Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Galerie Paul Maenz Koln Records
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (331.43 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Biographical /Historical Note
  • Administrative Information
  • Separated Material
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Galerie Paul Maenz Köln records
    Date (inclusive): 1956-1991 (bulk 1970-1990)
    Number: 910066
    Creator/Collector: Galerie Paul Maenz (Cologne, Germany)
    Physical Description: 40 Linear Feet (89 boxes)
    The Getty Research Institute
    Special Collections
    1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
    Los Angeles 90049-1688
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10020/askref
    (310) 440-7390
    Abstract: German gallery in Cologne, dealing in contemporary art. Maenz exhibited, loaned, and sold works by conceptual artists and the German neo-Expressionist painters. Correspondence, financial files, artists' biographies, press clippings, printed matter, and photographs cover virtually every facet of the gallery's operations, 1970-1990. The photograph files comprise approximately half of the archive and document works by artists and most of the gallery's exhibitions.
    Request Materials: To access physical materials on site, go to the library catalog record  for this collection and click "Request an Item." Click here for access policy  .
    Language: Collection material is in German and English.

    Biographical /Historical Note

    Galerie Paul Maenz Köln was instrumental in introducing avant-garde art of the 1970s and 1980s to what was initially a German audience, but would later move beyond to the rest of Europe and North America. The gallery functioned as a facilitator for artists to realize their work in a new context. This was particularly important in the early years of the gallery, which focused on the difficult-to-exhibit Conceptual Art. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the gallery embraced the new painting of the young Italian Trans-avantgardists and the German Neo-Expressionists. With the help of Maenz's representation, the German artists in particular had a profound impact on Cologne's importance as a cultural and artistic center.
    Paul Maenz was born December 7th, 1939 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. After he finished school he apprenticed at a department store, then worked at a printing company. Maenz found this period to be "more or less excruciating." In 1958 Maenz enrolled in Folkwangschule für Gestaltung, Essen, and studied under Max Burchartz. Maenz stated that, "the concept of this school, developed along Bauhaus lines, was to give individual talents room to develop --to encourage rather than direct them toward a specific goal."
    In the mid 1960s Maenz worked as an assistant art director for Young & Rubicam, an American advertising agency, in Frankfurt. There he met Peter Roehr, who, through his work, had a profound impact on how Maenz thought about art. They remained friends until Roehr's untimely death in 1968 at the age of 24. Maenz represented the Roehr estate and frequently exhibited his works at the gallery.
    Maenz lived in New York City from 1965-67, while still working as an art director for Young & Rubicam. He also founded "Kineticism Press" with Willoughby Sharp, which was "dedicated to the total distribution of artistic information in all media." It was during this period that Maenz bought his first art work from Sol LeWitt's studio. This was "Structure," LeWitt's first modular construction.
    In 1967 Maenz moved back to Germany. He organized the influential exhibition "Serielle formationen" with Peter Roehr for the University of Frankfurt. Many of the artists, such as Sol LeWitt, Carl Andre, Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, Jan Dibbets and Agnes Martin, were seen here in Germany for the first time. Maenz also organized "19:45-21:55," a multimedia event lasting about 2 hours, in which he invited artists to create ephemeral situations. Konrad Lueg (aka Konrad Fischer) was one of the participants. Lueg opened a gallery shortly thereafter in Düsseldorf and exhibited the artists whom he had met in Frankfurt. "It is Fischer's achievement to have developed along with his artists a totally new individual type of gallery, which was taken as a model for other avant-garde galleries, here and abroad; I should think my own gallery has profited from it when it was formed later in 1970/71."
    Maenz gave up advertising in 1968. He opened a head shop called "Pudding Explosion" with Roehr in the Frankfurt Holzgraben. "After two intense years during which this shop also became commercially profitable, it cancelled itself out as 'alternative to the status quo,' and so I closed it."
