Munich Collects – Andrea Lukas und Rüdiger Maaß
Andrea Lukas and Rüdiger Maaß have lived in Munich for over 20 years. Art historian Andrea Lukas is a consultant for art collections and foundations and works with an international network of artists, galleries, and curators. Rüdiger Maaß grew up in Düsseldorf, where he bought his first work of art by Blinky Palermo at age 15. Today he runs a management consultancy in Munich. He is a formative personality in the local art and cultural life, not least through his work as chairman of Kunstverein München. He is also a jury member of the Ars Viva Art Prize. In addition to works from the 60s-80s, especially by Blinky Palermo and Paul Thek and an extensive ephemera collection, their contemporaries such as Alexander Carver, Wade Guyton, Flaka Haliti, Anne Imhof, Alicja Kwade, Michael Riedel, Diamond Stingily, Ambera Wellman, Martin Wöhrl and, as one of the last acquisitions, Rindon Johnson stand out in their joint collection.
Dear Andrea and Rüdiger, we know that Rüdiger started collecting very early, but how about your joint collection? What was the beginning of it? And would you mind sharing with us how you decide together on your acquisitions?
The beginning was when we moved together in Schwabing. Shortly after, we decided to ask the Munich-based artist Stefan Eberstadt to develop the bookshelf furniture for our library as a "usable sculpture". Since then, parallel to buying single works, we have found spaces in our apartment to invite artists for in-situ works, for example, Flaka Haliti, Michael Riedel, and Claudia Wieser. Andrea mainly initiates these installations. The other artists and pieces we buy are discovered mainly by Rüdiger and intensely discussed together. But even if one would not personally decide on a work, it can be acquired.
Andrea, you are also active in the arts as an advisor. How does this affect your private enjoyment of art? Is there any overlap in the positions?
Absolutely. Whenever it fits, I would recommend artists which we collect. But priority always lies in the customer's circumstances. Besides, in recommending works, our apartment also works as a showroom.
Rüdiger, besides your collecting, you are very active as a board member of Kunstverein München. Please tell us about the pleasures of being personally involved in such a great local institution with an international reputation.
It is a great pleasure and honor, indeed. Kunstverein München, turning 200 years in 2023, is the by far oldest and, for me, the leading institution for young art in Munich, alongside with Haus der Kunst, Lenbachhaus, and Museum Brandhorst. The activities of Kunstverein have worldwide attention and are a significant contribution to the Munich art scene. I have been a member and part of the board for many years, and it was always a pleasure to see that Kunstverein is able to bring great directors to Munich like currently, Maurin Dietrich and her fantastic team.
After all this absence in recent years, the last few months have been full of high-profile exhibitions and shows all over Europe. From your recent art travels, has anything left a lasting impression?
Andrea: documenta fifteen
Rüdiger: Also for me, documenta fifteen was a great exhibition, apart from all the unforgivable mistakes that have been made. Another recent precisely curated exhibition example was c(hoch)4 in Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, including an impressive room by Diamond Stingily or the excellent Duchamp show in MMK in Frankfurt. And last but not least, the fantastic Tony Cokes exhibition in Kunstverein München, Haus der Kunst, and in the public space in Munich.
VARIOUS OTHERS had an extensive program this year, what were you particularly fond of?
We were impressed with the entire program, which does not have at all to hide behind other gallery weekends. It's impressive to see which galleries from outside of Munich have followed the invitation of the local galleries. So, it is nice seeing those joint gallery exhibitions, but also, e.g., the work of Barbara Kasten, together with Imi Knoebel, in Sammlung Goetz.