The rural German town of Duderstadt may seem an unlikely destination for contemporary art pilgrims, but a new museum opened by Professor Hans Georg Näder is set to raise its cultural cachet. The art collector and entrepreneur has turned his personal home into the Kunsthalle HGN, a private exhibition hall showcasing artworks by the likes of Dan Flavin, Bernd and Hilla Becher and Helmut Newton against the region's idyllic landscape.
Unlike with most other private galleries, Näder aims to bring in otherwise unseen or inaccessible works from fellow collectors to showcase alongside pieces from his own collection, exhibiting everything from paintings, graphics and sculpture to vintage photographs and video installations. To complement this multi-faceted approach, local architect Harald Schmidt has devised a spacious 650 sqm hall with a workshop-like sentiment.
The gallery, a sophisticated construction of industrial beams, glass and exposed brick, is spread over five levels. Ceiling heights range up to a generous 4m, allowing vast amounts of light to filter into the exhibition space. The surrounding grounds also include a sculpture park.
Since its inception in December 2011, the gallery is constantly being refined and has tested the waters with two small shows last year. An exhibition of Helmut Newton and František Drtikol, pioneers of nude photography, attracted over 6,500 visitors. A second show highlighted the more obscure work of multi-disciplinary artist Neo Rauc, alongside photographs by Roger Ballen, Ralph Gibson and André Gelpke to name a few.
On 7 June, the museum will officially open all of its public spaces, including a library and multimedia theatre, with a further extension and café planned for later. And in anticipation that a lack of suitable accommodation might deter visitors, Näder has opened the Hotel zum Löwen, an art-centric boutique hotel (also designed by Schmidt) conveniently located 10 minutes away by foot from the gallery in Duderstadt's historical centre.