Every Truth has Four Corners. Art from Berlin: Works from the Volker Diehl Collection

Every Truth has Four Corners
Art from Berlin: Works from the Volker Diehl Collection
Curator: Mark Gisbourne

Duration: 20.03-9.05.2021
Opening: 19.03.2021, 6:30 p.m.

The collector and gallery owner Volker Diehl (b. 1957) attests to the immediate interrelationship between personal commitments of acquisition as an art collector, and the expansive commercial or transactional side of the art business. While educationally he has a strong background in art history, and aware of its developmental potential, as a gallery owner he has integrated the past and present, the earlier historical and the immediate contemporary in his extensive gallery programming. The idea that the present is better understood in relation to that which has gone before was evident in the role he played in the founding of art fair ART FORUM Berlin in 1996, and equally as its subsequent administrative director. From his time as a personal assistant to Christos Joachimides and Norman Rosenthal for the now famous ZEITGEIST exhibition that took place in Berlin (1982), there has been a vein of individualism and collector acquisition enhanced by a broad sense of internationalism, an awareness of the wider scope of art.

In over forty years of active collecting his private art collection has amassed nearly a thousand works. Whereas in the current exhibition installation entitled EVERY TRUTH HAS FOUR CORNERS, the public experiences but a small part of what remains an extensive private art collection. The collection as a whole has intuitive and expressive strands that convey a sense of the many creative and diverse aesthetic practices that have been followed throughout the collector’s lifetime as a gallery owner. And as an international dealer in contemporary art Volker Diehl has, in consequence, worked and dealt with some of the greatest artists of Germany’s post-war and contemporary period. This said Diehl has always had a strong interest in art from Eastern Europe, notably Russia where for some years he ran a second gallery. This gives a noticeable and further frisson or inflection to the Diehl collection, that is as something that becomes singularly idiosyncratic and unique when contrasted to the collected Haitian Vodou art images and syncretic objects he has acquired. In fact echoes of the sacred and the profane run alongside each other in the Volker Diehl collection. A meditation perhaps, of George Bataille’s famous observation that “extreme seductiveness is at the boundary of horror.”

Notwithstanding such creative polarities the approach to installation has been thematic, looking at observable and distinguishing strands or lines of visual enquiry. The four chosen strands of presentation therefore focus upon post-war and contemporary works of art. The lines follow intellectual enquiries that run in parallel to the collector’s lifetime. By intention they offer a sense of reflection and a meditation on the singularity of Diehl’s eye and his wider international viewpoint, a continuing passion for the minimal and for conceptual construction, concluding with an alternative imaginative space that deals with the powerful proclivities of fetishism and the fantastical. While the chosen foci of selection do not reveal all of Volker Diehl’s pictorial visual interests as a collector, they do nonetheless point to the dominant avenues of private acquisition and a personal collecting sense of intellectual enquiry. In other words they mark out the self-made corners that shape the character and instigate the boundaries of an individual life.

Mark Gisbourne
Curator of Every Truth Has Four Corners

Every Truth has Four Corners is the next exhibition of the series launched in 2019 presenting world art collections and their creators.



Marc Adrian / AES + F / Martin Assig / Blue Noses / Martin Borowski / Sergej Bratkov / KP Brehmer / Killlian Breier / Hal Busse / Zofia Butrymowicz / Carmen Calvo / Olga Chernysheva / Jhonny LHerisson Cineus / Simon English / Amélie Esterházy / Constantin Flondor / Thomas Florschuetz / Nadine Fortilus / Hermann Goepfert / Ivan Gorshkov / Claudia Hart / Susan Hefuna / Marta Hoepffner / Zhang Huan / Ritzi & Peter Jacobi / Minjung Kim / Shigeko Kubota / Tadaaki Kuwayama / Heinz Mack / Alexander Maximov / Christian Megert / Boris Mikhailov / Christiane Möbus / Vlad Monroe / Paul Neagu / Lev Nussberg / Viktor Novatzki / Jolanta Owidzka / Aidan Salakhova / Gregor Schneider / Sudarshan Shetty / Alexey Shulgin / Turi Simeti / Ioana Maria Sisea / Tomoko Takahashi / Richard Tuttle / Grazia Varisco / Jef Verheyen / Herman De Vries / Günter Weseler / Tom Wesselmann


Organizer: OP ENHEIM
Sponsorship: Womak Holding SA


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