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The Territory of Freedom

The work "1/2 of the Moon" by Russian artist Anna Andreeva (1917-2008) from the Stadler Collection has traveled a long way - it will be shown at the Shanghai Biennale until March 31, 2024.
Under the title Cosmos Cinema, Chinese and international artists are exploring the relationship between man and the universe. Anna Andreeva has also been fascinated by space throughout her life. As one of the leading textile designers at the renowned Soviet silk factory Red Rose, she created hundreds of designs for scarves and fabrics.

She found inspiration for her patterns in mathematics and, time and again, in space and space travel. In the 1960s and 70s, she created her "Cosmos" series, and in 1961 she even designed a

scarf that cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin presented to Queen Elizabeth II during a visit. This kind of "cultural diplomacy" of the USSR was decisively influenced by Anna Andreeva and her designs. The work "1/2 of the Moon", with its somewhat provocative title, was also a design for a diplomatic gift that was never realized. Andreeva developed her characteristic ornamentation for the first time here - a combination of stripes of text and image.

As a textile designer, she had the freedom to work largely abstractly, albeit always under the strict eye of the Soviet censorship authorities. Her designs were repeatedly dismissed as "abstract propaganda", but she found ways to realize them nonetheless. "Textile was the territory of freedom", as she herself once said. 

Anna Andreeva's work offers a fascinating insight into the history of art, design and science in the former Soviet Union. We are delighted that her work is lately receiving increasing attention outside Russia.

As part of the Biennale, Christina Kiaer from Northwestern University, USA, gave a highly recommended lecture entitled "A Cosmic-Minded Comrade" at the Red Rose Collective about Anna Andreeva on November 10, 2023.

I enjoy creating connections between different systems, it's my happy science

Interview with the artist Niko Abramidis &NE

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Niko Abramidis &NE, Master and Scale / part 001 scriptorium, 2015 - Courtesy the artist, Foto: Jakob Wiessner

The connection between the Stadler Collection and the artist Niko Abramidis &NE began at the diploma exhibition at the Academy of Fine Arts Munich in 2015. Leo Stadler, Annette and Rainer's son, saw the diploma thesis Master and Scale / part 001 scriptorium, 2015 by Niko Abramidis &NE. Since then, both Leo and his parents have accompanied the work of Niko Abramidis &NE and his work has become an integral part of the Stadler Collection. Sophie Azzilonna conducted the following interview with the artist in May 2023.

I would like to start in general: What themes inspire and influence you in your drawings, paintings, sculptures and spatial installations?

 

The interesting thing about art is that you can build relationships that otherwise don't exist. I process the topics that interest me, such as science fiction, economic structures and mythical creatures, into a kind of individual mythology. Certain symbols, signs, characters and figures appear again and again. I'm not trying to portray reality. It is more of a parallel universe in which fiction and pieces from the real world come together.

 

These signs, symbols and figures in your work are often an interplay of futuristic and archaic aesthetics. What's it all about?

 

A work of art always moves through time. I'm not just interested in a detail from the now, for example the aesthetics of a certain technology, but I'm also interested in how it moves in time. When you juxtapose 3,000-year-old works of art or ancient philosophy and events from the here and now and things that will happen in the future, you get a larger time horizon. I like to imagine that there are places where people sit who conduct research over this long time horizon and that's why some of my exhibitions look like headquarters or offices of such institutes. And typically, companies in the financial world try to fit themselves into something larger - for example, they use ancient names such as Triton or Pegasus and their logos often have references to ancient Greece or Egypt. They want to convey the feeling that what they are doing has a larger context. I think it's a natural human need to want to create a transtemporality in your own short life. And it is precisely the things that are actually the most intangible and short-lived, such as financial markets, that often strive to fit themselves into a higher sphere.

 

Where does your interest in financial and economic topics come from?

 

I studied architecture for a year and traveled a lot. I have always been particularly fascinated by the central business districts that exist all over the world. These structures manifest in reality, but behind them there is of course a financial system. Cathedrals used to be built over 300 years, but today the temples of our time are the central business districts. The fact that it is even possible to build such high-rise buildings has its roots in the global financial system. That's what got me interested in financial markets and what lies behind them. At first I was more interested from the outside, then I became curious and wanted to know more: who exactly works there, what do these companies actually do, what are they called, what kind of logos do they have, what does the website look like, maybe I can have a look at the office. Everything that has to do with finances is often shrouded in mystery, like in burial chambers or temples. Especially in art, it's more of a taboo to deal with it because art itself is of course also part of this financial system, but people prefer not to really discuss that. But I enjoy creating connections between different systems, it's my happy science.

 

And what does the &NE in your artist name mean?

 

This is the same starting point again. I'm not interested in making art as a private individual. I see myself in a larger context, like an entrepreneurial entity. Just as there are different roles in a company, I also have different roles that I perform as an artist. The NE stands for New Entity, at the beginning it stood for New Europe, but it has become more global. It is an entrepreneurial structure in which I employ myself. In it, sometimes I'm the one making strategic decisions, sometimes I'm the one executing a plan, sometimes I might have to do research and development.

