Süddeutsche Zeitung vom 2. Februar 2018

Süddeutsche Zeitung from February 2, 2018

Caption for the illustration: The members of the Munich artists' cooperative royally privileged in 1868 seek to engage with form and color in representation. Here's Klaus Soppe's "Brave Boy".

Royal networkers

The Munich artists' cooperative was royally privileged in 1868
is looking for opportunities for renewal in its 150th anniversary year


Munich artists' cooperative royally privileged in 1868. That sounds snoring and like the Royal Bavarian District Court. That Alpen-Kasperl TV court theater from the 1970s, which gave the image of Bavaria in the eyes of the residents north of the Weißwurst equator about as much cultural influence as the OhnesorgTheater gave to the television audience south of the Low German language border. Yes, it sounds "dusty," admits the president of the royally privileged artists' cooperative, Paul Martin Cambeis. "But I am totally against abolishing the addition - even if it sounds like something out of a mothball." Because as a Bavarian, he also has “a soft spot for royalty.”

The MKG now also has a Facebook presence and a newsletter
But Cambeis has wanted to get the Munich Artists' Cooperative, or MKG for short, out of the mothballs in which it often remains in the eyes of the public since he took office last year. The 150th anniversary year should be a year of renewal. The first steps are done. For the anniversary exhibition, an artist portfolio is being published for the first time, in which all members are presented. And the catalog was also revised to mark the anniversary. There is also a Facebook presence and a newsletter. That would certainly have pleased Franz von Lenbach, the painter prince and gifted networker who was once president of the MKG. Cambeis, a painter, draftsman, sculptor and self-taught coach, wants the artists' association as an organization to make the leap into the 21st century. "And to do that, the members have to retrain," he emphasizes. Even if the average age of the members is "60 plus." Just be a member and be at the annual exhibition
present, that is not enough. They have in mind a kind of academy in which artists learn to express themselves in real life and on social media platforms
to better represent, to document their work in an appealing way,
Conduct sales discussions and make contacts. Want to do that
the 53-year-old offers seminars. But he still encounters reservations when he talks about self-marketing, which also includes networking and small talk. For his part, he started organizing a network meeting with the other artist associations.
Of the five Munich artist associations, the MKG is not only the oldest,
but also the largest with currently just over 100 members.
Albeit far removed from the importance he once had with artists
like Franz von Lenbach, Gabriel and Emanuel von Seidl, Ferdinand von Miller,
Wilhelm Busch and Carl Spitzweg had. Just a few years after it was founded, the MKG had 554 members, and by 1891 there were 955. They took part in world exhibitions in Paris and Sydney, and for decades the Glass Palace was the place where the annual exhibition had its permanent place.
With the Künstlerhaus on Lenbachplatz, which opened in 1900 and is under construction
Franz von Lenbach was realized, an appropriate one was available
Representation - and with the ballroom and the Allotria artists' cellar
also about places of sociability. The artists' house could be operated
not, but people remained loyal to him. Disbanded by the National Socialists in 1939, the MKG was re-founded in 1949. With interruptions until 2012, the Haus der Kunst was the place where the exhibition was presented annually. Since 2014, the royally privileged artists' cooperative has been hosting its annual exhibitions in the Egyptian Museum. But this year we also have an old one
Reviving tradition and from now on will award a medal of honor annually to people who have made outstanding contributions to art in Munich. This year it was awarded to Maja and Peter Grassinger from Künstlerhaus am Lenbachplatz.
Artistically, the MKG continues to focus on figurative-objective painting,
Committed to graphics and sculpture. In the current anniversary exhibition
111 artists (including some guest exhibitors) present 169 exhibits.
"One of our demands is still that you master the craft," says Paul Martin Cambeis, specifying the club's criteria. The graduate of the art academy often goes back to his training center to talk to students and promote the MKG. Because that's what he wants Fill the royal privilege with new content and “charge it with a new attitude”. In addition: Some of the academy classes are definitely in line with the royal privileged in terms of their artistic orientation. If only the name wasn't so dusty...
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