At a Magical Schloss Filled with Art

Jackie Pinto | June 2, 2023 | Art

Svasa Life was invited to cover a spring vernissage at a unique Harrenhaus in Wickstadt near Frankfurt. Home to Shadi and Herwig Ganz, it featured two renowned artists – Kevin Clarke and Prof. Johannes Brus.

Shadi Ganz an international contemporary artist and gallerist held her spring vernissage on April 29 at her beautiful 250 year heritage mansion that was once a Cicterian monastery. Built in 1792 by the monks of Arnsburg Abbey there is nothing austere about the Ganz mansion with its gleaming white walls, arched doorways, picture windows, glittering chandeliers and vaulted ceilings. Just 30 minutes North of Frankfurt, in a little hamlet called Wickstadt, it is surrounded by beautiful lush gardens, fairytale forests, winding rivers and fields of gold and green – indeed, it is the perfect setting for paintings, sculptures, art soirées and cultural events!

Artworks at the exhibit

In fact, Wickstadt was also a place where OSHO set up his little commune and intrigued the reticent German aristocrats of the area with groups of saffron clad devotees chanting and singing in the very same fields and forests. Now the idyllic Hessen countryside serves as a backdrop for art and culture exchanges at the impressively restored Ganz Harrenhaus (heritage home) where art collectors, art historians, photographers and artists from across the world are invited to participate in carefully curated art residencies, exhibitions and cultural exchanges on a regular basis. 

Shadi and her husband Herwig spent the last 35 years living and working around the world, including in Bangalore, India and now back in their home country have converted the beautiful upper floor of the mansion into a gallery while her own atelier is ensconced in her private quarters below. 

Her latest exhibition features a stunning body of work by Kevin Clarke and Professor Johannes Brus curated and presented by art expert Manfred Möller, the Director of ‘Edition Minerva’ and ‘Der Kunsthandel Verlag GmbH’.

Kevin Clarke

Kevin Clarke and Herwig Ganz

Moller  regularly presents international artists at famous venues like Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana in Venice, Centre Pompidou in Paris, Art Forum in Vienna and the National Museum of Bavaria in Munich, amongst others worldwide. 

The exhibition was opened by well-known art historian Dr. Friedhelm Häring who also introduced the two participating artists.

American born artist Kevin Clarke is famous for conceptual portraits where he combines a metaphoric photographic image with his subject’s DNA sequence to create unique DNA portraits. Born in New York City, Clarke’s works have been exhibited worldwide and have remained as part of the collections of many renowned museums, such as the Smithsonian in Washington, the London Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum Wiesbaden, as well as numerous collectors’ such as William Copley, John Cage and James Watson, the Nobel Prize winner and researcher of DNA structure. 

Curator Manfred Moller, Director of Edition Minerva and Der Kunsthandel

Prof. Johannes Brus, on the other hand, studied sculpture at the State Academy of Art in Düsseldorf and was a master student of the sculptor Prof. Karl Bobek. A recipient of multiple international awards, he has taught at the Braunschweig Academy of Fine Arts and his students included prominent artists like Katharina Grosse, Karin Kneffel, Mathias Brock and Tim Berresheim. Brus is both a sculptor and photographer and his experiments with material, shape, surface, and colour have garnered critical acclaim internationally although critics are hard pressed to decide if he uses ‘photography as an inspiration and template for sculpture or sculpture as an inspiration and motif for photography’. His work has been presented at iconic art venues like the Museum Kunstpalast in Düsseldorf, Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco and the Lehmbruck Museum in Duisburg.

Shadi Ganz with a Brus sculpture in the background

As a sculptor, he enjoys working with concrete, plaster, bronze or silicone and creating large, almost-rough, impressive pieces that impact the viewer, drawing attention to the sheer physicality, power and mass of his sculptures. He deliberately reveals his manufacturing process, leaving traces of fingerprints, machine and cast seams that are easily detected by even the casual viewer – at the Ganz mansion his stunning animal motifs of the eagle, the horse, the elephant and the rhinoceros were displayed. His photographic works are marked by large-formats, dazzlingly colored surfaces that are a result of a special design and alienation process he has invented and perfected through multiple exposures, overexposures, chemical processing and coloration. His works have nothing in common with the term ‘picture perfect’ – on the contrary they are almost surreal-mystical and even occult like, with a distinct touch of humour. 

Dr Eckhard Weisel (Director Complan & Partner with artwork by Kevin Clarke)

Speaking on the occasion Manfred Moller, thanked the hosts, Shadi and Herwig Ganz  for putting together an art immersive experience stating, “After a whirlwind tour organizing exhibitions in Venice, Munich, Istanbul and Berlin, I am especially delighted to be able to curate an exciting art show in a historical home dedicated to art and culture. This is our first exhibition in this beautiful locale. I feel like we have served an ace at the start of a Wimbledon tournament, and will definitely be back soon with many other great international artists.”

Referencing the Osho presence in the area, art historian Dr Häring said, “The historical Herrenhaus home in Wickstadt has been witness to a long history of intellectual and artistic churn going back to the 80s, where the Osho movement brought the idea to Europeans to talk about our emotional blockages, and to eliminate them by acting, dancing, singing and movement. We learned to work on our bodies, to gain freedom, and express our emotional state. At that time Wickstadt was a place for love and Rock ‘n Roll. Wickstadt rocks again tonight…through art and expression.”




Words by Jackie Pinto.

Photographs by Andreas Luerding.

One thought on “At a Magical Schloss Filled with Art

  1. Dear Jackie,
    Thank you for writing this compelling and elegant report on your visit to Art Herrenhaus, Wickstadt, and our exhibition. I am very grateful for your account of your visit and thrilled that you shared this with your readers.
    I hope you had a pleasant return to Bangelore and may we meet you aagain soon.

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