Institution

 

 

KW Institute for Contemporary Art aims to approach the central questions of our times through the production, display, and dissemination of contemporary art. Since its inception more than 30 years ago, KW has established itself, not only as an institution, but also as a dynamic and lively space for progressive practices within the Berlin art scene, as well as in an international context. By means of exhibitions and various event formats, KW has aligned itself towards the current tendencies of the national and international art and cultural discourse, and has actively developed them on a collaborative level with artists, institutions, and by means of commissioned works. As an institution for contemporary art without a collection of its own, the team at KW maintains a high degree of flexibility in creating its programs and addressing its audience.

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Under the responsibility of director Krist Gruijthuijsen, the current program evolves around the central objective of using the participating artists’ perspective as a starting point, entailing their subjects and points of view as ways to reflect on social and political issues. The institution is thereby conceived as a social space that facilitates contemplation and exchange between different protagonists and cultures, consistently challenging its audience. The building complex includes exhibition halls, apartments, offices, and event spaces, as well as the Café Bravo in the courtyard, that was designed by Dan Graham in 1999.

 

In addition to its internationally renowned exhibition program, KW collaborates on a regular basis with national and international partners, such as MoMA PS1, the Biennale di Venezia and Documenta in Kassel.

 

KW Institute for Contemporary Art is institutionally supported by the Senate Department for Culture and Community. The program of KW is kindly supported by the KW Freunde e. V.

History

 

KW Institute for Contemporary Art, also known as Kunst-Werke Berlin, was founded by Klaus Biesenbach, Alexandra Binswanger, Clemens Homburger, Philipp von Doering and Alfonso Rutigliano in a derelict former margarine factory in Berlin-Mitte in the early 1990s. Since then, KW has contributed significantly to the development of Berlin as an international center for contemporary art.

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In 1995, the heritage-listed front building from the late 18th century as well as the factory building, which dates back to the 1870s, were acquired by the Berlin Lotto Foundation after the settlement of pending restitution claims and made available to KUNST-WERKE BERLIN e. V., the support association of KW, for cultural use.

 

Thanks to the support of the national urban heritage conservation program, the foundation for heritage conservation, as well as the Berlin Lotto Foundation, the KUNST-WERKE BERLIN e. V. was able to renovate the buildings and add two new annexes: Café Bravo, designed by American artist Dan Graham, and realized in cooperation with the architect Johanne Nalbach, and the expansion of the transverse wing of a 400 m² exhibition hall by the Berlin architect Hans Düttmann. When the newly renovated buildings of KW reopened in autumn 1999, the complex had several office and studio spaces in its side wings, one of the most beautiful courtyards in Berlin-Mitte, and 2,000 m² of exhibition space spread across five floors at its disposal.

 

Since 1998, the exhibition spaces are also used every other year by the Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art. Founded through a private initiative in 1996, the Berlin Biennale has been receiving exclusive funding as a lighthouse project from the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation) since 2004. Since then, KUNST-WERKE BERLIN e. V. functions as the support association of the Berlin Biennale.

 

In 2016, it was decided to restructure KUNST-WERKE BERLIN e. V. and form two institutional branches: KW Institute for Contemporary Art and the Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art. Gabriele Horn—the successor of Founding Director Klaus Biesenbach who had served as Director of both institutions since 2004—remained Director of the Berlin Biennale while Krist Gruijthuijsen was appointed new Director of KW Institute for Contemporary Art in July 2016.

 

Since its inauguration, KW has aimed to critically examine current tendencies within society through the production, display, and discourse of contemporary art. By means of exhibitions, commissioned works, and various event formats, KW has aligned itself with the national and international art and cultural discourse through collaborations with artists and other institutions.

 

Over the years, many outstanding artists have presented their first solo exhibitions as well as significant new works at KW, amongst others, Absalon, Kader Attia, Kate Cooper, Keren Cytter, Anna Daučíková, Ceal Floyer, Cyprien Gaillard, Beatriz González, Sidsel Meineche Hansen, Judith Hopf, Channa Horwitz, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Hanne Lippard, Renata Lucas, Hiwa K, Annette Kelm, Adam Pendleton, Mika Rottenberg, Christoph Schlingensief, Hassan Sharif, Wael Shawky, Santiago Sierra, Ryan Trecartin and Lizzie Fitch, as well as Ian Wilson.

 

Thematic shows and group exhibitions such as 37 Räume (1992), when tekkno turns to sounds of poetry (1995), Stand der Dinge (2000), Territories (2003), Zur Vorstellung des Terrors: Die RAF-Ausstellung (2005), Into Me / Out Of Me (2006), History Will Repeat Itself. Strategies of Reenactment in Contemporary Art (2007), Seeing is Believing (2011), One on One (2012/13), Fire and Forget. On Violence (2015), or The Making of Husbands: Christina Ramberg (2019/2020) have shaped the profile of KW and continuously influenced the international art discourse.

 

The artistic team of Krist Gruijthuijsen currently consists of Nadim Samman as Curator for the digital sphere, Sofie Krogh Christensen as Associate Curator, Léon Kruijswijk as Curator, Linda Franken as Assistant Curator, Lara Scherrieble as Curatorial Assistent, Nikolas Brummer as Public Program and Outreach Coordinator as well as Marc Hollenstein as Graphic Designer. Previous members of the artistic team count Anna Gritz as Curator (2016–2022), Maurin Dietrich as Assistant Curator (2016–2019), Cathrin Mayer as Assistant Curator and Curator (Parental Leave Replacement) (2016–2020), and Tirdad Zolghadr (2016–2020), Clémentine Deliss and Mason Leaver-Yap as Associate Curator.

