Modern Art: Museum-goers invited to kick off their shoes at latest exhibition


Like much of that which passes for modern art, the works on display at Frankfurt’s Museum fűr Moderne Kunst are prone to draw reactions ranging from the skeptical to outright laughter, confusion to simple appreciation.

Museum-goers interact with a sculpture by Brazilian artist Helio Oiticica. Photo left: A visitor makes her way up one of the staircases in the building (see above) designed by Austrian architect Hans Hollein. Museum-goers interact with a sculpture by Brazilian artist Helio Oiticica. Photo left: A visitor makes her way up one of the staircases in the building (see above) designed by Austrian architect Hans Hollein. Museum-goers interact with a sculpture by Brazilian artist Helio Oiticica. Photo left: A visitor makes her way up one of the staircases in the building (see above) designed by Austrian architect Hans Hollein.

The latter is particularly true of its current exhibition, “The Big Labyrinth,” works by Helio Oiticica. With many of the installations by the Brazilian artist being interactive — visitors are invited to slip off their shoes and to wander among plants and chattering parrots on sand-strewn paths, to find their way through various mazes or to handle objects — visitors old and young can easily relate to the tactile environment.

Other works of art in the contemporary art museum, which opened in 1991, offer the gamut of experiences — rooms where visitors are exposed to a video recording of a fashion show where all of the models are encased in colorful rubber suits, giant clay blobs courtesy of German artist Joseph Beuys, sketches by Andy Warhol and various paintings, sculptures and installations by noted and less famous artists of the minimalist and popular art worlds.


With ever-changing exhibitions featured along with the standing collection, viewers are sure to discover something new upon each visit.

But it is the building itself which draws the most attention from visitors. Designed by Austrian architect Hans Hollein, the “wedding cake,” as it has been nicknamed by the citizens of Frankfurt, is situated just up the street from the Frankfurter Dom (cathedral) and a block away from the Roemer.

Upon entering the oddly shaped structure, one is immediately struck by the asymmetrical atrium with its high ceiling and small overlooking balconies where fellow visitors gaze down as much in awe of the view from above. At various levels throughout the museum one is repeatedly confronted with unique views of the oddly disorienting staircases that ascend and descend past each floor while connecting one level to the next. It’s a little like wandering into an M.C. Escher graphic.

It’s as much an adventure to explore the various nooks and crannies of the museum, to gaze from its windows out onto the surrounding cityscape and to watch fellow museum-goers as they make their way up and down the strangely juxtapositioned staircases as it is to contemplate the works contained within.

The museum’s current exhibition of Oiticica’s works continues through Feb. 2.

The Museum fűr Moderne Kunst is located at Domstrasse 10 in Frankfurt. Admission to the museum, which includes entrance to the next door Zollamt (former Customs House) gallery, is €10 for adults or €5 for students.

The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It stays open until 8 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Two-day Museum Ticket

People wanting to spend a couple of days exploring the many museums located all over Frankfurt should consider purchasing a two-day Museum Ticket. It costs  €18 for adults, €12 for students. A two-day family Museum Ticket is available for €28.

Visit www.mmk-frankfurt.de/en/home for more information about the museum and upcoming exhibitions.