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From Andy Warhol to Kara Walker. Scenes from the Collection


Art can touch us, outrage us, delight us. It can make us doubt or dream, it can surprise and amaze us, and sometimes it leaves us with new questions. The exhibition of works from the Brandhorst Collection does all that.

Exhibition info




Ground floor

Curated by

Achim Hochdörfer, Giampaolo Bianconi, Franziska Linhardt with Estelle Vallender

About the exhibition

It works with contrasts and affinities, with historical correspondences and connecting themes. In doing so, it places classics of the collection from Andy Warhol and Alex Katz to Jean-Michel Basquiat in dialogue with spectacular new acquisitions from recent years: works by Jana Euler, Keith Haring, Louise Lawler, Pope.L, Kara Walker, and many more will be presented in the museum for the first time.


The new collection presentation kicks off with Andy Warhol and his fascination with portraits and iridescent self-depictions. The silkscreens and paintings he created from the 1960s depict celebrities such as Jackie Kennedy, Mick Jagger, Elvis Presley and Liz Taylor in bright colors and strong poses. But none of these stars’ biographies were unaffected by disaster, and this is reflected subtly in his work. Marilyn Monroe, perhaps the most famous icon in Warhol’s oeuvre, was immortalized by the artist in his painting “Round Marilyn” (1962) just after her death. But the exhibition shows that other artists also reacted to the figure, who oscillated between self-promotion and loneliness: Richard Avedon, for example, captures the moment after an official photo shoot when the star’s face reveals the sad emptiness behind the glamorous façade. Keith Haring transforms Monroe’s portrait into a grimace, while Sturtevant immerses it in deep black. Louise Lawler photographed Warhol’s “Round Marilyn” in 1988, when the work was put up for auction. By putting a price tag on it, Lawler reminds us that our view of art is never innocent, but is riddled with prestige and capital.


In the rooms that follow, monographic presentations alternate with thematic focuses. Alex Katz, Sturtevant and Jana Euler consider strategies of self-preservation; Robert Gober, Arthur Jafa, Louise Lawler and Bruce Nauman make overt and hidden violence visible; Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mike Kelley, Pope.L, Raymond Saunders and Kara Walker examine racism and social inequalities, while Thomas Eggerer, Jacqueline Humphries and Sigmar Polke reflect on forms of political protest.


In its multiplicity and variety, the exhibition shows that art is not only beautiful and entertaining. It is precisely in their relationship to social issues that artworks present us with very different perspectives and realities of life. And they challenge us to take a stand ourselves. As American artist Pope.L says: “I believe art re-ritualizes the everyday to reveal something fresh about our lives. This revelation is a vitality and it is a power to change the world.”

Besucherin vor einem runden, goldenen Portrait von Marilyn Monroe des Künstlers Andy Warhol
Installationsansicht mit einem roten Samtsofa vor Malereien im Hintergrund
Zwei Besucher:innen vor einer Installation aus aufgereihten Flaschen in der Sammlungsausstellung im Museum Brandhorst München
Installationsanssicht Sammlung Museum Brandhorst München

With works by

Richard Avedon, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Thomas Eggerer, Jana Euler, Robert Gober, Keith Haring, Jacqueline Humphries, Arthur Jafa, Alex Katz, Mike Kelley, Louise Lawler, Bruce Nauman, Sigmar Polke, Pope.L, Jessi Reaves, Raymond Saunders, Arthur Simms, Sturtevant, Kara Walker, Andy Warhol

2-teilige Zeichnung mit Graphit und Wasserfarbe auf Papier, auf der in der Mitte nur mit Schuhen bekleidete Frau mit erschrecktem Gesicht von links nach rechts rennt. Um sie herum sind weitere Figuren zu erkennen.

Artworks on view

Artwork: "2 Heads on Base #1" from Bruce Nauman
Bruce Nauman 2 Heads on Base #1, 1989 yes Ground floor
Artwork: "Round Marilyn" from Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol Round Marilyn, 1962 no Ground floor
Artwork: "Rolling Stones – Love You Live (Mick Jagger)" from Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol Rolling Stones – Love You Live (Mick Jagger), 1975 no Ground floor
Artwork: "The Great White Way, 22 Miles, 5 Years, 1 Street (Segment H1: December 29, 2001)" from Pope.L
Pope.L The Great White Way, 22 Miles, 5 Years, 1 Street (Segment H1: December 29, 2001), 2001-2006 yes Ground floor
Artwork: "Party Room" from Pope.L
Pope.L Party Room, 2001 yes Ground floor
Artwork: "How Much is that Nigger* in the Window a.k.a. Tompkins Square Crawl" from Pope.L
Pope.L How Much is that Nigger* in the Window a.k.a. Tompkins Square Crawl, 1991 yes Ground floor
Artwork: "Bind or Righteousness" from Pope.L
Pope.L Bind or Righteousness, 2021 yes Ground floor
Artwork: "Historical Suit" from Pope.L
Pope.L Historical Suit, 1991-2019 yes Ground floor
Artwork: "Yesterdayness in America Today" from Kara Walker
Kara Walker Yesterdayness in America Today, 2020 no Ground floor
Artwork: "Corridor" from Thomas Eggerer
Thomas Eggerer Corridor, 2020 yes Ground floor
Artwork: "Dawn" from Alex Katz
Alex Katz Dawn, 1995 yes Ground floor