Michael Werner donates 130 works of art to Paris museum

Michael Werner, a major German art collector and dealer, has made an extensive donation to the Musee d’Art Moderne in Paris.
Mr Werner has gifted 130 pieces of art in total, which includes works by Marcel Broodthaers, James Lee Byars, Gaston Chaissac, Andre Derain, Otto Freundlich, Etienne-Martin, Robert Filliou, Antonius Hockelmann, Jorg Immendorff, Per Kirkeby, Wilhelm Lehmbruck, Markus Lupertz, A.R. Penck, Bernard Requichot, Niele Toroni and Don Van Vliet.
In celebration of this, the museum will hold an exhibition showcasing the collection from October 5th 2012 until March 3rd 2013.
The influential art personality, who runs a number of galleries in Berlin, Cologne and New York – with one opening up in London this year – is well admired in the industry, having worked with some of the leading artists of the 20th century.
“It is basically a sentimental choice. It was a visit to this museum very early on in my career that profoundly changed my understanding of and relationship to art,” explained Mr Werner of his decision to make the donation.
“In 1962, Georg Baselitz and I travelled to Paris to see an exhibition of Jean Fautrier at the museum and it had a serious emotional impact on me. The exhibition was full of strange and extraordinary paintings and the atmosphere of the show was all encompassing and I was very moved.”
He added that although he had worked in a gallery for a few years prior to that experience, art had, up till that point, not moved him in a profound sense. That show changed everything for him.
“I am not a religious man but it was like a religious conversion,” Mr Werner concluded.
Fabrice Hergott, director of the Musee d’Art Moderne, commented that this donation represented the most “significant enrichment” of its collection in nearly 60 years.