Founded in 1976 The Ludwig Museum is Cologne’s answer to The Tate Modern or MoMa. Not only is it the city’s largest contemporary art gallery but it houses one of the world’s most extensive Pop Art collections. Resting at the foot of Cologne’s iconic cathedral or ‘Dom’ the museum’s prominent location makes it impossible to miss. Yet it wasn’t until I found myself with nothing to do on a a rainy Monday that I finally walked through its illustrious doors.
Last week the museum celebrated the opening of a new exhibition: ‘Ludwig goes Pop’ an exclusive display of Peter and Irene Ludwig’s very own Pop Art collection that will be running until January next year. The museum was named after the Ludwigs for a reason and whilst normally a private collection would not be substantial enough to give an overview of an entire art movement, theirs, is an exception to the rule.
The breadth of collection is such that the show has been divided into no less than eleven sections. From ‘Con-sumption is cool’ to ‘Stars and Starlets’ visitors are treated to an in-depth and accessible study of everything and anything Pop Art. From Warhol’s most iconic work to a more obscure Paolozzi sculpture, nothing has been left out.
Physically and conceptually the exhibition is flawless although personally I realised that I don’t much like Pop Art. Whilst being surrounded by brash aesthetics and crass colours made me want to get the hell out of there, this is probably the precise reaction that the Pop Artists wished to provoke from their audience in the first place.