The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía presents a representative selection of art works from the collection of German publisher Benedikt Taschen that he has gathered over the past two decades. Such a private collection as this one allows for an overview of art at a historic moment from an unprecedented point of view, given the very nature of personal choice which the collector himself has conducted as a general artistic overview. Thus a more institutional and objective vision on art proper to the museum itself is extended upon showing the public other aspects that allows them to amplify their diversity.
The Taschen collection was started in 1988 as a personal choice conceived from the editor's own involvement in the contemporary art world. It is a collection which has a limited number of artists, but his interest in them has meant that Taschen has collected them extensively, to the point where he now owns a large quantity of work produced by each of them. As a result these collections provide an in-depth insight into the work of all these artists and explore their careers over time. Taschen has established a strong partnership and friendship with them, which has led them to perform various collaborative projects, like decorating the publisher’s stores in Paris and Los Angeles with works conceived especially for them by Albert Oehlen.
A selection of about 80 works representing the collection make up this exhibition. Thomas Struth, Jeff Koons, Gunther Forg, Cindy Sherman, Christopher Wool, Wolfgang Tillmans, and Mike Kelley, are some of the artists whose pieces make up the collection. The interest in showing the Taschen collection has the added attraction that it has never been shown to the public and no piece included in the exhibition has been lent before. Among the artists best represented in the collection, with more than a hundred pieces each, are Germans Albert Oehlen and the late Martin Kippenberger, to whom the museum is dedicating an exhibition to alongside this one at the Palacio Velázquez. Included in Taschen’s collection are some important and representative collections from of this generation of artists who emerged in the Eighties and who have produced prominent pieces from then until today, with which the Museo can build new artistic discourses.