    In 1970 with the encouragement of his friend Gerd de Vries, Maenz opened a gallery for contemporary art in Cologne. He contacted many Minimal and Conceptual artists for their ideas and suggestions of other artists to exhibit. Most of these artists, including Joseph Kosuth, Robert Barry, Art & Language artists, David Askevold, Daniel Buren, Victor Burgin and Hans Haacke, a German expatriate living in New York, were well-known in their own countries, but had shown very little in Germany. Fischer was the only gallerist at the time in Germany showing the same kind of work.
    The gallery officially opened on January 16th, 1971, with a Hans Haacke exhibition. Two years later a second gallery in Brussels was opened, with less success. Situated at Belgium 195, Avenue Louise, it closed the following year. The main gallery in Cologne moved three times: once in 1976 from Lindenstraße 32 to Lindenstraße 23, again in 1978 to Schaafenstraße 25 and lastly in 1983 to Bismarckstraße 50, which was an old factory with an interior space designed and built by Thiess Marwede.
    The early exhibitions of the gallery primarily featured the Conceptual artists mentioned above. By the mid 70s, Maenz was slowly moving away from Conceptualism. He began to show the work of the Italian artists Salvo and Giulio Paolini. His interest in the Trans-avantgarde culminated in 1978 when the gallery had what Maenz called the "Italian Year." The gallery only exhibited works by young Italian artists such as Giuseppe Penone, Francesco Clemente, Luciano Fabro, Mimmo Paladino, Salvo, Sandro Chia and Paolini. Maenz followed up with the "Arte Cifra" show in 1979.
    The end of 1980 was a turning point for the gallery and for German art in general. Maenz organized the landmark exhibition "Mülheimer Freiheit & Interessante Bilder aus Deutschland," which introduced younger German artists working in Neo-Expressionism. The exhibition showed that the generation of artists after Beuys, who were, like Kiefer, interested in painting and rediscovering German tendencies prior to World War I. For the next four years these artists, which included Martin Disler, Walter Dahn, Jiri-Georg Dokoupil, Hans-Peter Adamski and Peter Bömmels, exhibited throughout Germany and the rest of Europe in major museums and galleries.
    Maenz's client list reads like a who's who of German contemporary art collectors. Friedrich Rentschler, Gerhard Sohst, Helmut Anton Krätz, Hans-Joachim Etzold and Peter Ludwig were among the many who looked to Maenz for information and advice. He was in frequent contact with museum directors and curators, such as Jean-Christophe Ammann, Dieter Koepplin, Zdenek Felix, Kasper König and Grazia Nunn, about acquisitions and exhibitions.
    Furthermore, Maenz cooperated extensively with other galleries. In addition to borrowing works from Gian Enzo Sperone and Studio Marconi for his Italian program, when the Mülheimer Freiheit group became successful Maenz loaned works to Ileana Sonnabend, Leo Castelli, Mary Boone, Marian Goodman, Asher/Fauer, Ascan Crone, Reinhard Onnasch, Six Friedrich and many other galleries throughout North America and Europe. Maenz also exhibited his artists annually at the Basel art fair and Köln Kunstmarkt, and at various Documenta and Prospekt exhibitions.
    In 1975, de Vries became an editor at DuMont Buchverlag, which published many of Maenz's books. De Vries' involvement with the publishing world might explain the gallery's prolific publishing activities. Some sort of catalog, large or ephemeral, was produced for almost every exhibition. Additionally, Maenz was friendly with the critics Germano Celant and Wolfgang Max Faust, both of whom wrote texts for the gallery's yearbooks.
    As the Neo-Expressionist artists became successful and began to leave the gallery, Maenz was unable to find others to replace them. The increasingly commercial aspect of the art world was not interesting to Maenz, who decided to close the gallery in 1990 after the Kiefer exhibition. He felt the times had changed too much. Maenz stated, "I liked the idea that my own gallery should close while still in conditions that corresponded to the idealism with which it opened."
    Maenz moved to Berlin in 1993. He believed there were more opportunities in East Germany for "someone who wanted to start all over again." He donated his private collection of 150 paintings, sculptures and projects, and 170 drawings to the Kunstsammlungen zu Weimar in 1994 for its opening in 1998.

    Administrative Information


    Open for use by qualified researchers.

    Publication Rights

    Preferred Citation

    Galerie Paul Maenz Köln records, 1956-1991 (bulk 1970-1990) Getty Research Institute, Research Library, Accession no. 910066.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired in 1991 from Paul Maenz.

