ART FOR ALL IN A DEPARTEMENT STORE
Multipel Market with Contemporary Artists
Curator and Organisator
KAUFHOF AM WEHRHAHN | Düsseldorf | December 4th, 1969 through June 15th, 1970
Catalog | 24 pages, 29 images | 20,7 x 21,3 cm | 5000 expl.
Artists: Albrecht + Alt + Altorjay + Alviani + Barbieri + Bartels + Bayrle + Bechthold + Beuys + Bill + Böhm + Bonalumi + Bonato + Bonies + Brecht + Brüning + Bubenik + Buchholz + Burghart + Bussmann + Buthe + Calderara + Castro + Christo + Claus + Damke + Delahaut + Dematio + Dick + Dietrich + Distel + Dobes + Dohr + Dressler + Dunkelgod + Eucker + Filliou + Fischer + Fongi + Fritz + Fruhtrunk + Gaul + Geiger + Genkinger + Glasmacher + Glattfelder + Graeser + Groh + Gulik + Gutbub + Hangen + Hansen + Haubensack + Heibel + Henry + Hilgemann + Hingstmartin + Höke + Higgins + Hundertwasser + Immendorf + Jäger + Jones + Kämmer + Kämpf-Jansen + Kallhardt + Kamphues + Klasen + Koehler + Köpke + Kolar + Kramer + Krüll + Kriwett + Kubicek + Kuhaupt + Kuhnert + Laute + Leissler + Löbach + Lohse + Lueg + Luque + Luther + Malich + Mansouroff + Megert + Mitzka + Morandini + Müller-Domnik + Nachi + Neuenhausen + Neusel + Nöfer + Paeffgen + Page + Pfahler + Piene + Polke + Quinte + Rancillac + Reick + Reisse + Reusch + Richter + Rinke + Rivers + Roemer + Rot + Schultze + Spoerri + Staeck + Sykora + Thomkins + Tilson + Tollmann + Uecker + Ulrichs + Urbasek + Vautier + Vaux + Verelst + Vostell + Warmuth + Weseler + Wilding + Williams + Wintersperger + Wolfram + Wortelkamp + Zappettini.
PLOT: Undercover as an advertising contact for a department store corporation to realize a gallery in the department store for the dissemination of critical art in the public commercial sphere. The department store houses many strays and fluctuants with various consumer ambitions. Success for my idea in the Kaufhof in Düsseldorf had: wealthy, vips, press and TV were there, because big taxpayer [KAUFHOF] was behind it. Turnover per square meter was too low for the directors after half a year. A wealthy person does not buy cheap and a poor person only consumption. That's why it was shut down on June 15, 1970. What's the point of art? Art cannot be eaten, drunk and smoked, maybe used as a picture on the wall, because the architects in our apartments placed the windows in their sense and not for our senses. That's why we hang pictures on our walls: the roaring deer, the Mona Lisa, the photo wallpaper, the monitor ...
FOREWORD in the catalog by Jürgen Harten [Director of the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf]: Household goods, furniture, handicraft accessories, fashion goods, jewelry, toys, delicacies, gift articles ... Goods to whet the appetite, to choose from, to furnish and to use - don't multiples and prints fit in with this? After all, there has always been imitation and duplicated art in the department store, everyday images of longing beyond the everyday. But after all, important companies like Tietz showed modern art in department stores with great success as early as the 1920s. The first comparable attempts at Kaufhof were artistically convincing.
The opening exhibition in the restaurant and the multiple market in the education and entertainment department did not present artistic directions to the people, but showed possibilities. In addition to well-known artists from Germany and abroad, whose works have already become known to wider circles at major art exhibitions or through television, many younger German artists and young editions were represented. Has Kaufhof thus taken over the role of galleries or art associations? Hardly. The art department should simply belong like the Grillroom: as part of a self-exhibiting market. Don't many tourists in Paris, Moscow, or Zurich just go to the department store first out of fun and curiosity?
Modern art addresses a public that has become accustomed to traveling from floor to floor on escalators and using variable interior spaces. If Kaufhof becomes a meeting place like the shopping street, the arcade, in the past, then something like a communication center can emerge in which people neither sell blindly nor buy uncritically. But the ability to be critical, which can be developed through art, would be an expression of a society that is becoming more responsible. Those who are bored by the painted Riviera idyll might prefer to buy a color film or an octopus - and still have money left over for graphics. After all, original prints by modern artists hang in the rooms of the Federal Ministry of Economics.