 

Earlier curatorial staff members of KW also count Anselm Franke (2001–2006), Susanne Pfeffer (2007–2012), and Ellen Blumenstein (2013–2016) as Chief Curators. Internationally renowned guest curators were furthermore regularly invited to develop their exhibition projects within KW.

Team

 

Organisation and Management 

 

Krist Gruijthuijsen
Director

 

Friederike Klapp 

Office Manager to the Director 
fk@kw-berlin.de 

 

 

Artistic Office 

 

Léon Kruijswijk

Curator

 

Nadim Samman

Curator Digital Sphere

 

Sofie Krogh Christensen
Associate Curator

 

Linda Franken

Assistant Curator

 

Lara Scherrieble

Curatorial Assistant

 

Nikolas Brummer

Public Program and Outreach Coordinator

 

Mathias Wölfing

Head of Production

 

Claire Spilker (on Parental Leave)

Head of Production

 

Wilken Schade
Technical Management

 

Bryn Veditz

Registrar

 

Luisa Haustein

Assistant Registrar

 

Aykon Süslü

Academic Trainee

 

Pauline Jacob

Intern

 

Swantje Eden

Intern

 

 

Design

 

Marc Hollenstein

 

 

Press and Communication

Anna Falck-Ytter

Head of Communication and Marketing

afy@kw-berlin.de

 

Marie Kube

Head of Communication and Press

mlk@kw-berlin.de

 

Luisa Schmoock

Assistant Press and Communication KW Digital Program

lus@kw-berlin.de

 

Alena Beyer

Intern

 

 

Education and Mediation

 

Laura Hummernbrum

Head of Education and Mediation

 

Alexia Manzano

Head of Education and Outreach

 

Soraya Wyssusek

Intern

 

 

Associated Art Mediators

 

Anjouna Novak
Hirmiz Akman
Kiersten Thamm
Oliver Wellmann
Raoul Zöllner
Sarah Steiner
Thesea Rigou
Adi Liraz
Chiara Brandt 
Julia Milz

 

 

KW Guides

 

Irene Accardo
Müge Bakır 
Ralf Häusler
Janika Jähnisch
Pia Gottschalk

 

 

Archive

 

Jenny Dirksen
Christina Huber

 

 

Administration and Finances 

Tel +49 30 243459-33

 

Jörg Streichert

Head of Administration KUNST-WERKE BERLIN e. V.

 

Saskia Tritto

Human Resources

str@kw-berlin.de

Tel +49 30 243459-90

 

Franziska Dommers

Team Assistant

 

Sabine Gehrke

Head of Accounting

 

Yvonne Reuther
Finance and Project Controlling

 

Sabrina Bernstetter

Digitalization Assistant

 

Lippert v. Raggamby Rechtsanwälte 
Legal Advisors

 

 

Installation and Media Technology

 

Markus Krieger 

Head of Installation and Media Technology

 

KW Installation Team

 

 

Maintenance

 

Konrad Muchow

Tel. +49 30 243459-84

 

Roman Suckau 

Network Administration 

 

 

Guards Coordination

 

Maria Eliza Kouloudi

Udo Klink

 

 

Publications and Webshop Manager

 

William Loftie

 

 

KW Freunde

 

Philipp Lange

Head of Management

 

 

KUNST-WERKE BERLIN e. V.

 

Executive Members of the Board

 

Katharina Grosse

Paula Macedo Weiß

Katharina Kurz

 

 

Board Members

 

Eike Becker

Klaus Biesenbach

Karen Boros

Mariana Clayton

Olafur Eliasson

Simone Graebner

Almut Grüntuch-Ernst and Armand Grüntuch

Markus Hannebauer

Erika Hoffmann

Patricia Kamp

Stephan Landwehr

Eberhard Mayntz †

Timo Miettinen

Brigitte Oetker

Florian Peters-Messer

Pavlína and Petr Pudil

Sara Puig and Désiré Feuerle

Rivka Saker

Matthias Sauerbruch

Katharina Sieverding

Julia Stoschek

Diana Widmaier Picasso

 

 

 

 

 

Venue hire

 

Selected venues at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art are available for hire. Availability complies with the exhibition schedule. 

 

We would gladly put together an individualized offer for you. 

 

Contact 

Friederike Klapp 

Tel. +49 30 243459-24 

Fax +49 30 243459-99 

fk@kw-berlin.de

Jobs

 

There are currently no positions available.

 

 

Antidiscrimination Clause

 

The KW Institute for Contemporary Art understands itself as a discursive platform for the exchange of different perspectives and through this, it welcomes lively discussion. Discrimination or any kind of act based on racist and antisemitic ascriptions, or targeting ethnic origin, nationality, sexual and gender identity, religion, physical or mental impairment, chronic illness, age, language, and social status will not be accepted. Regardless of their nationality, everyone in Germany is protected from discrimination by the General Equal Treatment Act (AGG) and the Berlin State Anti-Discrimination Law (LADG). Everyone has the right to take action against discrimination for themselves or others.

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