The Klang.Licht.Raum Foundation and the DASMAXIMUM Museum mourn the loss of Heike Friedrich (*14.4.1938 - 28.12.2023), twin sister of art patron and museum founder Heiner Friedrich, and her life partner Uli Schägger (*16.07.1949 - 24.12.2023), who passed away last week within a few days of each other at their shared home in Polling (near Weilheim).

Heike Friedrich and Uli Schägger in front of the Warhol portrait they donated to the DASMAXIMUM museum. © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, Photo: DASMAXIMUM

Heike Friedrich grew up with her two brothers Holger and Heiner, first in Szczecin, Berlin and later Upper Bavaria, where her father Harald Friedrich founded the Alzmetall company in Altenmarkt in 1945. While Heiner Friedrich opened a gallery for contemporary art in Munich in 1963 and worked mainly in North America for the arts from 1972 onwards, Heike Friedrich was active in youth work and psychological support for children and young people in Munich for many years before she, together with Uli Schägger and her foundation the Dream House in Polling, a unique venue for contemporary art in Germany. A trip in the nineties to art venues in the USA such as the Lightning Field of Walter De Maria in New Mexico or the (Chinati Foundation by Donald Judd in Marfa, which was supported by the DIA Art Foundation have become milestones of contemporary art, also led Heike Friedrich and Uli Schägger to the Dream House by La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela in New York.

With this walk-in Gesamtkunstwerk of sound, light and space, the artist couple had created a place where all the senses are addressed and the boundaries between visual art and music are blurred. With his musical pieces, whose compositions are based on extended durations, pure tuning or complex mathematical calculations, La Monte Young was regarded as a pioneer of contemporary music. Deeply impressed by this "Sound and Light Environment", Heike Friedrich and Uli Schägger opened the world's only other Dream House.

La Monte Young in front of "The Well Tuned Piano in the Magenta Lights" at Dream House Polling, 2011, Photo: Marian Zazeela, (c) La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela

After an intensive search, they found the building belonging to a large baroque monastery complex in the municipality of Polling, around 60 km south of Munich. Rainbow stadiuma building formerly used for agricultural purposes. They had it rebuilt according to the specifications of the artists, who later visited Polling several times to give concerts.Polling has been a cultural center and place of monastic teaching and research for centuries. This history, the outstanding buildings from the Baroque period and the charming surrounding landscape have since formed a uniquely harmonious environment for the permanently installed work of La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela. The Dream House invites visitors all year round to intensively absorb the visual and acoustic impressions and to recognize changes and reflect on their own perception during recurring visits over the years and seasons. Until recently, Heike Friedrich and Uli Schägger welcomed visitors themselves during weekend opening hours and worked tirelessly to ensure an undisturbed experience of the artwork in the extensive sequence of rooms. Over the years, the two have organized a large number of concerts, public rehearsals and symposia, most recently a concert for Heike Friedrich's 85th birthday in April 2023.

The focus is on the artwork and the visitor's independent experience. Dream House as well as in the museum founded by Heiner Friedrich in 2011 DASMAXIMUM ArtGegenwart in Traunreut, which Heike Friedrich has accompanied and supported from the very beginning. She reaffirmed her special connection to the museum in 2019 with the generous donation of a self-portrait created by Andy Warhol in 1966, which she had originally received from her older brother Holger, who had died in a plane crash in 1971. This added an outstanding work from the earlier years to the existing focus on Warhol's works from the 1980s.

Heike Friedrich (left) and Michael Jarnach on the "Oak planting in honor of Joseph Beuys" 2022 in Polling. Photo: B. Theodorff

In 2017, Heike Friedrich and Uli Schägger made a significant contribution to Dan Flavin's monumental work Untitled, 1970a 30-meter-long barrier of red and blue fluorescent light, in the baroque building operated by Michael and Dorothea Jarnach, Fisherman's building found a permanent installation site in Polling, a former beer cooling house of the monastery. Flavin's light art brings the history of the monastery site and its inherent exploration of spirituality and the Christian metaphysics of light into the present in a groundbreaking way. In April 2022, Heike Friedrich realized an "oak planting in honour of Joseph Beuys" in front of the gates of the historic monastery church, a project of the DASMAXIMUM museum initiated by her brother Heiner Friedrich, which was inspired by Joseph Beuys' action "7000 oaks. Stadtverwaldung statt Stadtverwaltung" for documenta7 in Kassel in 1982. Polling thus joined a network of more than forty planting sites throughout Germany that continues to promote Joseph Beuys' idea of social sculpture.

Heike Friedrichs and Uli Schägger's great wish Dream House with the museum DASMAXIMUM and thus create a central institution for American art of the 1960s that reaches into space, will unfortunately only be fulfilled after her death.

From January 13, 2024 the Dream House in the Regenbogenstadl in Polling is open again for its regular winter opening hours on Saturdays from 3 - 5 pm.