YVONNE FRIEDRICHS: Once a Herring in a Jar
Art as a Consumer Good - Multipel Exhibition at Kaufhof
in: Rheinische Post, Düsseldorf on December 6, 1969
Multiples - art objects produced in series - are intended for a broadly diversified public. While the prices for original works of modern art climb to dizzying heights, they also offer the art lover with a "normal" wallet the opportunity to be up to date in the artistic decoration of his home.
The idea of not only showing this "ars multiplicata" in galleries, but also making it palatable to a larger public as a "consumer good" in department stores, was therefore obvious. The Kaufhof am Wehrhahn now offers - probably for the first time in Düsseldorf - a broad overview of the existing multiple market in a special exhibition. On display are around 220 objects and prints by 126 artists from 30 editions. How far - strictly speaking - the numerous graphics, especially serigraphs, are still to be counted among the "multiples", however, remains questionable.
Advertising manager Dietmar Kirves, who is himself a practicing artist and a certified art educator (he has also organized happenings, among other things), put the exhibition together with a lot of verve and the courage to experiment. It was not meant to be a decorative show, but an informative one, in which the gag has its say as well as the quality.
The prices range from three marks (for a serigraph by Ulrichs) or an "original set of postcards" by Wewerka for four marks to an artistically significant "portfolio with seven sheets" by D'Arcangelo at 3600 marks. Those with a sense of humor can purchase an original "Bratwurst mit Henkel" by Page, a glass jar with pegs by Spoerri that has been declared a work of art, an "Intuitions" object by Beuys, or a brand-new men's shirt with the banderole "Zwangsjacke" by Bayrle for eight marks. For a cratered landscape of baked cake by Dieter Rot, the buyer has to fork out the small sum of 400 marks.
Vostell offers two "Prager Brote" with an inserted thermometer, and Christo a packaged miniature version of Cologne Cathedral. An oversized "double finger" in a Plexiglas box by Wintersberger costs 640 marks, while a hammer board by Uecker can be had for as little as eight marks.
The large selection of graphics ranges from Larry Rivers' "Dutch Masters", Indiana's "Numbers" portfolio and Warhol's "Marylin" to prints by Kolar, Glasmacher, Geiger, Luque or Alvermann. Also mirror reliefs by Luther, a detour sign by Brüning, Op-Art reliefs by Wilding or a "button" sign by Kriwet can be purchased. It is interesting to note that the large, diverse range of products also reveals the very different price levels of the various publishers. For example, the prices for Kolar prints vary between six and 180 marks.
DIETER WESTECKER: Way out in front
"Multiple Market" at Kaufhof
in: Düsseldorfer Nachrichten on 12/6/1969:
At Kaufhof Am Wehrhahn, a venture has been launched that will trigger heated discussions among the store's visitors under the title "Multiple Market". Because here, probably for the first time in a department store, artistic works and objects are being shown and sold that are way ahead of their time. And which are the talk of the town. 20 galleries and editions are represented here with probably a hundred artists and their works. The cheapest piece - a graphic - costs three DM. Of course there are also other.
Most of the works presented here are graphics from the circle of pop art, op art, hard edge. And then there are the objects about which some people shake their heads, but which are still worth discussing. For this purpose, the Kaufhof hires two trained forces who know the field of recent art. And here are some names of the exhibiting artists: Rot, Christo, Schultze, Wilding, D'Arcangelo, Reiner Römer, Tim Ulrichs, Richter, Uecker, Beuys, Indiana, Wintersberger, Brüning, Lueg, Vostell and many others. This selection may suffice to show those interested in art how broad the band is in this show.
GABRIELE MÜLLER: Duplicated art: If Dürer could see that!
in: Neue Rhein Zeitung, Christmas 1969
"If Dürer saw this, he would turn in his grave!" Well - no one knows how Dürer would paint today, and the people who think he's turning belong to the minority of art market visitors to Düsseldorf's Kaufhof Am Wehrhahn. Most come out of interest. And to see a selection of modern art that has no equal in the Federal Republic. Finally, for the notoriously conservative, there is plenty of compensation next door: Reproductions of classic moderns, the uneradicable paintings of lightly dressed gypsy women, and factory-fresh "antiques." But, kudos to the Düsseldorfers, sales at Germany's first department store multiple market are three to four times higher than in the conventional picture department. At often comparable prices, by the way. Modern multiples, however, can be had for as little as eight marks, some of them even hand-signed and by artists such as Uecker, Beuys, Weseler, to name just a few internationally recognized local greats. An "original oil painting" next door, on the other hand, is priced at a hundred marks and more.
