Talking about the German art scene is often connected with talking about Berlin. Without a doubt, the capital is host to a number of amazing players in the industry, but to miss out on what’s happening in Munich would be incredibly naive. Not only is it the homebase of some of the countries leading museums, corporate collections, and private collectors, but there are also are some women based in Munich that are working to change the scene dramatically.
Watch this space! These are the women shaking up the Bavarian comfort zone.
Having studied under Professor Günther Förg at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich, Edie Monetti made everything dangerous her signature. Ironically assuming that she might be adopted by Siegfried & Roy, her canvases are full of wild and threatening jungle creatures, including such fantastical creations as Peach Blonde Boa and Man-eater. It wouldn’t be surprising if her bold, breathtaking aesthetic caught the eye of Alessandro Michele, looking to ‘Guccify’ her works.
Ayzit Boston is a master of quiet symbolism and – apart from her own collections – it is her dedication to contemporary art that makes her one of Germany’s coolest fashion designers. She not only presents her new designs at fashion shows, but she also stages them as performances, videos, and installations in galleries and museums. Her work has been exhibited at major institutions such as the MMK in Frankfurt, the Kunstverein Munich, and the Goethe Institute in Tokyo. In addition to holding a professorship at the Kunsthochschule Kassel for Designing Textile Products, she has been exhibiting her own artworks in various institutions since 2008.
Looking for one of Germany’s most sought after art advisors? Look no further. When it comes to growing their art collections, leading entrepreneurs and high profile collectors have Mon Muellerschoen’s number on speed dial. While discretion is key, it is widely known that she is the mastermind behind the art collection of the Burda Media Headquarters, as well as advising the likes of Roland Berger and Christiane zu Salm. With an astute eye for detail, it’s no wonder that Germany’s rich and famous seek her advice.
Forget Monet; here is the creator Landscape 3.0. Born in Kazakhstan, Hell Gette is what we call a ‘digital native’, bringing our daily, emoji-saturated world straight to the canvas. If you feel it is time for a digital detox but you’re not willing to depart completely from your favourite smiley faces, you will love the work of Gutte – and the titles are too good to be true! We can`t wait until they grin at us from the caption labels of the world’s leading galleries and museums. And, trust us, it won’t take too long.
Dr. Gabriele Castegnaro
The third-generation manager of the Munich based fashion house, Konen – founded by her grandfather in the 1930s – Gabriele Castegnaro is a woman of no fear. Not only is she a trained lawyer, guiding the tradition-rich fashion business through the process of digitalisation, but she also loves to integrate architecture and art as part of Konen’s DNA. Whenever she has spare time outside of the family business, she surrounds herself with art and architecture and is engaged in the city’s leading museums, such as Die Pinakothek.
Not only has Irmin Beck-Rodenstock amassed an eclectic art collection, together with her husband, Benedict Rodenstock, she studied architecture and has made a name for herself as a curator for contemporary art. A keen mentor for the local arts industry since 2008, Beck-Rodenstock co-founded UNPAINTED, a new media art fair and platform that supports contemporary artists, invites distinguished curators, and is dedicated to the latest developments in digital art. Several times per year, some of the best upcoming artists are invited to showcase their work in her project space, introducing their practice to a handpicked audience.
Jasmin Khezri is the personification of the connection between art and fashion. Having studied at the renowned Parsons School of Design in Paris and Los Angeles, she went on on to become one of the youngest award-winning art directors in Europe. Besides a successful career in magazines and retail, she started to garner recognition for her alter ego, IRMA – a painterly version of the digital art character, Lil Miquela, if you like – who became known as one of the first ever “influencers” (long before Instagram), setting numerous trends across the global fashion and lifestyle industry. “My grandmother, Irma, was an inspirational force in my life,” says Khezri, “IRMA encapsulates and brings to life the virtues of a strong, independent, and modern woman – always ahead of her generation and always with a sparkle in her eyes.”
Sarah Haugender is the manager of exhibitions and public programming for Espace Louis Vuitton München. Established in 2014 and located in the historic heart of the city, the gallery acts as an independent art space. Before she began encouraging new encounters between the local community and both native and international artists – such as David Claerbout, Ian Cheng, and Cory Arcangel, or the multimedia exhibition curated by Michiko Kono – Haugender worked as collection assistant at the renowned private museum of Ingvild Goetz.
Thanks to the private initiative of Stephanie Utz and her husband, Christian Utz, Munich’s cultural offering now includes MUCA – Germany’s first Museum of Urban and Contemporary Art – whose building used to be an old transformer station. Like the name suggests, the focus lies not only on displaying the couple’s own collection of urban and street art masterpieces but also in curating blockbuster shows – from Calligraphitty to Viehls. Located in the heart of Munich, the museum also showcases a unique dining concept; a restaurant offering South American and Asian flavours in an industrial setting, full of internationally-renowned street art.
As the head of the Young Circle of the Pinakothek der Moderne, Julie Schemann is the one who engages in the process of building the youngest collection, and therefore also the one taking the biggest risks when scouting for new work. Having moved south from Berlin – where she was running a contemporary Indian art gallery due to her strong personal ties to the country and its culture – Schemeann made Munich her family’s home. She was won over by the dynamic art academy, the rising power of various off-spaces, and the city’s top notch museums, all of which reinforce Munich’s status as a mecca for contemporary art.
With the ambitious goal of boosting the Munich art scene, Nina Neuper is the co-founder of Various Others, an initiative set to kick off their first major event this fall. With a slew of joint, Condo-style openings across the German city, the project is the brainchild of a group of preeminent Munich galleries that are determined to bring attention to their artists, project spaces, galleries, and a powerhouse roster of institutions and museums. Besides bolstering the perception of Munich as global art hub, Neuper is the director of Gallerie Klüser, and previously worked as the curatorial assistant for the Munich Re Art Collection and for Christies.
Illustration by Joana Partyka