Langen Foundation near Neuss, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany is a museum designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando. The foundation showcases a collection of Oriental Art and Modern Art. It is located on the grounds of the Museum Insel Hombroich.
The museum was created on grounds which used to be a NATO rocket base. The building has double-skin volume and two half-buried temporary exhibition wings with a total area of 900 m2; the structure mainly consists of reinforced concrete, glass and steel. The museum offers three exhibition spaces totalling an area of 1,300 square metres. Situated within the ground-level concrete slab is the so-called Japan Room – an unusually long and narrow gallery conceptualised by Ando as a space of “tranquillity” especially for the Japanese segment of the Langen Collection. The two subterranean exhibition rooms, with a ceiling height of a surprising eight metres, were in turn designed to accommodate the modern part of the collection. The museum opened to the public in 2004.
Marianne Langen's collection of Japanese art, once mainly housed in Switzerland, consists of about 500 works dating from the 12th to the 19th century. Her husband, Viktor, who held several patents for technical innovations in automobile production, had traveled regularly to visit customers in Japan, where the couple's collection was formed. The Langen residencies in Meerbusch, Germany, (built by Georg Lünenborg, 1954/55) and Ascona, Switzerland, were full of paintings and sculptures that were periodically interchanged. The Langen's collection of modern art includes works from major artists such as Paul Cézanne, Max Beckmann, Andy Warhol, Mark Rothko, Jean Dubuffet, Francis Bacon, and Sigmar Polke. In addition, Viktor and Marianne Langen closely followed the Zero movement. Artists like Heinz Mack, Otto Piene, and Günther Uecker from the Langens’ Düsseldorf environment became part of the collection, as did Lucio Fontana and Yves Klein.
In 1979 the collectors erected a private museum in Ascona to house their collection of Japanese picture scrolls. Since 2004 the Langen Collection has been situated in the art and exhibition facility of the Langen Foundation. Marianne Langen, who paid weekly visits to the construction site, died in February 2004 without seeing the finished building.
In 2014, the Langen consigned ten works of art to be auctioned at Christie’s in New York, including Fernand Léger’s Grande Nature Morte (1939), George Braque’s Le Modèle (1939), Picasso’s Portrait de femme (Dora Maar) (1942) and Wassily Kandinsky's Strandszene (1909).
- Tadao Ando: Langen Foundation, Hombroich - Neuss Missile Station, 2 November - 7 December 2003 Aedes West, Berlin.
- History Langen Foundation.
- David Galloway (September 25, 2004), Hombroich's 'Treasure Island' New York Times.
- Katya Kazakina (April 3, 2014), Monet Water Lilies, Picasso Lovers Star in $360 Million Auction Bloomberg.
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