WHY always hang ART on the wall only in the form of pictures? Multiple seller Monika Wagner shows here
a small selection of the many works available in the Kaufhof: from the Prague bread with a built-in children's
bath thermometer (left) to a brick with a practical handle (right). In the last few days before Christmas,
however, the stock has already been reduced enormously. reduced. Art on the gift table will
no longer be anything special this year. NRZ photo: Göllner
Paintings on a piecework basis. But originality is not the decisive difference between the two sales areas either. In the case of multiples, the premise is clear: their artistic value is not to be measured by uniqueness. But what about the oil hams that make this claim? Monika Wagner, the 25-year-old multiples saleswoman, once watched in a "picture factory": "Such paintings are really created on a piecework basis. The 'painter' runs with his brush from one canvas to the next and does the same stroke on each one. By the seventh or eighth painting, his brushwork becomes a little more ingenious . . ."
Of course, even on the contemporary art market there are not only eight-mark pieces. On average, the upper limit is three to four hundred marks. Sometimes the prices climb considerably higher: Kriwet's poem paintings are the most expensive pieces at 8000 marks. They, too, find buyers. Shortly after the opening of the market, which was planned as a one-time exhibition, it was clear that it would be converted into a permanent sales exhibition. Dietmar Kirves, the young organizer of the Multiple Market: "The sales convinced the management." In just a week and a half, the market, which only opened in early December (we reported), was up and running. The gallery-experienced Kirves: "A hell of a job - but here the initial difficulties of a gallery were missing, because the exhibition is supported by the apparatus of the department store." From around 200 editions, Kirves selected the 33 whose works can now be seen in Düsseldorf in a unique concentration. The selection criteria were the name recognition and market value of the artists, most of whom Kirves visited in person. Actually, the exhibition was only supposed to be a side job for the certified art educator, who completed twelve semesters at the art academy in Kassel. In January, the 28-year-old will hand over the advertising, for which he was primarily engaged, and only operate the art market. Then there are also planned actions that will provide information about artists and, at the beginning, a representative exhibition of Czech artists.
Sausage with handle. Monika Wagner, the young art student who informs around 50 people a day about the multiple offer, is also interested in the psychological side of her "job," which she will only be doing until the end of the month. "Many people ask their questions with an open mind. They don't pretend to know anything quite unlike the public in galleries." Others, however, identify the art consultant with the objects on display: "Miss, now just tell me what it costs DM 60 to make!"
The most points of attack for discussions about whether or not this is art are offered by three of the eight-mark items from Vice Versand, whose range will also be sold as a whole in the future: Beuys' wooden box with the pencil script "Intuition," Brecht's sun salt, and Page's bratwurst with handle. But all three will also be sold over and over again. Kirves: "We bet on whether, for example, the Uecker - a wooden board with nails and a hammer - would sell at all: in the meantime, more than 40 pieces are gone."
Young people are among the most interested visitors. Monika Wagner: "Ten- to twelve-year-old schoolchildren drag their parents here because they want one of the objects or sheets for Christmas." Only renowned art collectors tend to make themselves scarce: for them, the department store is still associated with the notion of the cheap and disreputable. Yet it is precisely the Multiple Market experiment that has contributed to the expansion of the department store offering, which previously covered mainly existence-satisfying areas, to include the cultural and consciousness-raising areas as well.