 

You like to use the latest technologies in your work, e.g. artificial intelligence. What opportunities does this offer you?

 

I just find technology exciting. It's nothing new, there have long been technologies that helped entire countries or entities to be faster and more efficient. Whether that was during colonization or later in the establishment of a global communication system. In today's globalized world, so much is happening at the same time that it would no longer be possible to navigate it without technology. Art has also always been technology-oriented. I'm particularly interested in technologies that are productive and try out which ones are really interesting to me and which ones aren't.

Now is a special moment because a lot of open source technologies are emerging. Especially when it comes to AI, it is a big revolution that copyrights are being repealed. That calls a lot into question. I think that in the future it will no longer be the case that we only use cutting-edge technology from Silicon Valley, but that it will become more decentralized. I find these developments really exciting.

 

To what extent do you think image generating AI will change the art world; what developments could motivate the emergence of AI?

 

The most interesting thing about it is actually that I have a toolbox that is evolving incredibly quickly. I can generate a lot of images, create a lot of texts, much more than I need, and everything is copyright-free. As an artist I can use anything. Until now, the problem with digital technology has always been that every Google search was essentially private ownership and I wasn't allowed to use the images and texts that I found. As an artist you have to constantly be afraid that you'll steal something and get sued. The entire Internet has become a jungle of copyrights in which artists always only have disadvantages. Because you contribute to it yourself, but you don't play a role compared to the big Silicon Valley companies that own everything. But these balances are now shifting.

 

Do you think that today, looking back, will reveal a shift in art production?

 

The most important thing will be how humanity manages to deal with climate change, which will significantly influence how our age is viewed in the future. That a financial system has resulted in the planet becoming increasingly uninhabitable. To realize, from a historical perspective, very short-term profits. Which art was created there will hardly be relevant anymore if you are confronted with major species extinctions, new wars, etc. Or maybe again in 1000 years as an artifact.

To go back to the beginning, that is also one of the reasons why I am interested in financial systems, because they are of course the pivotal points of our world. Everything has to be viewed globally; you can no longer do anything that is only local. This applies to me as an artist as well.

Our collection stands for what we find exciting, what appeals to us.

Collectors Agenda Interview with Annette and Rainer Stadler

“Listen to your eyes” – You could say this is the leitmotif of the Stadler Collection and at the same time the title of a work by Maurizio Nannucci that is in the collection. It hangs in the kitchen and, like countless other works spread around the house, it is part of everyday family life. 

 

Annette and Rainer Stadler spoke to Collectors Agenda about their passion for collecting, their life with art, and how to discover a gem or two.

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Mood Images of a Generation

Interview by Simone Schimpf with Annette Stadler

The American artist Grace Weaver (born 1989) uses a few lines and precise observations to tell the everyday life of a young, mostly female generation. 20 of her works will be exhibited in the New Museum from June 30th. The pictures come from the collection of the Munich couple Annette and Rainer Stadler. Director Simone Schimpf spoke to Annette Stadler about her passion for collecting.

Ms. Stadler, how did you become aware of Grace Weaver?

In 2017 we saw the first works in her Berlin gallery. My first reaction: “Is this art or a comic?” It wasn’t until much later that we realized Grace Weaver’s strength through the charcoal drawings. In autumn 2019 we visited her exhibition at the Kunstpalais Erlangen, after which the decision was made to buy her first canvas work.

Last year, the New Museum showed works from your collection in its six façade rooms. The works on display were all non-representational – very different from the dynamic and very narrative images of Grace Weaver. What fascinates you about her paintings and drawings?

With just a few brush strokes she captures everyday life, mundane scenes of urban life, atmospheric images of a generation. The works tell stories that our eyes continue. The colorful and lively aspects of everyday life interest us and has developed into a further focus of the collection in recent years.

It is important to you that you also personally know the person behind the works you collect. Are you also in contact with Grace Weaver? How are you experiencing her steep rise in the art world right now?

Direct contact is important to us, so it also happens that I go to an exhibition opening in London to meet the artist. The exchange is always a great enrichment. The next meeting is in Berlin in September, then Grace also plans to come to Nuremberg.

The Kunstpalast in Düsseldorf has just purchased a large work by her. This is a nice confirmation of our passion for collecting. It is a great pleasure for us to show Grace Weaver to a wider public, combined with a great program for children too.

GRACE WEAVER

06/30/2023 - 06/16/2024 

New Museum Nuremberg

The interview appeared inIssue 78 of the museum newspaper from June 15, 2023

Natacha Donze

Swiss Art Award Laureate 2023

With her large-format, colorful paintings, the Swiss artist Natacha Donzé (*1991 in Boudevilliers, CH) creates her own visual worlds in which she deconstructs the power structures of institutional, political and commercial systems.

The image surfaces, created using meticulous brushwork and air brush technique, create dimensionless spaces in which we as viewers lose ourselves.

Impressions from the studio visit with Natacha Donzé in August 2022, where we saw the creation of the work Murmuration, choreography, 2022