Graduates of the Städelschule

Curated by Sophie Buscher and Alke Heykes


Nadja Adelmann, Maïly Beyrens Xu, Živa Drvarič, Pia Ferm, Hannah Fitz, Louise Giovanelli, Timon & Melchior Grau, Lukas Heerich, Simon Lässig, Jiwon Lee, Yong Xiang Li, Fiona McDonald, Shaun Motsi, Johanna Odersky, Nadia Perlov, Ada Rączka, James Sturkey, Andrew Wagner, Nicholas Warburg, Matt Welch und Eugen Wist

Over the past months it has been confirmed that making art is deeply connected with the physical presence of others and that it is dependent on a close engagement with life. Art is created in the exchange of experiences—it is based onintimacy and closeness. The lack of emphatic presence, the absence of body language and physical interaction made us all unlearn and learn on different levels of our lives.

22 graduates from 12 different countries will present their final works over the period of one month in the entire building of Portikus–from the central hall and the mezzanine to the basement–and provide an insight into the multifaceted work of the graduating class. There will be paintings, sculptures, video works, prints, drawings, installations and performances on view. The works are the result of five years of study in discipline-specific classes with free artistic work in the studios and an intensive exchange with the professors. The Absolventenausstellung is the formal and artistic highlight of the studies and is often the first institutional exhibition of these young artists.

The graduation works in L'Esprit show once again the importance of artistic discourses in a time marked by distance. The various themes and media offer approaches and suggestions for an uncertain present and unpredictable future. However, all together they take on the attitude of a collective optimism and have an impact beyond the physical boundaries of Portikus and the Städelschule.

An accompanying website created by the graduates as well as a publication will function as an extension of the exhibition. The latter contains artistic editions made by the graduating students and several of their professors. It will be available online and at Portikus. The website created by the graduates will be online in parallel to the opening of the exhibition:



As part of Maïly Beyrens Xu‘s graduation project every Wednesday different artists are invited for a sonic improvisation into the garden of Portikus:
Wednesday, September 23, 6 pm
Wednesday, September 30, 6 pm
Wednesday, October 7, 6 pm
Wednesday, October 14, 6 pm

Guided tours through the exhibition will be organized upon request via kunstkoordination@staedelschule.de

The exhibition is made possible with the generous support of Hessisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst, Graf von Westphalen, Städelschule Portikus e.V., Allen & Overy and Sammlung Pohl.