Today, the museum’s collection of Modern art after 1945 belongs to the most prominent of its collections. It features international figures of Abstract Expressionism such as K. O. Götz, Gerhard Hoehme, Mark Rothko and Ad Reinhardt, while works by Georg Baselitz, Jörg Immendorff and Gerhard Richter, as well as by Joseph Beuys, Nam June Paik, Wolf Vostell, Dieter Roth and Eva Hesse, one of the most significant female artists of the 20th century of whose oeuvre Wiesbaden holds 12 works, offer a strong showing of artists from the post-war period in Germany.
Installations by Jochen Gerz, Rebecca Horn and Ilya Kabakov, as well as works of American Minimal Art complete the collection. Similar to the way these artists relate to Constructivist positions of the first half of the 20th century, we can see the examination of color that began in Expressionism being taken up as a fundamental element in the work of painters like Otto Ritschl, Ulrich Erben and Raimund Girke.
The commitment of the city of Wiesbaden and the museum to an active dialogue with the most important currents of international art is reflected in the establishment of the Alexej von Jawlensky Prize, awarded every 5 years in honor of the Great Russian painter. The prize is associated with a cash award, an exhibition in Museum Wiesbaden and the purchase of work for the museum’s collection.
The prize is funded by the city of Wiesbaden, the Spielbank Wiesbaden and the Nassauische Sparkasse. The support of these three institutions signals their recognition of and commitment to the creative energy Alexej von Jawlensky contributed to the cultural life of our city.
First to be awarded the prize was American painter Agnes Martin in 1991, followed in 1996 by American painter Robert Mangold, selected by an international jury as the second recipient. In 2003, the prize went to the American painter Brice Marden, who accepted the award in 2004 at the opening of the exhibition “Jawlensky — My Dearest Galka!” In 2007, the prize was awarded a fourth time to the artist Rebecca Horn, whose work has been shown at multiple documenta exhibitions. The award ceremony in March 2007 marked the opening of not only the Horn exhibition associated with the prize but of her mirror installation “Jupiter in the Octagon.”
In 2010, the American artist Ellsworth Kelly was awarded the Jawlensky Prize for his life’s work. The award for exceptional contribution to the fine arts was presented at the opening of the artist’s exhibit associated with the prize in March 2012.