Thrill of Deception

Opening: Thursday, February 21, 2019, 7 pm

With 280,000 visitors, the exhibition in Munich was a real blockbuster. In February 2019, the exhibition – a collaboration between the Kunsthalle Munich and the Ludwig Forum for International Art – is coming to Aachen. From February 22 to June 30, 2019, and with around 100 works, it will offer an overview of appearance and illusion in art, from antiquity to the latest virtual reality artworks.

In contrast to the exhibition in Munich, the Ludwig Forum will focus more on contemporary art, right through to immersive works that use digital technology to immerse viewers in artistic virtual worlds. Numerous works from the collection of Peter and Irene Ludwig will contextualize and expand the exhibition.

The exhibition Thrill of Deception shows how artistic deception continually re-emerges, readjusting to the shifting parameters of truth and lies, existence and appearance, reality and deception, illusion and reality. In the 21st century, the age of Photoshop, fake news, and social media bots, the criteria formerly used to identify deception have been supplemented by hybrid forms such as “alternative truths” and “fictional reality,” which contribute to a general sense of uncertainty. As a result, it is almost impossible for modern humans to determine the truthfulness of this flood of images and information and thus to avoid being manipulated.

It is important here to refine our sense of objectivity and hone our senses. To this end, the exhibition Thrill of Deception is supplemented by a rich event and education program that aims to stimulate a highly relevant discussion about the profound changes in the digital age and our society.

Artists in the Exhibition:

Laurie Anderson & Hsin-Chien Huang, Tim Berresheim, Manuel Boden, Louis-Léopold Boilly, Mark Boyle, Julius Brauckmann, Cornelis Brisé, Franz Buchholz, Henri Cadiou, Vija Celmins, Oliver Cieslik & Barbara Schenk, Chuck Close, Edwaert Collier, Daniel Crooks, Matthew Day Jackson, Jacques de Gheyn II, John De Andrea, Thomas Demand, Melchior d´Hondecoeter, Jan Dibbets, Jim Dine, Pierre Ducordeau, Sam Durant, Don Eddy, Anna Ehrenstein, Rainer Eisch, Mona el Gammal, Richard Estes, De Scott Evans, Firma Kraus, Walchenbach & Peltzer, Daniel Firman, Sylvie Fleury, Ceal Floyer, Will Fredo, Tom Früchtl, Pierre Gilou, Robert Gober, Duane Hanson, Jeppe Hein, Oliver Herring, Lynn Hershman, Leeson, Bastian Hoffmann, Suse Itzel, Christian Jankowski, Karl-Heinz Jeiter, Howard Kanovitz, Alexander Kluge, Thomas Lambertz, Constantin Leonhard, Auguste & Louis Lumière, Emmanuel Maignan, Manufaktur Choux, Niderviller, Straßburg, Lucy McKenzie, Georges Méliès, Matthäus Merian d. Ä., Roland Mertens, Philipp Messner, Monogrammist CMK, Vik Muniz, Jud Nelson, Till Nowak, Evan Penny, Markus Raetz, Hans Peter Reuter, Gerhard Richter, Randall Rosenthal, John Rummelhoff, Andreas Slominski, Monika Sosnowska, Nancy Stevenson Graves, Elaine Sturtevant, Akihiko Taniguchi, Toast VR, Michael Triegel, James Turrell, Lina Uchida, Ron van der Ende, Han van Meegeren, Jens Volbach, Andy Warhol, Julia Weißenberg, Matthias Wollgast, Liu Ye


An extensive catalog accompanying the exhibition with 264 pages and approx. 200 color illustrations has been published by Hirmer Verlag. Edited by Andreas Beitin and Roger Diederen, with contributions from the neurosciences as well as art, cultural, and media history by Andreas Beitin, Ute Engel, Margit Kern, Rudolf E. Lang, Susanna Partsch, and Monika Wagner.

Curator Team Aachen: Andreas Beitin and Annette Lagler

Curatorial Assistant: Dominik Bönisch

Exhibition assistance: Marie Gentges


Unknown, Replica of a Wooden Door in Stone from the Mastaba of Seshemnefer (II.), from Giza, Old Kingdom of Egypt, 5th Dynasty, c. 2400 BC, 129.5 x 110.7 x 41.7 cm, limestone, Roemer-Pelizaeus Museum Hildesheim © Roemer-Pelizaeus Museum Hildesheim, Photo © Shahrokh Shalchi

Georges Méliès, Portrait of a Man, c. 1883, 63.5 x 52 cm, oil/canvas, Wallraf-Richartz Museum & the Fondation Corboud, Cologne, © Rheinisches Bildarchiv Köln, rba_d031940, photo © Sabrina Walz

Chuck Close, Richard, 1969, acrylic, charcoal and chalk on canvas, 274 × 213 cm, 274 × 213 cm Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst Aachen, loan of the Peter und Irene Ludwig Stiftung © Chuck Close, Courtesy Pace Gallery, Foto © Ellen Page Wilson, Courtesy Pace Gallery

James Turrell, Elliptical Glass: KEPLER 452 b, 2017,Glass, LED, steel, Corian, opening 120 × 76 cm, construction 240.6 × 135 × 37 cm, 150 min. loop Private collectionVaduz, Courtesy Häusler Contemporary, München | Zürich, © James Turrell, Courtesy Häusler Contemporary München | Zürich, Foto © Florian Holzherr.

Tim Berresheim, Aspettatori bugged out I (Eye & World), 2014, 240 x 180 cm, diasec, Ludwig Forum for International Art Aachen, loan of the Peter and Irene Ludwig Foundation © Tim Berresheim and SNA – Studios New Amerika GmbH

Ludwig Forum Aachen
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