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Dennis Oppenheim «Gallery photos»
Dennis Oppenheim, «Gallery photos», 1974 – 1979
Photograph: Kunstmuseum Bonn | © Dennis Oppenheim

 Dennis Oppenheim
«Gallery photos»

In the wake of the meanwhile deceased Gerry Schum's 'Video Gallery' and the 'Projection' film and video gallery founded by Ursula Wevers in 1972, the art collector Ingrid Oppenheim decided to open a gallery in Cologne in 1973. She took up the cause of a whole generation of visual artists denied access to the established art market. With the benefit of hindsight, it was above all the affiliated, purely art-oriented video studio that made the gallery's name – as, among other things, a production site – in Germany during the1970s, and played a vital role in advancing the integration of the video medium into the fine arts. The studio opened on 20 October 1974 with a performance by Ulrike Rosenbach and Konrad Schnitzler. By 1979, the owner of the gallery had produced and collected 146 videos and films by 41 artists including Klaus vom Bruch, Michael Buthe, Astrid Heibach, Mike Hentz, Christoph Kohlhöfer, Klaus Mettig, Marcel Odenbach, Sigmar Polke, Ulrike Rosenbach, Katharina Sieverding, and Klaus Staeck.
When in 1980 financial reasons forced Ingrid Oppensheim to give up her gallery (in which her role had always been more one of patron than profit-oriented dealer), she placed the collection on permanent loan to the Kunstmuseum in Bonn, where a new presentation space was created for its exhibition.