It's a large-scale museum project that gives visitors a general overview of international art after 1945. Initiators of the project - Peter and Irene Ludwig and the State Russian Museum - intended to demonstrate the interrelations between Russian and Western art in the context of developments of the 20-th century. The collection presents classical masterpieces of Western and Russian artists of the period from post-war time up to 1990-ies: Jasper Johns, Pablo Picasso, Jeff Koons, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, Joseph Beuys, Ilya Kabakov, Eric Bulatov, Jörg Immendorff, Gottfried Helnwein etc.
The State Russian Museum in collaboration with the Ludwig Museum keeps organizing modern art exhibitions in the Russian Museum. "German Neoexpressionism from the Sanders Collection", "Gottfried Heinwein", "Installation by Brian Eno" are only a few examples of exhibitions which have been organized within the framework of the project.
Peter and Irene Ludwig made their first purchases of artworks in the early 1950-ies and succeeded in amassing the most important collection of the second half of the 20-th century. In the last few decades Ludwig's contacts with museums all over the world lead to a series of fruitful cooperations, among which
- Ludwig Museum, Cologne
- Suermondt-Ludwig Museum, Aachen
- Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation, Vienna
- Basel Museum of Antiquities and the Ludwig Collection
- Ludwig Museum Budapest, Museum of Contemporary Art
- Ludwig Forum for International Art
- Ludwig Museum in the Deutschherrenhaus, Koblenz
- Ludwig Museum of International Art in the China Art Gallery, Beijing
- Ludwig Gallery in the Oberhausen Castle
The Russian Museum > Palaces > The Marble Palace
Evgenija Petrova, Chief curator, State Russian Museum St Petersburg.
Palace Edition, 1998
THE LUDWIG MUSEUM IN THE RUSSIAN MUSEUM
The Ludwig Donation
THE METAPHORICAL PRINCIPLE OF GOTTFRIED HELNWEIN, by Evgenija Nicolaevna Petrova
The works of Gottfried Helnwein are technically classified as hyper-realism (surpassing super-realism) and at first glance are practically indistinguishable from photographs. Though realistic in terms of technique, most of Helnwein's works are characterized by metaphorical implications.
Among his works, for example, is a painting of a man blindfolded with a bandage around his head. Featured in magazines and newspapers worldwide, looking at this painting may have caused people to feel its unheard cry.
Throughout most of Helnwein's work is the basic principle of realism laced with metaphor. Viewed in this light, this basic principle can be considered, in a sense, metaphorical under the guise of realism. On the contrary, photographs by Helnwein look like paintings with implications. Included in all of Gottfried Helnwein's work, this basic principle demonstrates a reflection of the aesthetics of popular culture and irony, and represent Helnwein's major outlook on the world.
Gottfried Helnwein is endowed with perfect pitch and distinguished sense of contemporary issues. As a painter whose art deals with issues confronting human society, Helnwein creates a new standard of measuring modernism.
THE HELNWEIN PASSION, by Alexander Borovsky
Curator for Contemporary Art at the State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg
I'll never forget the sensation I had at the unveiling of Gottfried Helnwein's "Kindskopf" in the Russian Museum. And not just because this enormous canvas (six metres in height, four in breadth), well-known from reproductions, seemed to operate in a whole new way in the real, quasi-monumental space of the museum's "Concrete Hall", originally intended for the demonstration of gigantic sculptural compositions. I realised that I was looking at the inner content of this innovative picture from a whole new point of view.