Participants with results of the workshop. In the background: Georg Baselitz, two from the photo, 2002 and Georg Baselitz, Mrs. Ultramarin, 2004, (c) Georg Baselitz
All photos: DASMAXIMUM

For two days, they dealt with only two works by a single artist and, in retrospect, had to smile at themselves: the participants in the workshop "KunstBegegnung Baselitz" at the Museum DASMAXIMUM. Because when asked afterwards what they would like to see first on their next visit to the approximately 4,300 m² halls with a good 200 works by nine artists, the answer was unanimous: "Of course these paintings by Baselitz! Now more than ever - like good old friends!

The workshop was a double experiment. Within the framework of the Bavaria-wide model project "gesundwithkunst" by STADTKULTUR Netzwerk Bayerischer Städte e. V. and the AOK Bayern is to find out to what extent the occupation with art influences quality of life and health. For the Museum DASMAXIMUM it is also an attempt to illustrate the concept of the museum's founder Heiner Friedrich. With his idea to show contemporary art as with the Old Masters of the Renaissance as permanently as possible in an installation created directly for the room and in natural light, in order to discover new qualities with each visit, he became a legend.

Also, and especially for the works of the art rebel Georg Baselitz, born in 1938, an introduction with a lot of time was helpful. Tasks such as translating various feelings into a structure of signs, working on the upside-down motif or assembling his colour palette through fragments of magazines or nature allowed the artistic work to be traced without many words and to explore together why Baselitz is one of the world's most important artists today.

The "KunstBegegnung" was developed in close cooperation with the museum team by the art educator Susanne Frigge and was run together with the doctor Dr. Petra Härtl. The participants were supported in taking their time, getting involved with the works of art and training their senses in active design. Those involved in the evaluation of "gesundwithkunst" commissioned Medical School Hamburg sent the art therapist and gerontologist Michael Ganß to accompany the project and evaluate it in a subsequent discussion with the participants.

They were all positively surprised: the project manager about the openness and energetic, quiet concentration during the work phases and the 11 participants about their exceeded expectations. "You also have to go back two steps to look at the work from a different perspective, just like in life," was the conclusion, and that it was precisely the guidance in the group that made persistent concentration possible. The experience of the participants probably spoke from the soul of the museum founder: "Art forces you to be in the moment! The fact that it is possible in the workshop - as generally in the DASMAXIMUM - to encounter this present time and again, completely undisturbed, was expressed with great thanks to the founder and the sponsors of the "art encounter". One went in with a focus on results, but was able to relax and let go in the atmosphere of the "KunstBegegnung".

Of course, it is not the individual museum visit or the unique encounter with a work of art which, as was believed in the Middle Ages, could cure the sick, says Michael Ganß. To get involved with art, he says, requires challenge and courage. Art creates a space for self-knowledge and self-efficacy. In the Museum DASMAXIMUM, projects like this one are a constant source of experience: the promotion of creative thinking, of self-perception and the experience of one's own competence to act has almost therapeutic aspects and thus creates a basis for resilience. This is why it is so important to offer and develop good mediation formats with professional support. With the support of this initiative of the DASMAXIMUM museum and its circle of friends and sponsors, STADTKULTUR und AOK have also succeeded in stimulating new impulses in health promotion.

Further information on the "healthy" projectwithart" you will find here.