The BRUSEUM collection

Only three drawings by Günter Brus had formed part of the Neue Galerie collection in 1992, which was the year when, for the first time, the Graz-based gallery also presented a comprehensive selection of works by the artist and the Viennese Actionists as part of its Identität : Differenz (Identity : Difference) exhibition. In the late 1990s the foundation was laid for an extensive Brus collection, thanks mainly to the efforts of the Society of Friends of the Neue Galerie and the patron of the arts Dr Hellmut Czerny. In the following years the collection was also complemented by a complete set of photo portfolios of Brus’s actions.

 

In 2003, the year of the cultural capital, Brus illustrated the new edition of Leopold Sacher-Masoch’s novel Venus im Pelz (Venus in Furs) – the resulting 36-part cycle was able to be acquired for the Neue Galerie collection by special funds allocated to the Cultural Capital.

In 2004 the first call went out to establish a centre of excellence for Brus at the Neue Galerie; at least the 24-part pictorial poem Friedrich von Schlegel. Zehn Sonette (Friedrich von Schlegel. Ten Sonnets) was able to be acquired in the following year. In 2007 Dr Kurt Flecker, head of the Styrian Provincial Department for the Arts, agreed to purchase important works from the Viennese art market.

By this time the Neue Galerie already comprised some 451 works (4 informal works, 11 photo portfolios or vintage series with 135 individual photos, 45 action sketches, 22 drawings, pictorial poems or cycles with 123 single sheets, 26 publications by the Neue Galerie, 42 editions or graphic prints with 113 single sheets and 5 joint works).

 

It was on this basis that the contract establishing the BRUSEUM was signed on 26 October 2008 and endowed with a one-off purchase budget of € 1,003,600 with which essential works could be added to the collection. In 2009 the BRUSEUM also finally managed to acquire Brus’ literary works comprising over 700 notebooks, manuscripts and designs with more than 20,000 written pages. Moreover, Brus also permitted the BRUSEUM to make copies of all the photo negatives of his actions for exhibition and documentary purposes and also placed his documentation archive at the disposal of the Neue Galerie, which added it to the archive materials already in its collection.

 

When the BRUSEUM opened on 26 November 2011 its collection consisted of 19 films, 1,181 individual photos of 19 actions as well as 39 cycles and pictorial poems encompassing a total of 499 sheets. The collection has continued to grow since then with the inclusion of further portfolios, permanent loans and donations.  

Neue Galerie Graz

Joanneumquarter, access Kalchberggasse
8010 Graz, Österreich
T +43-316/8017-9100
joanneumsviertel@museum-joanneum.at

 

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