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21 Sep 2010

'Do or Die - The Human Condition in Painting and Photography' at Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne

Hendrik Kerstens, 'Bag', 2007, C-Print/Dibond, 100x80 cm
Courtesy: Witzenhausen Gallery Amsterdam/New York

Do or Die - The Human Condition in Painting and Photography - Collection Teutloff meets Wallraf
Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation Corboud


17 September 2010 till 9 January 2011

Stefan Swertz
+49 (0)178 / 70 47 658

Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation Corboud
50667 Cologne

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The Human Condition in Painting and Photography
Do or Die
Collection Teutloff meets Wallraf
17 September 2010 – 9 January 2011

Helmut Newton & Ingres, Nan Goldin & François Boucher, Paul McCarthy & Wilhelm Leibl, Jack Pierson & Bartholomäus Bruyn the Elder – these are just four of the approximately fourty unusual dialogues the Wallraf will be staging in autumn/winter 2010. Under the title 'Do or Die - The Human Condition in Painting and Photography' outstanding items from the TEUTLOFF PHOTO + VIDEO COLLECTION will meet selected works owned by the museum. At the heart of the exhibition will be the glamour and misery of Mankind. The photographs and paintings oscillate between the polarities of birth and death, happiness and suffering, confidence and despair.

The direct comparison between painting and photography shows how the old picture, composition and pathos formulae have continued into the present day, a fact clearly demonstrated by the specially chosen quotes in the works of Anna and Bernhard Blume and Boris Mikhailov. At the same time the formal and thematic breaks with tradition that characterize, sometimes shockingly, certain photographic works from the Teutloff Collection, also stand out. They lay a trail to existential themes such as 'body awareness' and 'sexual identity', which, depicted so explicitly, would have been unthinkable for the painters of past ages.

The Wallraf will contrast around 70 works from the wide-ranging and impressive collection of Lutz Teutloff (photographic and video art of the late 20th and early 21st centuries) with more than 40 rarely shown masterpieces from its own collection (European painting from the late Middle Ages to the 19th century).

The american author Mark Z. Danielewski will speak about „The Hopeless Animal and The End of Nature' on 30 September 2010 at 7 p.m. in the Stiftersaal of the Wallraf.

PRESS PHOTOS can be downloaded at