It is with great pleasure that the Portikus presents the extraordinary collection of Helga and Hartmut Rausch to a wider audience. As the caretakers at the Städelschule, the Rausch's have been collecting works by students and teachers at this school for 14 years. Their collection now comprises almost 400 paintings, drawings, photographs, objects, and videos by more than 200 students, graduates, and professors. Not bound by the rules of art-historical, economic, or academic yardsticks, the collection came into being in 1993. Artists Thilo Heinzmann and Hans Petri presented two works to Hartmut Rausch on the occasion of his 50th birthday. The Rausch Collection is founded on lasting friendships and continues to grow. The caretakers apartment resembles an inexhaustible storehouse of unique and highly contrasting works that reflect the artists cordial relationships with the Rausch`s. What makes the collection unlike any other is that each individual work derives from a personal story, a memory from everyday life at the Städelschule, and from immediate lived experience.

In the last years, no other school of the arts in Germany has educated more artists who went on to gain international recognition. This fact is clearly visible in the large-scale exhibitions of the summer of 2007, such as the show Made in Germany in Hanover. Many of its artists have graduated from the Städelschule, and the viewer will discover more of their work in the Rausch Collection.

Internationally renowned artists such as Ayse Erkmen, Christa Näher, Hermann Nitsch, Heimo Zobernig, Tobias Rehberger, Michael Krebber, and Thomas Bayrle are included in this unique panorama of contemporary art in Frankfurt, as are younger positions such as Thomas Zipp, Kirsten Pieroth, Simon Dybbroe Moeller, Sergej Jensen, Nora Schultz, Martin Neumeier, and Kerstin Cmelka, to name only a few. In the 20th year of its existence, the Portikus is also using the opportunity of this show to present an immediate portrait of its artistic environment during the past two decades.

The exhibition and the collection catalogue were generously supported by the Hessian Ministry of Higher Education, Research, and the Arts, and by the Department of Culture of the City of Frankfurt am Main.

Photos: Wolfgang Günzel