“Is it art or can I throw it away?” Museum employees in the city of Leverkusen once took a famous artwork by Joseph Beuys — a baby bathtub full of gauze bandages, copper wire and grease — and scrubbed it clean so that they could wash glasses in it after an event. In another misunderstanding that was widely circulated, the artist’s famous “Fat Corner” also landed in the rubbish bin. And in 2011 a poor cleaner at the Ostwall Museum in Dortmund scoured out a bathtub exhibited as “When It Starts Dripping from the Ceiling” — thus stripping it of its value as a work of art.
Nor have the works of Banksy been spared from construction workers’ paintbrushes or the efforts of zealous cleaners. Art has always received differing receptions. How art is defined, whether or not it’s pleasing, and whether it has lasting appeal has also always depended on you, the viewer. At the annual DC Open art show, art galleries and museums in Düsseldorf and Cologne exhibit a cornucopia of contemporary art of every kind. Whether you’re an art enthusiast, a collector or an art expert, we invite you to set out on a journey of discovery across city limits!