Skip to main content

New Highlights from the Collection

Eine Installationsansicht des Kunstwerks 'Party Room' von Pope.L.

Classics from the collection and spectacular new acquisitions interact in the collection presentation: from Jean-Michel Basquiat, Sigmar Polke and Raymond Saunders to Pope.L, Arthur Jafa, Monika Baer, Jacqueline Humphries, Wade Guyton and Aaron Gilbert. Monographic presentations alternate with thematic focuses.

Exhibition info




Ground floor

Curated by

Achim Hochdörfer with Lena Tilk

About the exhibition

When reality enters the picture: In recent years, social issues increasingly forced their way into art, presenting us with very different realities of life and perspectives. They challenge us to take a stand ourselves. As US artist Pope.L said: “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.”


Art can influence the world in which we live. At the same time, art is permeated by the world in which it is created. US artist Aaron Gilbert, for example, shows in his large-format paintings that a world shaped by modern capitalism also conceals a spiritual dimension. Three people are shown in an apocalyptic cityscape in “Crossing Guard” (2022). The orange-purple sky is reminiscent of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” (1893), the sun of a brand logo or a divine eye. All this lends the scenery something unreal, which is how the artist describes it: “The bodies I depict are under the weight of capitalism. I want that force to be very present. I want it to be as dominant in the work as it is in our lives. You have the presence of these forces but then I’m interested in finding where we can access the power that can circumvent the rules of the game.”


Wade Guyton’s 2016 screenshot of the New York Times website from November 28, a few weeks after Donald Trump’s memorable election as President of the United States, is almost prophetically topical. The screen image is emblazoned with the advertising banner of the award-winning, bitingly satirical musical “The Book of Mormon” (2011), which pokes fun at the missionary zeal of the religious right in the USA. Beneath it are the headlines headlines “Trump Claims, With No Evidence, That ‘Millions Of People’ Voted Illegally” and “Jimmy Carter: America Must Recognize Palestine,” which have an ominous relevance to the present day.


A separate room with a total of eight new acquisitions is dedicated to the artist Pope.L, who died in 2023. He claimed to be “the friendliest Black artist in America.” In reality, however, his art is drastic, provocative and unsparing. In performances, installations, paintings, videos and photographs, Pope.L used himself and his body to caricature the dreams, desires and consumer habits of US society. His experience as a black US citizen played a central role in this: “I was always at the center of what is American about being black, so when marginalization happens, it happens in the typically tricky way that leaves someone at the center and at the margins at the same time.”

Installationsanssicht Sammlung Museum Brandhorst München
Foto einer Seitenansicht eines Schwarzen Mannes, der im Superman-Kostüm mit einem Skateboard auf dem Rücken im Gras kriecht. Im Hintergrund ist eine Skyline zu erkennen.
* Hierbei handelt es sich um den Originaltitel des Künstlers. Pope.L legte den Begriff bewusst als rassistisch offen und machte damit insbesondere nicht-Schwarze Menschen auf strukturellen Rassismus und verbale Gewalt aufmerksam. Aus diesem Grund wurde der Originaltitel nicht verändert. Fotografie im Querformat, auf der ein Schwarzer Mann mit Brille in einem dunklen Anzug auf einer Straße in Richtung des/der Betrachter:in kriecht. In seiner Hand hält er einen kleinen Blumentopf mit einer gelben Blume. Am Straßenrand stehen Autos.
Schwarzer Anzug mit Erdnussbutter beschmiert auf rosafarbenen Hintergrund in einer geöffneten Holzkiste, die an einer Wand lehnt

Signs of Protest

Social and anti-racist protests have become a symbol of our time in recent years. One room brings together works that deal with these forms of resistance that are so important for democratic societies. In “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité” (1988), Sigmar Polke invokes the archetypal scene of political protest in the modern age – the French Revolution. Andy Warhol, in turn, appropriates images of police violence against participants in a peaceful civil rights protest in the US south in 1963. Under the impression of the protest marches organized by all political camps, Thomas Eggerer paints a symbol of today’s society over 50 years later with “Corridor” (2020): around 300 people in bright orange T-shirts carry banners and posters and march in the same direction towards an unknown destination.


Since its opening, the museum has successfully positioned itself as an important site for contemporary art within Germany. Both its permanent collection and temporary exhibitions are devoted to showcasing contemporary art, placing particular emphasis on in-depth explorations of artists and addressing current thematic concerns.

With works by

Monika Baer, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Thomas Eggerer, Aaron Gilbert, Robert Gober, Jacqueline Humphries, Arthur Jafa, Alex Katz, Mike Kelley, Louise Lawler, Bruce Nauman, Sigmar Polke, Pope.L, Seth Price, Jessi Reaves, Raymond Saunders, Arthur Simms, Andy Warhol, Christopher Wool

Frau läuft vor großformatigem Bild, auf dem ein Protestmarsch abgebildet ist, vorbei.