press release

200 years of Kunstverein in Hamburg

In 2017, the Kunstverein in Hamburg is celebrating its 200th anniversary. Since 1817, the Kunstverein in Hamburg has been a leading platform for the study, production, and exhibition of contemporary art. It is the oldest art institution in Hamburg, and one of the earliest of its kind in Germany. Throughout the year, the Kunstverein in Hamburg will highlight its rich and eventful history with exhibitions, special presentations, panel discussions, the release of a comprehensive publication, a charity auction, an official anniversary ceremony, and last but not least a big party.

The History Show

3 Hamburger Frauen, Werner Büttner, Dani Gal, Beate Gütschow, Burk Koller, Daniel Knorr, Katrin Mayer, Christian Philipp Müller, Olaf Nicolai, Marjetica Potrč and her HFBK class Design for the Living World, Franz Erhard Walther

How to deal with the 200-year history of the Kunstverein? Invite artists and turn it upside down with them. The History Show casts a retrospective view on the history of the Kunstverein and questions the past from a present-day perspective. The focus is on artists connected to the Kunstverein in Hamburg and who work with its history in a discursive way. The following thematic fields are commented and reflected upon: Citizens and Bourgeoisie, Pictorial Inventions—Formal Inventions, Landscape and Homeland, Religion and Sentiment, Political Movements, Identities, Institutional Critique, Dignified—defamed—destroyed, Rehabilitation of Modernism and GDR Art in the FRG. The structure Rotherbaum by Olaf Nicolai arranges the different contributions. By combining works produced specifically for the exhibition with photographs, texts, and further documents from 1817 until today, the show reflects the history of the Kunstverein at the present and simultaneously raises questions of a possible future.

The project was realized in cooperation with the Department of Art History at Universität Hamburg headed by Prof. Dr. Uwe Fleckner and is based on the scientific review of the 200-year history of the Kunstverein. Curated by Bettina Steinbrügge and Corinna Koch.

With the kind support of the Ministry of Culture of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, the Hamburger Sparkasse, the Körber-Stiftung and the Department of Art History, Universität Hamburg.