    Processing History

    Lynda Bunting physically processed the manuscript portion of the archive and wrote the finding aid from February-July, 1994. Rose Lachman assisted by describing some of the letters in Series I and II. Deborah Derby, a consultant for the Book Lab at GCI, analysed and wrote a brief report (3/14/94) on the best procedure for removing adhesive tape from the color transparencies in preparation for their printing. Natalia Costea and Laurie King helped execute Derby's recommendations beginning May, 1994. Jobi Benjamin of the Photo Services Department conducted the printing project from June, 1994 to November 1996. A cross-reference was made for each artist in Series IX. Photographs in the ARTISTS database of STAR.

    Separated Material

    Maenz's reference library containing ca. 2500 volumes/titles were separated from the archive and cataloged by the Center library from November, 1992-February, 1993. Gallery publications were separated and accessioned to the library from June-July, 1994. These consisted of all 16 of the gallery yearbooks and ca. 60 exhibition catalogs and monographs. The following is a list of accessioned items.
    13 "Projekt'74" artists : Paul Maenz, [4 27 July 1974]. 19:45 21:55 : September 9th 1967, Frankfurt, Germany / [arranged by Paul Maenz] Anselm Kiefer, Giulio Paolini, Gerwald Rockenschaub ... [et al.] : ausstellungen Herbst 1985 Sommer 1986 = exhibitions autumn 1985 summer 1986. Arte cifra : Chia, Clemente, De Maria, Longobardi, Paladino, Tatafiore. Koeln : P. Maenz, c1979. Bartolini, Luciano. The pearl mosque / [Luciano Bartolini]. Koeln : P. Maenz, [1978?] Der Blick zurueck ist ein Blick auf die Gegenwart, und/oder, Die Wahrheit hat viele Brueste : Paul Maenz Koeln 1970 1980. Peter Boemmels : Lichtzaehne zeigen, 25. Jan. 23. Feb. 1985, Galerie Paul Maenz, Koeln. Bremen. Kunsthalle. Joseph Kosuth : Beitraege zur konzeptuellen Kunst, 1965 1976 : Ausstellung / Kunsthalle Bremen, 11. April bis 29. April, 1976. Busche, Ernst A. Jiri Georg Dokoupil / herausgeber Ernst A. Busche zusammen mit Paul Maenz. Berlin : Galerie Paul Maenz, 1987. Crown, sky, war : Francesco Clemente, Paul Maenz Koeln 1988. Francesco Clemente : "il viaggiatore napoletano" / Paul Maenz, Hrsg. Koeln : Gerd de Vries, 1982. Enzo Cucchi : un'immagine oscura / herausgegeben von Zdenek Felix. Essen : R. Bacht, [1982] Dahn/Dokoupil : die Duschbilder : Ricki 1982 1983. [Cologne : Paul Maenz Galerie], c1983. Walter Dahn. Frechen : Borowsky + Co., c1982. Walter Dahn, Ausstellung vom 26.2. 23.3.1982, Paul Maenz Koeln. Walter Dahn und Georg Dokoupil / fotografiert von Roman Soukup. [Germany? ; P. Maenz, 1982] Martin Disler : Museum Folkwang Essen, 10.V. 30.VI.1985, ARC/Musee d'art moderne de la ville de Paris, 16.X. 1.XII.1985. Jiri Georg Dokoupil : Christus Bilder = cuadros de Cristo. Santa Cruz de Tenerife : Galeria Leyendecker ; Koeln : Galerie Paul Maenz, 1987. Jiri Georg Dokoupil, corporations & products : the sculptures = die Skulpturen / Paul Maenz, Ed., Hrsg. Koeln : Galerie Paul Maenz ; San Fransisco : Gallery Paule Anglim ; Los Angeles : Asher/Faure, 1985. Jiri Georg Dokoupil, "neue koelner Schule" : Ausstellung 30. April 25. Mai 1982 : Galerie Paul Maenz. Koeln : Die Galerie, c1982. Egonavigatio : Sandro Chia, Francesco Clemente, Nicola de Maria, Mimmo Paladino : [Ausstellung] Mannheimer Kunstverein e.v., 30. Maerz 27. April 1980 / [Bearbeitung, Gerd de Vries]. Die enthauptete Hand : 100 Zeichnungen aus Italien : Chia, Clemente, Cucchi, Paladino : [Ausstellung] Bonner Kunstverein, 20. Januar 28. Februar 1980; Staedtische Galerie Wolfsburg, 9. Maerz 6. April 1980; Groninger Museum, 6. Juni 6. Juli 1980. Faust, Wolfgang Max, 1944 Hunger nach Bildern : deutsche Malerei der Gegenwart / Wolfgang Max Faust, Gerd de Vries. Koeln : DuMont, c1982. Fleisches lust : die wiederkehr des sinnlichen, die erotik der neuen kunst : Adamski ... [et al.]. Koeln : P. Maenz, [1981] Galerie Paul Maenz, Koeln : ausstellungs saison 1983 84. Hans Haacke, der Pralinenmeister. Koeln : Galerie Paul Maenz, [1981] Keith Haring at Paul Maenz. [Koeln : Galerie Paul Maenz, 1984] Anselm Kiefer / Paul Maenz & Gerd de Vries (hrsg.) ; mit einem Essay von Gudrun Inboden. Koeln : Galerie Paul Maenz, 1986. Joseph Kosuth. Koeln : P. Maenz, 1971. Joseph Kosuth : ten propositions "titled 'Art as idea as idea,'" 1967 and 1968. Brussels ; Cologne : P. Maenz, 1973. The Sixth investigation 1969, proposition 14 = Die sechste Untersuchung 1969, proposition 14 / Joseph Kosuth. Koeln : G. de Vries, c1971. 1970 1975, Paul Maenz, Koeln / [Zusammenstellung der Zitate, Redaktion und Layout, Paul Maenz, Gerd de Vries]. Maenz, Paul. Art Deco : Formen zwischen zwei Kriegen / Paul Maenz. 5. Aufl. Koeln : DuMont, 1990. Peter Boemmels, Furniere, der Schatz = veneers, the treasure / Paul Maenz, Hrg. Koeln : W. Koenig, c1989. Maenz, Paul, 1939 Die 50er Jahre : Formen eines Jahrzehnts / Paul Maenz. 4. Aufl. Koeln : DuMont, 1990. Maenz, Paul, 1939 Die 50er Jahre : Formen eines Jahrzehnts / Paul Maenz. Stuttgart : G. Hatje, c1978. Maenz, Paul, 1939 Art deco : 1920 1940 : formas entre dos guerras / P. Maenz ; [version castellana de Pere Ancochea Millet]. Barcelona : G. Gili, [1974] Reject objects / [Martin Maloney]. Koeln : P. Maenz, 1971. Muelheimer Freiheit : die Seefahrt und der Tod. [Wilhelmshaven : Kunsthalle Wilhelmshaven, 1981] Nieuwe duitse kunst 1, Muelheimer Freiheit : H.P. Adamski, Peter Bommels, Walter Dahn, Jiri Georg Dokoupil, Gerard Kever, Gerhard Naschberger : Groninger Museum, Groningen.

