Gaby and Wilhelm Schürmann do not see their collection as just private property or a prestige object, but rather as an item of cultural value that needs exchange with the public.
Their collection has been constantly growing since the late 1970s, and it provides an incomparable view of the development of contemporary art from the 1980s onward. This is a progressive statement on behalf of contemporary art that is anchored in social issues and sees itself as a form of communication. The rationale behind the collection, which is held in Herzogenrath near Aachen and in Berlin, is both creative and productive, and the two collectors’ practice can be described as a particularly free-spirited form of cultural production. The act of collecting is realized less in the processes of keeping and completing artworks and is instead understood mainly as an invitation to participate in the public production of connections.
This very pragmatic and hands-on approach is manifested in sensual and unconventional gestures of presenting, including the principle of “comparative seeing.” In this sense, the Class Reunion exhibition, the title of which refers to a 2008 installation of the same name by Berlin artist Nairy Baghramian, will unravel an exciting, humorous, and surprising dialogue between the diverse artistic positions in the collection, establishing unexpected points of contact. One focus in this is on Viennese influences on this international collection and its networks.