TV | 1st Program on March 9, 1970 at 9:45 pm
monday evening - march 9th 1970 - on tv:
report about multiple-market at kaufhof am wehrhahn -
l. program - 9.45 pm - in color
greetings from kaufhof am wehrhahn - duesseldorf
- kirves -
Everything under one roof
in: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on March 9, 1970
Even advertising slogans sometimes have to be redeemed. The big German department store, which advertises that it offers everything under one roof, a thousand times over, discovered a gap in its range. Perhaps the managers had read that modern art has now been freed from the ivory tower and its commodity character can no longer be concealed. So what could be more obvious than to include this commodity in the thousandfold offer? Thought, however, is not yet so quickly done. A dash of mistrust towards the valued customer, who is of course even more of a monarch here than elsewhere, was probably also involved when the decision was made to first conduct an experiment. Where? Of course, where the most art-minded buyers had always been gathered, in the Rhineland, the new art center of the Federal Republic. It was a good thing that a new organizational model was to be introduced at the second Düsseldorf Kaufhof, Am Wehrhahn, anyway; why not try it with art? The Editionen, which were springing up like mushrooms, offered themselves as partners. After all, the galleries are less interested in supporting a new, more financially strong competitor. Editionen, on the other hand, want to expand their buyer base beyond traditional art collectors; they must be interested in presenting their offerings in a place where they can reach a broader group of buyers. Thus, Kaufhof and Editionen entered into a temporary marriage that promises to be quite lucrative: Editionen delivers its merchandise on a commission basis, the department store displays it and, in its own well-understood interest, takes care of sales. In Düsseldorf, for example, the Gypsy Madonna looks with irritation at the plastic bosom of Allen Jones, and the buyer's agony of choice is prolonged a little. For the art-as-goods discussants, this means: take the companies' advertising slogans seriously, the dealers are already a nose ahead of you. hpr
Young people in the art trade: a lot of idealism - little earnings
in: Die Zeit in Wirtschaft on 01.05.1970
Dietmar Kirves (28) heads one of the most interesting experiments on the art market: the gallery in the Kaufhof am Wehrhahn (Düsseldorf). Addressing "a broad public with contemporary art trends" seems quite successful. So far, 700 paintings and objects have been sold. The exhibition in the department store is to change three times a year. On offer are multiples and prints by various artists, some of which are taken over from other galleries and from editions. Kirves does not want to talk about sales yet; dealing with art does not cause him any financial worries: he is an employee of Kaufhof.
EXPOSÉ by Dietmar Kirves
Art exhibitions and art trade in the department store.
Analysis of the existing possibilities.
Düsseldorf in September 1969:
Art in the department store is still regarded as an alien association. Art belongs in a museum, in a gallery, in a special place (see monument preservation). These are ideas of a contemplative world view that is native to the 19th century. Lack of communication and information, as well as the outsider position of the artist still give this view validity today.
To integrate art objects into the sales process of a department store requires some analysis. Of course, it is not possible here to consider "What is art?" But rather it can be explained what a department store is or which communications are offered in the department store.
For a brief definition, three characteristics of the department store should be mentioned: firstly, it has the characteristic of meeting external demand, i.e. the production and sale of certain means of meeting demand; secondly, the conditional economic independence, which only permits a gradually differentiated freedom of decision with regard to the planning and control of the price structure; and thirdly, the economic risk which inevitably arises as a result of the independent planning decision. The department store thus belongs to those enterprises which serve the indirect satisfaction of existence. The driving forces of its economic activity have so far included only existential needs, i.e. material purposes, but not cultural needs (spiritual purposes).
Over the years, it not only developed into a factor satisfying existence, but also took more and more into account the need for culture latent in the masses. However, this need must be reawakened through information and advertising, since today's mass people are no longer aware of the cultural aspect. Goods such as books, records, actually individual products, found their way into the department store range but did not find the same sales as existential goods; this now addressed sections of the population whose needs had not been met by the previous range.
With the expansion of the culture-forming aspect and the integration of art in the sales process, the department store can develop into a communication center in a way that is comparably not found in the consumer market. Since the "present of art is geared to mass production" (Kultermann) and there is a need for culture among the population, it lends itself, so to speak, to making use of these centers, such as department stores, for the dissemination of art.
The difficulty, for the time being, is to make it clear that art is not intended as decoration or an accessory, but is to be regarded as a "consciously employed medium of artistic consciousness-raising" (Schultze-Vellinghausen). This difficulty can only be eliminated through enlightening information and advertising on the part of the department store, in order to simultaneously transform the cultural offer into an economic one. For the time being, the question of the way of economic efficiency can only be examined in the contemporary art trade, which is mainly carried out in art galleries. But what does an enterprise of this kind look like today? The image of a modern gallery is mainly shaped by the personality of the gallery owner. He strives to distinguish himself from other galleries in order to build or maintain his own image. The gallery owner selects the exhibition program, supports artists he considers suitable, conducts negotiations with third parties and manages the sale of art objects acquired by him or taken on commission. Most of the sales take place in the gallery. Profit shares range from 30 to 80 percent, depending on the gallery owner's pro-rata performance.
