Wim van Krimpen’s acquisition policies are focused on expanding the Gemeentemuseum’s collections in a number of specific and important areas. One of these is Expressionist painting, where the museum has a long tradition of collecting. This year, the museum has been able to fill various gaps in the collection by purchasing work by important post-war German painters like Markus Lüpertz and Jörg Immendorff who are inspired by their country’s Expressionist tradition. Markus Lüpertz’s 1966 painting Staudamm-dithyrambisch is a fine example of the kind of works purchased in this area. The acquisition of work by this post-war generation, not previously represented in the collections of the Gemeentemuseum, provides a good context for the work of the latest generation of German painters who, under the leadership of Neo Rauch, have become known as the ‘Neue Leipziger Schule’. The museum has also bought works by the main representatives of this movement: Neo Rauch, David Schnell and Matthias Weischer. Paintings by the last two artists are currently on show at the GEM, as part of the exhibition Schilderkunst Nederland – Deutschland Malerei. They are shown alongside pieces by Dutch artists Tjebbe Beekman and Aaron van Erp, works by whom have also been acquired by the museum. The purchase of paintings by these young artists enables the museum to exhibit the latest developments in contemporary painting. Other examples of such acquisitions are works by Daniël Richter, Sebastian Gögel and Michael Kirkham. This summer the museum also acquired two recent paintings by the German artist Anton Henning, who has made his name with interiors – gesamtkunstwerken presented as installations – such as his Frankfurter Salon. A one-man exhibition of work by this versatile artist is to be held at the Gemeentemuseum in 2007.
Another important focus within the museum’s acquisitions policy is Minimal and Post-Minimal Art. The museum has expanded its already rich collection in this area by acquiring Frank Stella’s painting Uzlany II (1973), a work marking the important transition in Stella’s oeuvre from two to three-dimensionality. The museum has also traced the influence of Minimal Art through into the contemporary art field by acquiring works by Imi Knoebel, Ulrich Rückriem and Günter Tuzina. Other recent additions to the permanent collection include two portraits by Andy Warhol and work by Mario Merz, Paul Rebeyrolle, Marlene Dumas, Nam June Paik, Panamarenko, Juul Kraijer, B.C. Epker, Léopold Rabus and William Monk. The Gemeentemuseum’s photographic collection has also been hugely expanded: over the last few years, the museum has purchased work by photographers such as Rineke Dijkstra, Loretta Lux, Desiree Dolron, Hellen van Meene, Boris Mikhailov and Craigie Horsfield.