The 20th century as never seen before

The 20th century as never seen before

Daimler Art Collection

Novecento mai visto, 2013. Exhibition view, Museo di Santa Giulia, Brescia, Italy, 2013. Photo: Jürgen Altmann, Stuttgart.

June 13, 2013

Novecento mai visto (The 20th century as never seen before) 

Highlights from the Daimler Art Collection 
From Albers to Warhol to (now)

March 8–June 30, 2013

Museo di Santa Giulia
Via de Musei, 81
25121 Brescia, Italy

The Daimler Art Collection is presenting a guest exhibition at the Museo Santa Giulia in Brescia, its first in Italy. Novecento mai visto (The 20th century as never seen before) includes some 200 works by around 100 international artists, which range from 1909 up to now, as well as two site-specific installations by Nic Hess and Luca Trevisani.

Alongside classic examples of Constructivism and Concrete Art through Minimalism and Conceptual Tendencies the exhibition also presents installations, photographs and videos by renowned contemporary artists. The exhibition is further enhanced by two new commissioned works by the Swiss artist Nic Hess and the Italian Luca Trevisani, which appear in specific areas of the museum. Alongside the Daimler exhibition there is another exhibition dedicated entirely to Italian art, which is titled From De Chirico to Cattelan, featuring works of the last century, which have been acquired by public and private collections in Brescia. In the history of Museo di Santa Giulia, Novecento mai visto will be the first comprehensive presentation of contemporary art.

Novecento mai visto is an exhibition project initiated by the Daimler Art Collection, which was founded in 1977. The internationally renowned corporate collection comprises some 2,000 works focusing on the abstract avant-garde, young media artists as well as commissioned works around automobile themes and includes 30 large-scale sculptures in various publicly accessible locations. It focuses on the area of twentieth-century Abstract Art: from the circle of artists around Adolf Hölzel in Stuttgart in the nineteen-tens, Bauhaus, Constructivism, Concrete Art, the European Zero avant-garde, Minimalism, Conceptual tendencies, and Neo Geo, all the way to the most recent contemporary art. The collection has so far been seen in temporary exhibitions in international museums among others in Singapore and São Paolo, Tokyo, Madrid, Buenos Aires and Vienna. 

This first comprehensive presentation of the Daimler Art Collection in Italy takes place at the unique Museo di Santa Giulia in Brescia, a recently added UNESCO World Heritage site. The museum is a monastic complex of Lombard foundation—and with display areas covering 14,000 square meters, offers a journey through Brescia’s history, art and spirituality from prehistoric times to the present day. The former Benedictine convent of San Salvatore – Santa Giulia was founded in 753 AD. The complex site is composed of parts from many different epochs: a stratification of memories and a continual source of unexpected discoveries. It was built on the ruins of impressive Roman town houses and includes the Lombard church of San Salvatore and its crypt, the Romanesque Santa Maria in Solario, the Nuns’ Choir, the sixteenth-century church of Santa Giulia and the monastery cloisters. 

As starting point for the exhibition serve some masterpieces from Classical Modernism, with important works from the German Bauhaus, from Constructivism and Concrete Art, e.g. by Josef Albers, Willi Baumeister and Max Bill, who are key artists of the Collection. The second part of the exhibition is dedicated to the European ZERO avant-garde. which was founded by Heinz Mack and Otto Piene as an artists’ association in 1957 and became an European movement in the 1960s. Subsequently Novecento mai visto showcases classics of the Minimal Art movement from North America and Germany, among them works by Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, Ulrich Rückriem or Charlotte Posenenske, all dating from around 1970s. 

In the following contemporary part the exhibition highlights five comprehensive monographic presentations by internationally renowned artists. These work groups by Andy Warhol, John M Armleder, Sylvie Fleury, Philippe Parreno and Martin Boyce have been acquired over the course of the last 25 years and nowadays represent an ideational core of the Daimler Art Collection. Another expanding focus of the Daimler Art Collection is on new media art, including photography, video and multimedia-installation, which are frequently committed to socio-critical, political and cultural issues of contemporary society, as for example the works by Berni Searle, David Goldblatt, Pamela Singh, Sigalit Landau, Alfredo Jaar, and Santiago Sierra. The final section of this exhibition deals with commissioned works relating to the automobile. In 1986, on the 100th anniversary of the invention of the motor car, the Daimler Art Collection asked Andy Warhol to look at the motif of a car as an icon of mobility. This famous series provides now the origin for other car-related work commissioned to Robert Longo, Simone Westerwinter, or Sylvie Fleury. 

