The highlights of the internationally renowned Mercedes-Benz Art Collection will be presented until 17 September 2023: 150 works by 90 national and international artists from 20 countries, created in the period from 1910 to the present day. The majority of the artworks are integrated into the permanent exhibition at the Mercedes-Benz Museum. Collection Room 5, traditionally the venue for special exhibitions, is reserved exclusively for art and, in particular, several large exhibits.
Jan van der Ploeg, “Mobile”, 2010.
Tobias Rehberger, “Aus Wien”, 2014.
The spectrum of the exhibition ranges from south-west German classics Adolf Hölzel, Willi Baumeister and Oskar Schlemmer to young international contemporary artists such as Haris Epaminonda, Alia Farid, Cao Fei and Adejoke Tugbiyele. Works by contemporary artists who live in Stuttgart or whose biography is linked to the region will also be presented: Dieter Blum, Florina Leinß, Tobias Rehberger, Anna Tretter and many others. Selected artworks from a broad spectrum of media are on display: from painting, drawing, sculpture and light objects to photography, installation and video.
Legend Room 1: Pioneers – The Invention of the Automobile, 1886 to 1900. The room is dedicated to the invention of the motor car and early vehicles. There, the sculpture “Riding Bikes” by Robert Rauschenberg from 1998 is shown with two bicycles mounted side by side, their contours outlined in colour by neon tubes. The bicycles are mounted wheel to wheel. Combined as they are, the work dissolves meaning and function as a locomotion machine – a tongue-in-cheek, thought-provoking impulse, also in the direction of the client, the then Daimler AG, whose products guarantee the highest standard of mobility.
Starting with Rauschenberg’s “Riding Bikes”, the next exhibition area brings together works by around 30 artists from the period 1923 to 2013 – a “mini-retrospective” of important styles and media in the Mercedes-Benz Art Collection. Among them the first acquisition with which the art collection was founded in 1977: the painting “Ruhe und Bewegung II (auf Blau)” by Willi Baumeister from 1948.
Robert Rauschenberg, “Riding Bikes”, 1998, © VG Bild-Kunst Bonn, 2022.
Jean Tinguely, “Méta-Maxi”, 1986, © VG Bild-Kunst Bonn, 2022.
Collection Room 5 of the Mercedes-Benz Museum brings together works that relate in different ways to aspects of music, movement, dance, rhythm and automobility. The guests are greeted impressively by Jean Tinguely’s sculpture “Méta-Maxi” from 1986. The monumental mobile object, a late major work by the artist, was for many years one of the attractions of the sculpture ensemble of the Mercedes-Benz Art Collection at Potsdamer Platz in Berlin. The mechanical wheelwork, made of objects found in industrial production, unfolds a theatrical effect and brings out Tinguely’s penchant for the performative. In their stoic beating together, the metal elements act like a peasant orchestra, which seems to be presided over by a piano as its conductor at the head end.
Construction of the Méta-Maxi: Jean Tinguely: Exhibitions worldwide | Museum Tinguely Basel
The video neon installation “Nam Sat” by Nam June Paik in Legend Room 7: Silver Arrows– Races and Records leads guests out of the exhibition. The South Korean designed the sculpture in 1997/98 for the entrance area of the former Daimler Financial Services building (now Mercedes-Benz Mobility) at Potsdamer Platz in Berlin. Sparse geometric neon structures form abstract shapes and concrete symbols like hearts. They surround a series of monitors with Paik’s video compositions and rhythmic sequences of abstract-ornamental images. Changing in coloured light, the neon lines generate associations with amusement arcades and other diversionary attractions.
Nam June Paik, “Nam Sat”, 1997/98.