bonn. Within a few years, it will turn into a milestone in the Rhenish as well as the international art scene.
Prompted from the beginning by his close contacts to Düsseldorf’s art scene in and around the pub ‘Ratinger Hof’, Klein’s main interest was in German contemporary artists: JOSEPH BEUYS, FELIX DROESE, GEORG HEROLD, MARTIN KIPPENBERGER, JÜRGEN KLAUKE, IMI KNOEBEL, SIGMAR POLKE, ULRICH RÜCKRIEM and KATHARINA SIEVERDING were among those considered ‘his’ artists. From these close and, in part, friendship-based associations, numerous editions and artworks emerged, which directly thematized the relationships with the gallerist or contained covert messages and allusions. Thus the phrase that was stamped onto an invitation card by JOSEPH BEUYS-“Erhard Klein Unkonzentriert”- accompanied the history of the gallery and can be found, for instance, in multiples by KIPPENBERGER, ALBERT OEHLEN or GEORG HEROLD.