Charly. Karl-Heinz Rummeny

„Bye, bye my beloved parking garage. Last Monday I said farewell alone to the space where I organized exhibitions for 24 years, initially with my 2 friends Jost and Gregor, and from 2008 on by myself. 184 exhibitions, more than 400 artists have presented their works here. At the end of last week, the building was demolished to make way for a new one. But it was not just the wonderful space with its proportions and its modesty amid the beautiful natural scenery, although that was part of it, but it was primarily the energy that could be felt here, the energy of art and its creators. And that lives on. Personally, I will continue regardless, and I’m actually looking forward to new places and the future. In the place where the parking garage was, or nearby, I will plant an oak tree with a basalt stone in honor of Joseph Beuys. The money for this has already been donated, but I want to plant more trees in Düsseldorf … Then, part of my Beuys collection will be exhibited in Belgrade at the Goethe Institute in 4 weeks and I will travel there and also give a lecture on Beuys’s works. There are also some nice plans for next year. But for now I want to say thank you, including thanks to the association that gave me a beautiful space here for 24 years, and thanks to all the participants and helpers. There will certainly also be an exhibition about PARKHAUS in Malkastenpark, and a second book documenting the exhibitions from 2011 to 2021 will also be published. But also thanks to the space, which worked out so well and where Michael Sailstorfer hid a diamond in 2016, which has now also ended up in the rubble. FREEDOM was possible in this space, precisely because it was so unpretentious and ‘went along with everything,’ even though it had no heating. And it wasn’t that damp either, most of the time the space was ‘dry’ and a beautiful stage, a sanctuary of art, a treasure room. The memory of the many exhibitions will remain…..” (Karl-Heinz Rummeny on Facebook, 28 July 2021)

Karl-Heinz Rummeny (born in Bad Lippspringe in 1956, died in Düsseldorf in 2022), whom his elder friends called Charly, loved and lived for art. His career and activities were incredibly diverse: Whether as an artist, art historian, author, art dealer (at Artax), collector, or exhibition organizer at PARKHAUS in the park of the Düsseldorf artists’ association Malkasten, his enthusiasm and passion were legendary, and his small exhibition space was an important hub of the scene.

Rummeny studied art history in Cologne, then went to Düsseldorf to Gerhard Richter, who encouraged him to study art education at the Kunstakademie Münster with Timm Ulrichs. After a brief period of study with Ulrichs, he returned to the Rhine, to the Hochschule Düsseldorf and the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, where he studied with Gerhard Hoehme and Fritz Schwegler and earned his degree as an art educator.

In 2008 the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf presented a retrospective on the first 15 years of PARKHAUS, number 75 in the series. The 180th exhibition at PARKHAUS, some early works and a new one (24 October – 11 November 2020), which was almost the last, focused on Rummeny and his art.

Now the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf will once again honor the life and work of Karl-Heinz Rummeny in an exhibition in four parts: his work, his collection, “his Beuys,” and his PARKHAUS. The project is being conceived as a collaboration with the artist’ association Malkasten, of which Karl-Heinz Rummeny was an honorary member, and which planted an oak tree in Malkastenpark in his memory on 6 May 2023.

The exhibition is curated by Jost Wischnewski and Gregor Russ with Rosilene Luduvico and Takeshi Makishima, in collaboration with Alicia Holthausen, Gregor Jansen, and Jörg Schlürscheid from the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf.

With the kind support of ARTAX Kunsthandel Ralph Kleinsimlinghaus KG and Family Rummeny.