Heiner Friedrich

Heiner Friedrich ( born April 14, 1938 in Szczecin ) is a German art dealer, gallery and museum founder. He was the initiator of the Dia Art Foundation.


Heiner Friedrich was born as the son of metal goods manufacturers Harald Friedrich. He grew up first in Berlin, then in the tranquility of the Upper Bavarian Kirchberg. First he was interested in literature. He learned by his first wife Six Friedrich Franz Dahlem 1962 peers know which inspired him to contemporary art. On July 23, 1963, he opened with his wife and Dahlem Six in Munich, Galerie Friedrich & Dahlem. In exhibitions, he shows the unknown at this time minimum, land art and conceptual artist Joseph Beuys, Sigmar Polke, Gerhard Richter, Donald Judd, Michael Heizer, Cy Twombly, Walter De Maria and Andy Warhol.


In their rooms at the Maximilian Strasse 15, then in a newly established branch in Cologne, present Heiner Friedrich and Franz Dahlem an astonished audience - for the first time in Germany - an Earth Room, a gallery space, the Walter De Maria was filled with 50 cubic meters of earth ( 1968). For the first time in Friedrich & Dahlem 1964 were the scriptural " scribbled drawings " Twombly and the resulting art from commercially available fluorescent light from Dan Flavin to see (1968). In July 1964 an exhibition of fourteen paintings by Gerhard Richter took place. The molded bent, painted car sheet metal parts scrap sculptures by John Chamberlain, now in the inventory of many museums were shown in Germany for the first time by the two gallery owners. The from rusty, square steel plates designed in serial stringing floor sculptures of Carl Andre are now held by the Museum of Modern Art in Frankfurt am Main. " Baselitz, Polke and Palermo, at that time still unknown and virtually unsalable, were also part fixed to the gallery program [ ... ] "

1966 Dahlem different from the common gallery and advised the Darmstadt art collector Karl Ströher value, but the two friends continue to work closely together. The gallery could Ströher for the work of Joseph Beuys interest and represented the first contact between Ströher and Beuys ago. By Dahlems perseverance and Frederick bravado almost all were acquired in 1967 shown at the Museum Mönchengladbach work in the Beuys exhibition or donated by Beuys as an encore for the collection Ströher, which in Darmstadt Block Beuys: created (today Hessian State Museum in Darmstadt ). In 1969, she convinced Franz Meyer, issue the Block Beuys titled works from the Ströher collection at the Kunstmuseum Basel.

Dahlem and Frederick were the initiators in another major acquisition Ströhers: In the early 1960s, put the New York real estate brokers Leon Kraushaar from Lawrence, Long Iceland, an extensive collection of pop. After his death in September 1967 Kraushaar decided widow, providing a complete package the now greatly increased in value collection of over 160 objects for sale. The two Munich gallery owner flew with Ströher to New York and made the purchase perfectly. The collection consisted of six images of Roy Lichtenstein, 21 objects by Claes Oldenburg, six pictures and objects by Andy Warhol, 15 pictures of James Rosenquist, 7 pictures of Tom Wesselmann and other works of other American artists, including Jasper Johns and Walter De Maria. This part of the Ströher collection is now in the Museum of Modern Art in Frankfurt.

1969 Friedrich was able to place an exhibition of his house artist Franz Erhard Walther under the title Diary at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

A proposal of Frederick to install as part of the art program at the 1972 Olympics a vertical Earth Kilometer by Walter De Maria, was rejected by the Munich city administration. The fruitless confrontations with the authorities and the exhaustion that set by the rhythm in the monthly recurring exhibitions, Friedrich could dissolve all connections and commitments to Munich. Shortly after the failure of the De Maria installation, he flew to New York and settled there. The project of the vertical Erdkilometers was realized only in 1977 at Documenta 6.

New York

In the same year he opened in New York City, 141 Wooster Street in SoHo, the Heiner Friedrich Gallery new and stayed true to its artists. The first exhibition was again Walther De Maria and the Earth Room devoted located as an installation under the title The New York Earth Room since 1977 in the premises. He wanted to " [ ... ] the high speed current exhibition mode, in which a show the next chased, [ ... ] oppose something permanent. "

In 1974, Friedrich with art historian Helen Winkler and his future wife, Philippa de Menil (* 1947 in Houston ) collect, in New York, the Dia Art Foundation, a project to secure Frederick's conception permanently support the artists of his circle patron of the arts, works and exhibitions should organize. Philippa de Menil was the daughter and youngest child of the Texas art collectors John and Dominique de Menil couple that. Using the shares of the oil company Schlumberger Ldt Had become billionaires. Philippa was the aunt of the early- late artist Dash Snow.

With Frederick ideas and connections and the ever-flowing money of De Menils the institution quickly became a New York Great work in the art business. Were supported, in addition to building the collection and exhibitions, especially projects, " which, by their nature or their size, " were not feasible on a commercial basis.

For Walter De Maria, a 75 -square-mile area near Quemado was purchased in New Mexico to build its installation Lightning Field with 400 stainless steel rods. The minimalist musician and composer La Monte Young was in New York to build his sound architecture Dream House in a building. As the largest projects the slide funded kind since 1977 Donald Judd's Museum of the Pecos, were bought at the next several buildings in Marfa, Texas, 140 acres of pasture, and James Turrell's land art and light projections Roden Crater in Flagstaff, Arizona, where a 4.8 km ² large site was purchased with a crater.

In 1984, the Dia Art because of a sharp decline of Schlumberger shares in financial distress, homes and pictures of the collection were sold, set supports and projects. The artists felt betrayed, Judd threatened with a lawsuit. Heiner Friedrich and Philippa lost their position in the management.

DASMAXIMUM Art Contemporary

On a downtown area in the Bavarian Traunreut Friedrich founded in 2011 under the title Art Contemporary DASMAXIMUM a private art museum and built it previously used in industry production halls on 3000 m² in a daylight museum has to offer. Shown here are four German and four American artists who decisively characterize such diverse movements such as Pop Art, Minimalism, Conceptual Art, Land Art, and new expressive figuration until today. On display are works by Georg Baselitz, John Chamberlain, Dan Flavin, Imi Knoebel, Walter de Maria, Uwe Lausen, Andy Warhol and the German painter Maria Zerres. They are among the closest companions of Heiner Friedrich, who as a gallery in Munich, Cologne and New York, the execution of permanent presentations of art made ​​it his motto since its inception.

The artists are represented with large-scale series of works, with works by American artists put a special emphasis. So there are more than 20 pictures of Andy Warhol, each with its own halls for the sculptures of John Chamberlain and Walter de Maria, as well as an old school house where the light installation of all "European Couples " by Dan Flavin, the Association of American and German art since the leads 1960s before his eyes. Frederick colleague Franz Dahlem is a consultant.

Heiner Friedrich and Philippa live and work in New York.


  • Georg Baselitz: One week. Folder with seven drypoint etchings, edition of 52 copies, 1972