Art collection Gunter Sachs in Schweinfurt

andy warhol, gunter sachs, 1972 (Large)Art all the time accompanied the fascinating life of Gunter Sachs. After his death his family decided to exhibit about 165 pieces of his art collection in his hometown Schweinfurt, Germany till March 30, 2014.

(German translation see below)

The exhibition is at the same time a tribute to the Family Sachs, which has its roots here in Northern Bavaria. The exhibition is located in the art museum of Schweinfurt. The building was given once – in 1933 – as a present of Sachs’ grandfather Ernst to the city of Schweinfurt.

Gunter Sachs (14 November 1932 – 7 May 2011) was a German photographer, author, industrialist, and latterly head of an institute that researched claims of astrology. As a young man he became a sportsman, then gained international fame as a documentary film-maker and documentary photographer. He was interested in astrology and its connection with mathematics and statistics.

The early years

Sachs was born in Mainberg near Schweinfurt in Germany. His mother was the daughter of Wilhelm von Opel; his father was Willy Sachs, sole owner of Fichtel & Sachs, a leading manufacturer of ball bearings and one of Germany’s biggest automobile suppliers.

A playboy in his early years, Sachs was romantically linked to the former Iranian queen Soraya. He married three times. His first wife, Anne-Marie Faure, died in 1958 during surgery. He courted his second wife, Brigitte Bardot, by flying over her villa on the French Riviera in a helicopter and dropping hundreds of roses. The couple were married on 14 July 1966 in Las Vegas, they divorced in 1969. His final marriage was to Swedish former model, Mirja Larsson, (who was 26 at the time of their engagement), which lasted from 1969 until his death. He had a son Rolf Sachs (born 1955),with his first wife, and a further two sons (Christian Gunnar and Claus Alexander) with his third wife. In addition to his German nationality, Sachs received Swiss citizenship in 1976.

Art Collector

Sachs‘ extensive art collection included works by Jean Fautrier, Andy Warhol, René Magritte, Salvador Dalí, Roy Lichtenstein, Tom Wesselmann, Mel Ramos, and Allen Jones. He also owned important pieces from the Nouveau réalisme school including Yves Klein, Jean Tinguely, Arman, and Martial Raysse. Many of these artists were involved in the 1969 design of the legendary pop-art-apartment in the tower of the Palace Hotel in St. Moritz, which quickly gained the art world’s attention. From 1967 to 1975 Sachs, together with Prince Konstantin of Bavaria, co-founded and headed the association for the Modern Art Museum in Munich (MAM), which lobbied for the construction of a comprehensive museum of contemporary art in Munich and mounted monthly exhibitions at Villa Stuck. Victor Vasarely, Georg Baselitz, Heinz Edelmann, Christo, Cy Twombly, Alexander Calder, Heinz Mack and Jean Tinguely, Roy Lichtenstein, and Gotthard Graubner found their way into the rooms of the museum. In 1972 he opened a gallery in Hamburg and organised the first European exhibition of his friend Andy Warhol.

In May 2006, Sachs sold one of Warhol’s silk screens of Bardot at auction for 3 million US-Dollars. After his death the Sachs family sold part of his collection of Pop Art and Nouveau Realisme through Sotheby’s in May 2012.

Being a photographer

Since 1972, Sachs was working professionally as a photographer, in 1973 he caused a stir with the first nude photograph of French Vogue. In 1991 he worked with Claudia Schiffer on the „Heroines“ series. He gained international recognition in 1974 with a special show at the Photokina trade show for which he also designed the official exhibition poster. In 1976 he was awarded the Leica Award. At the “German photo days” and the Photokina he received prizes for „Die Farbe Weiss“ in 1994 and for „Die Farbe Rot“ in 1995.

The focus of his photography are surreal nudes and landscapes, which were published in no less than seven image volumes. Early on, Sachs also experimented with digital photography. The proceeds from the sale of his photographs and illustrated books went into the Mirja Sachs Foundation, which helps children in need.

The end

Sachs committed suicide on 7 May 2011 by a gunshot wound to the head at his home in Gstaad, Switzerland. In a note distributed to Swiss and German media by his family, Sachs said he had been suffering from a “hopeless illness” and that he felt he was losing his memory, ability to think and communicate clearly.

“That menace was for me always the lone criteria for putting an end to my life”, Sachs stated in the note. His family said it had been Sachs‘ “expressed wish” to have the note published after his death.

“I have always stood up to big challenges”, his statement ended.

Warhol_Himself, Siebdruck, 1986 (Large) ©dpaSalon-TA (Large) UGA_SnakeCollective, 1974 (Large) Tom Wesselmann,Study for Seascape Woodcut,1981 (Large) Toast_GS, 2007 (Large) Ramos_Bananasplit, 1972 (Large) Hartung_Composition, 1947 (Large) Banksy_Flags (Large) Roy Lichtenstein, Vicki, 1964, Emaille auf Metall, 106 x 106 cm (Large) Ramos_TobaccoRVantage, 1972 Mel Ramos, Della Monty, 1971Die Sammlung Gunter Sachs

Hauptwerke des Surrealismus bis Graffiti

Kunsthalle Schweinfurt (15. November 2013 bis 30. März 2014)

Die Familie von Gunter Sachs hat sich nach seinem Tod im Mai 2011 entschlossen, seine unverwechselbare Kunstsammlung einer breiteren Öffentlichkeit bekannt zu machen. Sie gibt gleichzeitig auch das Interieur seiner Wohnungen weltweit wieder.

