A private collection of the caliber of that of German publisher Benedikt Taschen
allows us to approach the art of a particular moment in history from a new point of view. Highlighting artists and works that museums and other institutions may have ignored, the personal choice of the collector often follows a path divergent from that of the art establishment. Hence the great interest by MNCARS in bringing important private collections, such as those of Ileana Sonnabend, Ernst Beyeler and Panza di Biumo, to the general public.
Benedikt Taschen began seriously building his personal collection in 1985, through his involvement in the contemporary art
world. His collection is limited to a small number of artists by whom Taschen owns a great number of pieces. This concentration both traces the development of the work of a few over time and allows us to explore their scope and vision in greater depth. Among the best-represented artists of the collection are Germans Albert Oehlen
and Martin Kippenberger
, with more than a hundred works each, and the American artists Jeff Koons
and Mike Kelley
Additionally, Taschen owns many quality pieces representing key artists from the generation that emerged in the 1980s and is still active today. Among them: German photographer Thomas Struth
, German multi-media artist Günther Förg
, American photographer Cindy Sherman
, American painter Christopher Wool
, and German-born (settled in England) photographer Wolfgang Tillmans
, not to forget photography doyens Julius Shulman
and Helmut Newton
, as well as other artists like Elmer Batters
and Eric Stanton
In addition to collecting their work, Benedikt Taschen has had the privilege of establishing close professional and personal relationships with all of these artists, collaborating on books and projects related to his publishing house.
With the exception of those who have visited the Taschen family’s home or publishing house in Cologne, the general public has never before had access to his collection. Not only has the present collection never been shown, but not a single piece has been lent to an outside institution before now. Comprising over a hundred pieces, including many of unusually large scale, the exhibition represents the best of the artists and the collection as a whole.
—Marga Paz, MNCARS, Madrid