I hate Paul Klee

Works on Paper and Artist’s Books from the Speck Collection

Exhibition catalogue, edited by Renate Goldmann
texts (German/English) by Robert Fleck, Kay Heymer, Reiner Speck, Ulrich Ernst
248 p with 350 coloured illustrations
300 x 215 mm, softcover with flaps

ISBN 978-3-940953-94-0

58,00 €

Works on Paper and Artist’s Books from the Speck Collection

It is indeed a unique and extraordinary collection – assembled over more than forty years by the practising physician and Proustian homme de letters from Cologne, Reiner Speck. The host of artists’ names gathered there is a veritable who’s who of modern and contemporary art history. And yet there is something else that comes to fore over and above the public admiration for a collection which so consistently seems to embody the spirit of a library, namely a nuance that leaves one feeling a little puzzled, moved and quite simply amazed. Cy Twombly’s works on paper are hugely spectacular and dense, despite their more diminutive formats, almost as if they wanted to consign the emptiness of large canvases to oblivion. Works by Polke, Förg, Herold, Kippenberger, Oehlen and Trockel likewise seem to be a kind of quintessence, without necessarily appearing to be overly flashy. By contrast, the more ubiquitous Klossowski seems decidedly sprawling; he was, alongside Proust, who is featured with miniatures measuring barely 10 cm, one of the few notable writers who discovered the lure of the large-format for the template of his delicate coloured pencil drawings, their fine erotic obsessions, long before photographers did. In this way everything has its meaning and place in this collection, and thus this book will itself justifiably have to lay claim the attribute of the most beautiful in the long line of collectors’ monographs – from the successful layout via the crisply reproduced illustrations of the works and the books themselves, from the paper to the essays; none of the other publications has succeeded in inhabiting the spirit of this collection and validating the recent and to date somewhat unfortunate motto: Modernity is our Antiquity! This book shows us why!

Leopold-Hoesch-Museum Düren, 2/10–20/11/2011