On pages 106 – 109 we wrote about a young couple of art collectors in the heart of the Black Forest. This is the translation of her article:
“Being in touch with artists of our generation, understanding their motivation, ideas and working styles and supporting and promoting their development” – this was what Christian and Jeannette zu Fürstenberg had in mind when they launched the “Fürstenberg Zeitgenössisch” project in 2011. Both of them have art in their blood: Jeannette comes from a family of collectors in the Ruhr and Christian is an heir of the zu Fürstenberg dynasty, whose collections amassed over centuries can be viewed by the public at the family’s ancestral seat in Donaueschingen. The union of marriage brought two like-minded people together with one aim: “to continue the tradition and both live out and expand our passion for contemporary art.”
“Fürstenberg Zeitgenössisch” unites three elements: a scholarship programme, a collection and the organisation of temporary exhibitions. Together with curator Moritz Wesseler, the couple seek out young and aspiring artists who have distinguished themselves in recent years with new styles and ideas. These artistic visions are complemented by exponents of the previous generation which, with their distinctive qualities, influence younger artists and thus act as guides and references. “Our intention is not to build up a collection in the style of Ingvild Goetz or Mick Flick – our budget wouldn’t allow for it anyway,” explains Jeannette zu Fürstenberg with a smile, “but perhaps to be a little smaller and different, grow slowly and steadily and add something to culture in the region.” Alongside established names like Andreas Slominski, Dirk Bell and Elizabeth Peyton, the permanent collection thus also presents young artists such as Benjamin Saurer, Kathrin Sonntag and Klara Lidén. “Absolute Beginner”, the debut temporary exhibition, presented the first scholarship holders Keren Cytter, Gareth Moore and Michael Sailstorfer, whose works directly testify to a critical engagement with the region and its historic development. For this year’s scholarship holders, Petrit Halilaj, Dorota Jurczak and João Gusmão & Pedro Paiva, the visit to Lake Constance had an equally inspiring effect, and we can look forward to the presentation of their works at the next temporary exhibition in the spring of 2013 with great excitement.
Every year, the “Fürstenberg Zeitgenössisch” scholarship gives three international artists the opportunity to spend three months at Heiligenberg Palace with studios and workspaces on its grounds. In this exceptional and historical environment, the scholarship holders can dedicate themselves fully to their work far away from everyday life and, thanks to the financial support, free of material pressures. Some of the scholarship holders’ works are purchased for the permanent collection, others presented in the temporary exhibitions. In this way, the “Princely Fürstenberg Collections” in Donaueschingen are themselves also given new dynamic impetus which may soon make them an insider tip in the cultural scene of the Black Forest.
Photos Courtesy of the Collection
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