Photos: Jürgen Friedrich, Mechthild Kirchner and Leanda Kirchner

With the opening of the DIRECT ART GALLERY

the Aktion-Kunst-Stiftung is pioneering new ways.



Although “Outsider Art” is currently enjoying great attention, there are few professional galleries representing and promoting contemporary artists with intellectual or mental handicap. By positioning the DIRECT ART GALLERY in the center of the well-known galleries and museums of the attractive art metropolis Dusseldorf, Germany; its wide Outsider Art network becomes part of the contemporary art discourse.


Initiator Klaus-Peter Kirchner and art historian Natasha Kirchner have set the goal of presenting artistic positions of Outsider Art in exhibitions and publications. The aim of DIRECT ART GALLERY is to present intersections between the form and content of this art, leading to the formation of some brand new concepts. The gallery sees itself as a platform to sustainably promote talented artists with intellectual or mental handicap and great artistic potential.


The unique concept of DIRECT ART GALLERY is based on a twenty-five years old structure in which the interaction with artists with intellectual or mental handicap is of primary importance. In the early stages of his artistic career, artist Klaus-Peter Kirchner has already dealt with forms and expressions of individuals with mental disabilities. His fascination with the unusual artistic language and the intensity of these works was crucial for the decision to promote talented artists within his own studio. Time and space for artistic creation, the provision of professional materials and the mutual exchange of ideas within the studio even today, favor the individual and free development of these artists. Back in 2007, this work has been honored, along with three other projects, in the Dusseldorf parliament, with an extensive exhibition and a publication.


Klaus-Peter Kirchner has since curated exhibitions in which he puts his thematic focus on both classical and contemporary outsider art. The exhibition „The humanity painter - Graphics by Friedrich Schröder-Sonnenstern“ is an example of dealing with an artist who has been shown in numerous exhibitions in recent years, including the Venice Biennale.


In other projects Klaus-Peter Kirchner presented outsider positions along with works of established artists. Content and form connections ensured an enthralling communication between these works.


Out of a strong desire to provide the highest level of promotion for highly talented artists with disabilities within the solid political and social structures, Klaus-Peter and Mechthild Kirchner founded the foundation “Aktion-Kunst-Stiftung” in 2011.


Dealing with the content of Outsider Art in the form of exhibition work, regular publications, art historical work-up, collection building, lectures and symposia, as well as direct support to the artist through professional artistic trainings, constitute the basic objectives of “Aktion-Kunst-Stiftung”.


Furthermore the “Aktion-Kunst-Stiftung” awards the Outsider Art Prize „InTime“ every three years, the first of which was presented in 2012. The jury of experts nominated the works of their choice, which were then presented in a large group exhibition at the Museum Liesborn Abbey. The award was then handed out to the most deserving candidate under the patronage of the 1st Vice President of the Landtag NRW, Eckhard Uhlenberg ,who has been a strong supporter of “Aktion-Kunst-Stiftung” from the beginning.


The activities of the “Aktion-Kunst-Stiftung” also include direct support to artistically talented people with disabilities in a summer academy as well as in the continuing „Open Studio“ in Soest.


The DIRECT ART GALLERY is a non-profit organization, and all the generated funds are only used for the achievement of the objectives set forth by “Aktion-Kunst-Stiftung”.