    Groningen : Het Museum, [1981] Una Novia vuelve (a tiempo) : el redescubrimiento del dibujo por el arte de los anos ochenta - 80 obras de una coleccion privada / con una introduccion de Zdenek Felix y fragmentos de un texto de Wolfgang Max Faust = A bride returns (timely) : the rediscovery of drawing through the art of the eighties - 80 works from a private collection / with an introduction by Zdenek Felix and excerpts from a text by Wolfgang Max Faust. [S.l.] : Gobierno de Canarias, c1989. Giulio Paolini, Einladung zur Eroeffnung der Ausstellung bei Paul Maenz, Koeln, am Dienstag, dem 30. Juni 1981, 19 bis 21 Uhr. Giulio Paolini, giorno e notte : Koelnischer Kunstverein 1988. Koeln : Der Verein, [1988] Giulio Paolini, Mannheimer Kunstverein e.V., 31. Juli 28. August 1977. [Koeln] : Paul Maenz : Gerd de Vries, 1977. Paul Maenz, Jahresbericht 1973, Koeln & Bruessel : [Askevold ... [et al.]]. Paul Maenz, Jahresbericht 1977 : Ausstellungen der galerie, 29.01. 25.02. Anne und Patrick Poirier ... [et al.]. Paul Maenz, Jahresbericht 1978. Koeln : P. Maenz, c1979. Paul Maenz Koeln, 1970 1980 1990 : eine Avantgarde Galerie und die Kunst unserer Zeit = an avant garde gallery and the art of our time / Gerd de Vries (ed.). Koeln : DuMont, c1991. Paul Maenz Koeln, Ausstellungen : Herbst 1986 Sommer 1987 = exhibitions autumn 1986 summer 1987. Paul Maenz Koeln, Ausstellungen : Martin Disler ... [et al.]. Koeln : P. Maenz, c1989. Paul Maenz Koeln, Ausstellungs Saison 1984 85. Paul Maenz Koeln, Jahresbericht 1971 : [Barry ... [et al.]]. Paul Maenz Koeln, Jahresbericht 1972 : [art & language ... [et al.]]. Koeln : P. Maenz, c1972. Paul Maenz Koeln, Jahresbericht 1974 : Askevold ... [et al.]. Paul Maenz Koeln, Jahresbericht 1979 : 20.01 28.02. Robert Barry ... [et al.] Koeln : P. Maenz, c1980. Paul Maenz Koeln, Jahresbericht = annual 1976. Paul Maenz, neun ausstellungen 81 82 = nine shows 81 82. Koeln : P. Maenz, c1983. Giuseppe Penone : Museum Folkwang Essen 1.IX. 1.X.1978 / [Redaktion, Paul Maenz, Gerd de Vries ; UEbersetzung des Textes von Germano Celant, Christa Lueck, Gerd de Vries].

