Anri Sala, 2008
Exhibition | Starting 12.05.2012

Kabinettstücke | Cabinet Pieces

Vanguard from the Back Country Part 2
Jürgen Wesseler has been presenting works by international artists in a small, former store in Bremerhaven since 1967. The special thing about his exhibition concept is that he succeeds in convincing the artists he has invited to let themselves in for exhibiting in a space that measures thirty-five square meters and has a display window. And they have been doing this for forty-five years how in a way that has meanwhile become exemplary for the international art and curator scene! It is not an overstatement to maintain that the small space opposite Bremerhaven’s Municipal Theater has been inscribed in the annals of art history and enjoys an international reputation.
Andreas Slominski, Hochsprunganlage, 1988
Andreas Slominski, Hochsprunganlage, 1988
Gregor Schneider, N. Schmidt, 2001
Gregor Schneider, N. Schmidt, 2001
Norbert Schwontkowski, Nachdenken über ein totes Pferd, 2007
Norbert Schwontkowski, Nachdenken über ein totes Pferd, 2007
Henk Visch, Feinde der dritten Dimension, 2010
Henk Visch, Feinde der dritten Dimension, 2010

If one takes a look back at those who have played the Kabinett, one discovers the especially melodic names of artists among their ranks whose works have been or are being shown at the documenta or at other important exhibitions and museums of contemporary art. These include Gerhard Richter, Blinky Palermo, Sol LeWitt, Daniel Buren, Giovanni Anselmo, and Giuseppe Penone—to name only a few. Yet Wesseler was capable of attracting most of these meanwhile prominent artists to the seaport town years before their first presentations at the documenta—it was his remarkable commitment that managed to spark their enthusiasm for his small store and to leave their mark there.

Luc Tuymans,Ende, 2007
Luc Tuymans, Ende, 2007

These pioneering achievements continue to the present day. Names such as Gregor Schneider, Andreas Slominski, Anri Sala, Ceal Floyer, Silvia Bächli, and others demonstrate that the Kabinett still has its finger on the pulse of the times without reflecting the mainstream. And time and again it is younger, previously not very popular stances, primarily from the environment of Conceptual and Minimal Art (and related currents), that are shown here, far from the world’s large art centers. Wesseler is furthermore a committed member of the executive board of the Kunstverein Bremerhaven; has, together with his comrades-in-arms, meanwhile assembled a small but mighty collection; and several years ago, he (and other Bremerhaven art lovers) were able to fulfill a dream: a museum that makes the works in the collection of the Kunstverein Bremerhaven accessible to the public in a fitting way.

In 2012, the Weserburg is devoting a separate exhibition to the history of the Kabinett für Aktuelle Kunst and thus to Jürgen Wesseler’s committed activity as a curator and collector. In a look back at the last twenty years of the Kabinett’s history, important stances by those artists who have exhibited their work in Bremerhaven since 1992 and other outstanding works from private collections will be consolidated and placed in fascinating dialogues with one another. That this is taking place at Bremen’s collector’s museum for contemporary art (as was the case, by the way, once before in 1992) clearly demonstrates that Bremerhaven and Bremen not only have economic relationships, but that there is a serious cultural exchange taking place beyond the region’s boundaries from which both cities can profit.

A catalogue is being published in conjunction with the exhibition.

With generous support from:

Museumsfreunde Weserburg


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