Kurt Schwitters realised his “Merzbau“ from 1923 - 1936 as a private space within his studio. It is an example of fantastic architecture; during the years of its development, the space was increasingly altered and, with time, also became more and more introverted. This was Schwitters’ way of further developing his “Merz“ principle to its full potential. The original “Merzbau“ was destroyed in a bomb raid in 1943. In 1983, based on three photographs from the period, the space was re-constructed and later donated to the museum.
El Lissitzky was contracted for the "Kabinett der Abstrakten" (1927) by Alexander Dorner, the then director of the gallery of paintings at the provincial museum in Hanover. The space was to present art developments considered to be representative for the era. In addition to El Lissitzky’s own work, there were pieces by Pablo Picasso, Fernand Léger and Kurt Schwitters in this vividly contrasting architecture with its rigid black and white, grey as well as red accents. After the work was destroyed in 1937, the space was re-constructed in 1969 based on the original designs for the space. In 1979 it was installed at the Sprengel Museum Hannover.
To mark the opening of an extension at the museum in 1992, James Turrell created an installation especially for the Sprengel Museum Hannover, consisting of four different types of light that allow visitors to perceive space in different ways. This work of art is also typical for the developments in the artist’s style since 1967. Visitors to this installation are able to experience light in its own right in very different ways while the meditative qualities of light affect them.
In 1995, Wolfgang Laib realised an installation entitled “Nirgendwo“ ("Nowhere") in an isolated space that forms a link between the new extension and the old museum building. He installed gargantuan slabs of granite to hang above the visitors’ heads. On them, three huge ship-shaped forms made entirely of beeswax can be perceived, primarily due to their smell. When visitors enter the barely-lit space, they are overwhelmed by the sweet smell of honey. As they go deeper into the room, which appears to become continually smaller, they are confronted by an overwhelming quiet. Nothing moves in this unreal space, the place between “where movement and silence are united“.
The Friends of the Sprengel Museum Hannover e.V. (Society) procured an ensemble-installation by Daniel Spoerri , namely the “Tilted Room - Based on a Small Nouveau Réalisme Exhibition from around 1960, re-created by Daniel Spoerri in 2007“, for the Sprengel Museum Hannover’s collection early in 2008. Spoerri had already given cause for irritation in his exhibition entitled "Dylaby" (1962) at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam by tilting a room at a 90 degree angle. The artist also created a space for the Sprengel Museum Hannover with re-created works by Christo, Gérard Deschamps, François Dufrêne, Raymond Hains, Yves Klein, Martial Raysse, Mimmo Rotella, Niki de Saint Phalle and Jean Tinguely. By doing so, Spoerri realised a poetic homage to the ideas of the “New Realists”, who represented the avant-garde movement in Europe around 1960. Their forward-looking approach to a new era was the inspiration for this piece.