    [Essen] : Das Museum, [1978] Raussmueller Sauer, Christel. Die Sammlung FER / Christel Sauer ; Paul Maenz, Hrsg. ; [UEbersetzung, Radka Donnell] Koeln : G. de Vries : Vertrieb, Buchhandlung Walther Koenig, c1983. Peter Roehr, 1944 1968. (Ausstellg.) 15. Jan. 28 Febr. 1971. (Katalog.) Leverkusen, Schloss Morsbroich, Staedtisches Museum [1971]. Peter Roehr : Kunsthalle Tuebingen, Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven, Frankfurter Kunstverein : Tuebingen 15.I. 13.II.1977, Eindhoven 18.II. 20.III. 1977, Frankfurt am Main, 25.III. 24.IV. 1977 / Rudi H. Fuchs ... [et al. ; UEbers. ins Engl., James K. Whitman]. Koeln : DuMont, [1977] Peter Roehr, Saemtliche Textmontagen. Koeln : G. de Vries, 1972. Peter Roehr, Ziffern. Koeln : Gerd de Vries, c1970. Peter Roehr, zum 20. Todestag, 1968 1988. Koeln : Paul Maenz, c1988. Della pittura, imitazione di Wittgenstein = On painting, in the style of Wittgenstein = UEber die Malerei, im Stile Wittgensteins / Salvo ; [translations, Elizabeth Shriver (English), Marianne Wienert Ricci (German]. Koeln : P. Maenz : Buchhandlung Walther Koenig, Distribution. c1986. Salvo, Gemaelde, Manuskripte, Fotos, Zeichnungen, Marmortafeln, Objekte : 21.Januar bis 6. Marz 1977, Museum Folkwang, Essen. Essen : Das Museum, [1977] Salvo, Gemaelde und Zeichnungen, Ausstellung 8. XII. 1984 19. I. 1985 : Galerie Paul Maenz. Vangelo / [storia di Salvo]. Koeln : G. de Vries, 1973. Rob Scholte, Amsterdam : all the portraits up to date, 1983 1988. Cologne : P. Maenz, 1988. Serielle formationen : Studio Galerie, 22. Mai bis 30. Juni 1967 / zusammenstellung und organisation der ausstellung Peter Roehr und Paul Maenz. [Frankfurt : Studio Galerie, 1967] Vries, Gerd de, comp. UEber Kunst; Kuenstlertexte zum veraenderten Kunstverstaendnis nach 1965. On art; artists' writing on the changed notion of art after 1965. [Koeln] M. DuMont Schauberg [c1974] What do you expect ? / edited and translated by Christine Bernhardt ; [Buren ... [et al.]]. Koeln : P. Maenz, 1977.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Galerie Paul Maenz Köln archive documents the gallery's extensive engagement in the promotion of contemporary and avant-garde art in Germany. Maenz represented, exhibited, loaned and sold works by many of the leading artists involved with Conceptualism, the Trans-avantgarde, and German Neo-Expressionism. The bulk of the material spans the gallery's entire operations from 1970 when Maenz first wrote to numerous artists about his tentative plans to open a gallery, to 1990 the year the gallery closed its doors.
    The collection contains letters and papers relating to the day-to-day activities of the gallery. Maenz corresponded with numerous artists, museum personnel, gallery owners, private collectors throughout Europe and North America, and art critics. The content of most letters relates to artists' works and theories, exhibitions and installations, private and public acquisitions, loan and consignment agreements, and photograph requests. There are a small number of financial papers, which almost fully document the gallery's finances from 1979-1980, and reference material in the form of artists' biographies, press clippings and printed matter. Approximately half of the collection consists of photographs, color transparencies, negatives, contact sheets and slides documenting works by artists and almost all of the gallery's exhibitions.