A unique key component of the exhibition is a comprehensive educational program for school and college students in Brescia, which will be developed in collaboration with the education department of the Museum. The aim of the program is to examine the content of the exhibition, its works and artists as part of school lessons or studies. The educational program also includes a guided tour through the exhibition and a 200-page book for free about the exhibition. In the run-up to the exhibition, museum employees, school teachers, professors, and art history students will be trained to provide their audiences with key information and a lot of interesting details. A shuttle service has been set up by Daimler AG to transport students from their schools to the museum. With this offer to the schools and higher education institutions in Brescia, Daimler wants to offer an important and sustainable contribution to art education. 

Max Ackermann (D), Saâdane Afif (F), Josef Albers (D), Jane Alexander (ZA), Getulio Alviani (I), John M Armleder (CH), Kirstin Arndt (D), Jean Arp (F), Richard Artschwager (USA), Robert Barry (USA), Willi Baumeister (D), Max Bill (CH), Zander Blom (ZA), Madeleine Boschan (D), Martin Boyce (GB), Sarah Browne (IRL), Daniele Buetti (CH), Daniel Buren (F), Ian Burn (AUS), Andre Cadere (PL), Enrico Castellani (I), Dadamaino (I), Hanne Darboven (D), Eckhard Schene (D), Adolf Fleischmann (D), Sylvie Fleury (CH), Andrea Fraser (USA), María Freire (UY), Liam Gillick (GB), Hermann Glöckner (D), David Goldblatt (ZA), Camille Graeser (CH), Dan Graham (USA), Marcia Hafif (USA), Richard Hamilton (GB), Jan Henderikse (NL), Nic Hess (CH), Albert Hien (D), Ester Hiepler (D), David Hockney (GB), Adolf Hölzel (D), Alfredo Jaar (RCH), Donald Judd (USA), Bernhard Kahrmann (D), Joseph Kosuth (USA), Alicja Kwade (PL), Sigalit Landau (IL), Maria Lemmé (UA), Sol LeWitt (USA), Richard Paul Lohse (CH), Robert Longo (USA), Heinz Mack (D), Marcellvs L (BR), Mathieu Mercier (F), John McLaughlin (USA), Otto Meyer-Amden (CH), Jonathan Monk (GB), François Morellet (F), Kirsten Mosher (USA), John Nixon (AUS), Rupert Norfolk (GB), David Novros (USA), Patrick Fabian Panetta (D), Giulio Paolini (I), Phillipe Parreno (DZ), Henk Peeters (NL), Charlotte Posenenske (D), Martial Raysse (F), Peter Roehr (D), Ulrich Rückriem (D), Robert Ryman (USA), Tom Sachs (USA), Michael Sailstorfer (D), Pietro Sanguineti (D), Bojan Šarčević (RS), Oskar Schlemmer (D), Andreas Schmid (D), Lasse Schmidt Hansen (DK), Berni Searle (ZA), Sierra Santiago (ES), Roman Signer (CH), Pamela Singh (IND), Monika Sosnowska (PL), Jesus-Rafael Soto (VE), Ferdinand Spindel (D), Natalia Stachon (PL), Klaus Staudt (D), Haim Steinbach (IL), Katja Strunz (D), Elaine Sturtevant (USA), Vincent Szarek (USA), Carmelo Tedeschi (I), Jean Tinguely (CH), Luca Trevisani (I), Georges Vantongerloo (BE), Michel Verjux (F), Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart (D), Franz Erhard Walther (D), Andy Warhol (USA), Simone Westerwinter (D), Georg Winter (D), Andrea Zittel (USA), Heimo Zobernig (A)

Novecento mai visto is presented by Mercedes-Benz Italy.


Highlights from the Daimler Art Collection: The 20th century as never seen before
RSVP for The 20th century as never seen before
Daimler Art Collection
June 13, 2013

Thank you for your RSVP.

Daimler Art Collection will be in touch.


e-flux announcements are emailed press releases for art exhibitions from all over the world.

Agenda delivers news from galleries, art spaces, and publications, while Criticism publishes reviews of exhibitions and books.

Architecture announcements cover current architecture and design projects, symposia, exhibitions, and publications from all over the world.

Film announcements are newsletters about screenings, film festivals, and exhibitions of moving image.

Education announces academic employment opportunities, calls for applications, symposia, publications, exhibitions, and educational programs.

Sign up to receive information about events organized by e-flux at e-flux Screening Room, Bar Laika, or elsewhere.

I have read e-flux’s privacy policy and agree that e-flux may send me announcements to the email address entered above and that my data will be processed for this purpose in accordance with e-flux’s privacy policy*

Thank you for your interest in e-flux. Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.