Issue no. 4
Taking you to Germany
This week, we’d planned to take a group of collectors on an art and architecture (and culinary and shopping) trip to the Düsseldorf / Cologne (Köln) region of Germany — one of the most art-rich areas in the world. That trip was postponed until the autumn, so instead of traveling, we’re sharing some highlights of the trip from past years.
Düsseldorf’s prominence stems from its historic and current wealth, which financed extraordinary public and private art collections. More importantly, it’s the home of the famous Künstakademie, founded in 1762—the best art school in the world. Professors have included Gerhard Richter, Joseph Beuys, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Nam June Paik, Paul Klee, Yoshitomo Nara, Rosemarie Trockel, Andreas Gursky, Katharina Fritsch, Anselm Kiefer, Sigmar Polke, Peter Doig and many of the most prominent and talented artists of the 20th century.
The concentration of world-class museums and exhibition spaces, ground-breaking commercial art galleries and studios of internationally recognized artists is incomparable.
The cornerstone of our trips are studio visits. No art viewing experience is as intimate, informative and transformative as hearing about the creative process from the artist and seeing the environment they’re working in, while immersed in lively dialogue fueled by good coffee and paint fumes. It’s a glimpse behind the curtain that enlightens every art experience you have from then on.
In addition to the expected forms of contemporary art – painting, sculpture, new media – we visit the Keramische Werkstatt Margaretenhöhe, the ceramic studio founded as part of the Bauhaus movement, which has been under the artistic direction of the world-famous Korean artist Young-Jae Lee since 1987. We’re also treated to a meeting with Hiroyuki Murase, a graduate of the Künstakademie and founder of the fashion house Suzusan, who updates traditional Japanese shibori to make elegant, one-of-a-kind clothing and housewares in cashmere, alpaca, cotton and silk.
Look, I’m not going to kid you, we work our art tourists pretty hard. In addition to two studio visits every day, we clock miles at mind-boggling museums. Köln’s Ludwig museum has an unsurpassed modern collection and the best collection of 19th and 20th century photography in Europe. Düsseldorf’s K20 (the Picassos alone are worth it) and K21 with its interactive Tomás Saraceno installation; Essen’s Museum Folkwang, in their jewel-of-a-David-Chipperfield-designed building; and Museum Morsbroich, the Baroque palace transformed into a contemporary venue that consistently presents some of the most innovative modern and contemporary exhibitions in Europe, are just the tip of the iceberg.
Our favorite little-known gems include the Mies van der Rohe designed villas, Haus Lange & Haus Esters in Krefeld, Langen Foundation in its stunning Tadao Ando building, and Julia Stoschek’s private collection of video art. Insel Hombroich, a 52-acre park with ten walk-in sculptures/exhibition spaces showcasing an encyclopedic private collection, and Köln’s Peter Zumthor-designed Kolumba, top our list of the most interestingly curated art exhibition spaces in the world.
But it’s the personal connections that make the trips so special. Not only are we welcomed into the studios of local artists and enjoy curator-led private tours of museum exhibitions, we’re also invited into the homes of collectors and artists. We have conversations with writers, thinkers and community leaders and meals with smart, engaged and talented people.
And speaking of food, it runs the gamut from traditional German fare (white asparagus!) to Michelin stars and it’s terrific. Germany is famous for fantastic bread, coffee, beer and cakes… and we sample it all, and more.
German Rhubarb Meringue Cake
(a Café Hüftgold spring special)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
5/8 cup of white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla sugar
1 pinch salt
1-1/8 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 cups chopped rhubarb, or more to taste
2 tablespoons white sugar
3 egg whites
¾ cup white sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter a 10-inch springform pan.
Combine butter, sugar, vanilla sugar, and salt in a large bowl and beat with an electric blender until smooth and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Sift together flour and baking powder and mix into the batter, 1/4 cup at a time. Pour batter into the prepared springform pan. Press rhubarb pieces into the batter and sprinkle sugar over the top.
Bake in the preheated oven until lightly browned, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually add sugar, continuing to beat until stiff peaks form and meringue mixture is glossy. Remove cake from the oven and spread meringue mixture on top.
Continue baking until meringue is set and lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Allow to cool in the springform pan.
is located at 260 Utah St, between 15th & 16th streets. Wheelchair accessible entrance at 255A Potrero Avenue. For more information call 415.495.5454 or visit hosfeltgallery.com
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