A NEW NAME - THE SAME VISION
The collector and patron Paul Ege (1936–2019) was born in Freiburg i.Br. and was a senior partner of the long-established Alexander Bürkle company there until 1999. After completing an apprenticeship as a businessman, he became managing partner at the age of twenty-five. From 1961 to 2000, he successfully managed the company—today, the electrical wholesaler and technology service provider employs 800 people in twenty-two branches across Germany.
Paul Ege began collecting art together with his wife Helga as early as the 1950s. From the 1990s, he made the collection accessible to the public in various locations. Since 2004, it has been housed in a professionally run, museum-like venue known until 2019 as Kunstraum Alexander Bürkle in the north of Freiburg on Robert-Bunsen-Strasse, and presented in varying contexts on approximately 1,000 square meters of exhibition space. Also on the initiative of Paul Ege, the Alexander Bürkle Group has been awarding the Alexander Bürkle Art Prize since 2007, endowed with 10,000 euros, to young visual artists from the tri-border region between Switzerland, France and Germany every three years.
In 2008, Paul Ege transferred the private art collection to a non-profit organization, the Ege Art and Culture Foundation, which has been running the exhibitions and managing the collection since 2015. From September 2019, the art collection will operate under a new name for the first time: From now on, it will be known as the Paul Ege Art Collection (PEAC)—and thus directly name its originator Paul Ege, who passed away in June 2019.
The Paul Ege Art Collection is one of the most extensive and important collections in Europe in the field of Radical Painting. Well-known artists including Marcia Hafif, Joseph Marioni, Phil Sims, and Günter Umberg are represented in the collection with important works. Together with numerous works by Peter Tollens, Dieter Villinger, Marc Angeli, Martina Klein, Stephan Baumkötter, Winston Roeth, and Rudolf de Crignis, the collection offers a representative and high-quality overview of chromatic painting up to the present day.
The overview of the collection has been further sharpened in recent years by acquisitions in the field of Minimal Art, with works by Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, Sol LeWitt, Carl Andre, or Fred Sandback. Parameters such as material, space, and color that were radically rethought at the time, as well as the relationship between materiality and visuality, are being further considered by the youngest generation of artists represented in the collection, including, for example, Reto Boller, Henrik Eiben, Michal Budny, Sebastian Dannenberg, and Myriam Holme.
Finally, recent acquisitions in the fields of photography and video (including Jörg Sasse, Axel Hütte, Elger Esser, and Dieter Kiessling) have begun to close the last important gap. In this way, the collection is also distinguished by the way it considers how the younger generation of artists continues to explore the relationship between materiality and visuality in their images—whether painted, drawn, photographed, filmed, or installed. The intensive examination of the abstract image and its essence in art deliberately leads up to the present.