Seit dem Beginn seiner Laufbahn als Sammler im Paris der 1950er- und 1960er-Jahre begleitete Kunst das Leben von Gunter Sachs. Mitte zwanzig und als charismatisch-gebildeter Erbe eines Millionenunternehmens bewegte er sich in den Kreisen der Künstler des Informel und des Nouveau Réalisme und lebte das verwegene Savoir-vivre der Pariser Kunstszene.

Sachs kaufte, sammelte und trennte sich wieder von Werken, tauschte und verkaufte sie, um seine Sammlung zu bereichern. Er schuf so kein starr-gewachsenes, Stil- oder Künstler-gebundenes Konglomerat von Wertanlagen, sondern seine Kunstsammlung zeigt einen lebendigen Spiegel seiner Interessen, Bekanntschaften und auch seines subjektiven Geschmacks. In den 1960er-Jahren entdeckte er die Pop Art und ließ sein legendäres Turm-Appartement in Sankt Moritz von befreundeten Künstlern wie Roy Lichtenstein und Andy Warhol einrichten.

Die Ausstellung in der Kunsthalle Schweinfurt präsentiert rund 165 Arbeiten und ist gleichzeitig ein Who´s who der internationalen Nachkriegskunst. Im Zentrum stehen Hauptwerke der Pop-Art, vertreten durch Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Mel Ramos, Robert Rauschenberg und Tom Wesselmann.

Gunter Sachs interessierte sich auch bevorzugt für den Nouveau Réalisme, wofür Arman, Daniel Spoerri, César oder Yves Klein beispielhaft stehen. Vertreten sind mit herausragenden Exponaten die Arte Povera mit Michelangelo Pistoletto, die Fluxus-Bewegung oder berühmte Künstler der Graffiti-Kunst wie TOAST und Shepard Fairey und viele, viele mehr.

Die Schweinfurter Ausstellung der Sammlung Gunter Sachs zeigt sich gegenüber der Präsentation in der Münchener Villa Stuck in neuem Gesicht durch die große Anzahl weiterer Leihgaben aus dem Besitz der Familie.

Warum Gunter Sachs in Schweinfurt? Die Präsentation der Sammlung Gunter Sachs in der Kunsthalle Schweinfurt ist eine Hommage der Familie Sachs an ihre Wurzeln und die Ursprünge ihres sozialen Engagements.

Die Ausstellung wird in jenem repräsentativen Gebäude gezeigt , das 1933 als mäzenatische Schenkung des Firmengründers Ernst Sachs an die Bürger der Stadt gegeben wurde und noch heute engstens mit dem Namen „Sachs“ verbunden ist.

Photos, Courtesy of:

Andy Warhol, Gunter Sachs, 1972
Warhol Foundation for the visual Arts, Inc. New York. / Artists Right Society (ARS), New York; Estate Gunter Sachs, Courtesy Institut für Kulturaustausch, Tübingen

Banksy, People Who Wave Flags, o.A.
© Banksy. Estate Gunter Sachs, Foto Walter Bayer, Courtesy Institut für Kulturaustausch, Tübingen

Giorgio de Chirico, Edipo e Antigone, 1926
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2013; Estate Gunter Sachs, Courtesy Institut für Kulturaustausch, Tübingen

Hans Hartung, composition abstraite, 1947.
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2013. Foto: Walter Bayer; Estate Gunter Sachs. Courtesy Insitut für Kulturaustausch, Tübingen

Mel Ramos, Della Monty, 1971
©VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2013; Estate Gunter Sachs, Courtesy Institut für Kulturaustausch, Tübingen

René Magritte, Colère des Dieux, 1960
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2013; Estate Gunter Sachs, Foto Walter Bayer, Courtesy Institut für Kulturaustausch, Tübingen

Roy Lichtenstein, Vicki, 1964
©VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2013; Estate Gunter Sachs, Courtesy Institut für Kulturaustausch, Tübingen

Salon des Tower-Appartements in St. Moritz
© Estate Gunter Sachs

Toast, Gunter Sachs, 2007
© Ata Bozaci „TOAST“ 2013; Estate Gunter Sachs; Courtesy of Instiut für Kulturaustausch, Tübingen

Tom Wesselmann, Study for Seascape Woodcut, 1981
© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann; VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2013;
Estate Gunter Sachs, Foto Walter Bayer, Courtesy Institut für Kulturaustausch, Tübingen

UGA, Snake Collective, 1974
© United Graffiti Artists (UGA); Estate Gunter Sachs; Courtesy Institut für Kulturaustausch, Tübingen

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