Brian O’Doherty (aka Patrick Ireland) studied Medicine in Ireland before becoming a controversial artist and critic of the American art scene in the 1960s. He objected to the “event-like character” of the art market and the financial pressure on museums to generate publicity in order to cover their operating costs, and contended that art played a key role in social debate. He addressed these subjects in his writings, as well as in a vast collection of works which include sculptures, installations, performances and Concept Art. He and his wife, the art historian Barbara Novak, emphasized the controversial potential of art in a compendium titled “Post-War American Art”, which included works by Sol LeWitt, Robert Rauschenberg, Mark Rothko and Edward Hopper.
Drawing on the artistic volatility of the Novak/O’Doherty collection, the Kunstmuseum Bayreuth presented selected works, content and presentation forms as a counterfoil for its own collection. Brian O’Doherty himself has been in charge of selecting the works. He also presented a current installation of his own in response to the works and atmosphere in the exhibition rooms at the Kunstmuseum Bayreuth. In the symposium “Art as an Argument / Kunst als Argument”, Eugen Gomringer and Sam Hopkins scrutinized the artistic approach of this exceptional artist in his presence.
Artistic director: Marina von Assel
Artists: Brian O’Doherty (USA), Eugen Gomringer (CH), Sam Hopkins (KE)