    Arrangement note

    The collection is organized in nine series: Series I. General correspondence, 1970-1990; Series II. Artists' correspondence, 1970-1980; Series III. Loans, 1975-1990; Series IV. Photograph permission requests, 1983-1990; Series V. Financial, 1979-1980; Series VI. Artists' biographies, ca. 1977-1990; Series VII. Clippings and miscellaneous ephemera, 1956-1991; Series VIII. Gallery publications and printed matter, 1970-1990; Series IX. Photographs, ca. 1971-1990

    Indexing Terms

    Subjects - Names

    Maenz, Paul

    Subjects - Corporate Bodies

    Galerie Paul Maenz (Cologne, Germany)

    Subjects - Topics

    Art, German -- Germany -- 20th century -- Exhibitions
    Art, Modern -- 20th century
    Art dealers -- Germany -- Cologne
    Art galleries, Commercial
    Avant-garde (Aethetics) -- Germany
    Conceptual Art
    Art -- Marketing

    Genres and Forms of Material

    Photographs, Original
    Photographic prints
    Slides (photographs)


    Kosuth, Joseph
    Salvo, 1947-
    Rutault, Claude
    Sohst, Gerhard
    Schuyff, Peter
    Sturtevant, 1924-2014
    Sperone, Gian Enzo
    Wéry, Marthe, 1930-2005
    Toroni, Niele, 1937-
    Askevold, David
    Barry, Robert, 1936-
    Bertholin, Jean Marie, 1936-
    Boyle, Mark, 1934-
    Ammann, Jean-Christophe
    Art & Language (Group)
    Fabro, Luciano, 1936-2007
    Endart (Group of artists)
    Dokoupil, J. G. (Jiri Georg), 1954-
    Disler, Martin
    Galerie Paul Maenz (Cologne, Germany)
    Fetting, Rainer, 1949-
    Feldmann, Hans-Peter, 1941-
    Celant, Germano
    Bömmels, Peter, 1951-
    Burgin, Victor
    Buren, Daniel
    De Maria, Nicola, 1954-
    Darboven, Hanne
    Dahn, Walter, 1954-
    Chia, Sandro, 1946-
    Penone, Giuseppe
    Poirier, Anne
    Paolini, Giulio
    Rockenschaub, Gerwald
    Rushton, Dave
    Poirier, Patrick
    Rentschler, Friedrich Erwin
    Hillard, John
    Insley, Will, 1929-2011
    Haacke, Hans
    Haring, Keith
    Krätz, Helmut Anton
    Kiefer, Anselm, 1945-
    Ludwig, Peter