The main offer includes paintings, sculptures and objects with an average retail value from 300 to 30000DM. The smaller offer consists of graphics and serigraphs between 30 and 300DM.All offers are offered exclusively in exhibitions and catalogs. The main focus of sales is exhibition openings, to which a customer base is invited in writing, consisting to a small part of art collectors and to a large part of people who see in an opening only a social event. Advertising consists of a prospectus, catalog or poster for each exhibition, information in the press and advertisements in relevant art magazines. The main direction of the sale is aimed at the customer, although it is not excluded that the customer also deals with the gallery owner through sale or exchange.
It goes without saying that this model cannot be adopted in the form it takes, since a department store has a very different public character than a gallery.
So what are the real opportunities for department store art sales?
a.) The department store management commissions a gallery owner to organize and manage exhibitions. The company has a share in the art trade through rent and sales percentages. This eliminates any kind of economic risk. The special existence and image of the gallery owner grant a constantly changing offer, which is not subject to a decorative aspect. The disadvantage here is that the art dealer is not necessarily bound to the department store. The trade in this direction is simply too open to be sufficiently defined by contract. The majority of sales can be made off-site, so the revenue share is correspondingly low. In addition, the image aspirations of the respective gallery owner will not always coincide with those of the department store, since the art trade is not directly integrated into the sales process.
b.) The department store management itself organizes exhibitions of art objects on free wall and decorative surfaces. The interest in culture-forming facts becomes clear. The image enhancement that primarily results from this is devoid of any profitability. The sale or the intention to sell remains secondary; it then depends more or less on the customer's own initiative. The art objects can become decoration goods by adapting the object to the environment.
c.) The most important moment of the art trade in the department store is probably its profitability, since such a company is primarily interested in maximizing profits. It is therefore important to gradually integrate art into the general sales process through information and advertising, i.e. the latent cultural need in the population must first be awakened. This is best done through art exhibitions in rooms whose main use is subject to another economic branch, such as in a restaurant, foyer, etc. Constantly changing exhibitions, at least every four weeks, must show a broad offer that does not encourage provincialism or artistic art objects (arts and crafts), which essentially depends on the group of people or the person who determines the selection of the exhibits. In addition to the changing exhibitions, there must be a permanent supply of low-priced prints of limited editions (for example, from 30 DM) to give the customer an incentive to own art. The information here is based not only on free advertising for the customer, but also in low-priced offers that are initially close to cost price. Art is to be understood here as a consumption process. "The degree of enforcement of a certain information is in turn a criterion for its acceptance by a potential circle of consumers" (E. Fischer in Magazin Kunst,33/1969). The price costs of prints can be kept low by self-publishing. The respective range of products must be catalogued by means of brochures in order to provide the customer with an overview. At the beginning, the sale does not dominate so much, but more the intensification of the connection between the department store and the interested customer, who would have to be registered via an address card index. Likewise the connection between artist and department store must be again developed, since such communication did not exist so far. Both communication, customer and artist, are important image-building factors. It is therefore important to invest more in the trade and the offer at the beginning, rather than immediately thinking of a certain profitability or return on investment. The risk here is of course relatively larger than with existence-satisfying products. However, since it is known that in the case of art objects the increase in value depends on the rate of time, the risk only extends over a larger period of time.
Program for the art trade in the department store: (briefly)
Self-information: observe artistic trends; fix developments in the art trade; visit exhibitions and actions; seek and maintain connections with artists; subscribe to important art magazines . . .
Advertising: brochures; possibly posters; workshop talks; sale of "cheap" prints and secondary literature at a special stand, which can also take over the sale of art objects later; use special sales intermediaries; create address collection of interested parties; inform clientele about new offer.
Artists: selection at national and international level, according to sales and awareness criteria.
Art objects: Painting-graphic-sculpture etc.; on commission from artist; on loan from galleries; purchase.
Exhibition space: free wall space in rooms used by others; adjacent space for sculptures, spatial sculptures, experiments
Exhibitions: In each case in a certain rhythm, at least in a four-week rotation; in addition, permanent exhibition offer.