The Olbricht Collection is one of the most extensive private collections in Europe and encompasses works from the early 16th century all the way to the most recent contemporary art. The collection hosts a number of great names, such as Thomas Schütte, Cindy Sherman, Marlene Dumas and Gerhard Richter, alongside young international artists from places like China and South America who are not yet well-known in Germany. Nearly the entire spectrum of artistic media is represented – painting, sculpture, photography, installation and video.
This variety is an expression of the singular personality of the collector. Thomas Olbricht, now in his seventies, is a chemist and a doctor of medicine, an entrepreneur and an endocrinologist with a correspondingly wide range of interests. Existential themes such as love, life, Eros, transience and death form the key programmatic emphases of the collection. Timeless, existential tropes examined in the wider context of history are combined with fresh perspectives on current, contemporary themes. The primary source of inspiration for Olbricht’s collecting was his great uncle, Karl Ströher, who maintained an interest in contemporary art long into his old age.
The selection of artworks, which spans genres and epochs, is as eclectic as it is unusual and purposefully favours surprises and contradictions. The decisive collecting principle is the question of whether an artwork can amaze the viewer, thus eliciting new ways of looking at the world.
On the initiatve of the me Collectors Room Berlin / Olbricht Collection, the website of Berlin Collectors went online in 2014, an association of Berlin’s private contemporary art collections, that are publicly accessible.