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.



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 Europe. The program of KW is kindly supported by the KW Freunde e. V.



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.



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 Anna Gritz as Curator and Nadim Samman as Curator for the digital sphere, Clémentine Deliss and Mason Leaver-Yap as Associate Curators, Kathrin Bentele, and Léon Kruijswijk as Assistant Curators and Project Managers, as well as Marc Hollenstein as Graphic Designer. Previous members of the artistic team count Maurin Dietrich as Assistant Curator (2016–2019), Cathrin Mayer as Assistant Curator and Curator (Parental Leave Replacement) (2016–2020), and Tirdad Zolghadr as Associate Curator (2016–2020).


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.



Organisation and Management 


Krist Gruijthuijsen


Friederike Klapp 

Office Manager to the Director 



Artistic Office 


Anna Gritz  


Nadim Samman

Curator Digital Sphere


Clémentine Deliss

Associate Curator


Mason Leaver-Yap

Associate Curator


Léon Kruijswijk

Assistant Curator and Project Management


Sofie Krogh Christensen
Assistant Curator and Project Management


Linda Franken

Public Program and Outreach Coordinator


Claire Spilker

Head of Production


Wilken Schade
Technical Management


Monika Grzymislawska 


Carlotta Gonindard Liebe

Assistant to Registrar


Luisa Haustein

Project Assistant


Mareen Linsner




Press and Communication


Marie Kube

Press and Marketing


Margarita Hermann
Student Assistant



Education and Mediation


Katja Zeidler

Head of Education and Mediation


Duygu Örs

Project Management



Associated Art Mediators


Barbara Campaner
Jeanne-Ange Wagne

Raoul Zöllner



KW Guides


Marc Bredemeier
Nikolas Brummer
Sigourney Pilz



VW Fellow (Archival Research)


Jenny Dirksen



Administration and Finances  
Tel. +49 30 243459-80


Silke Krummel  

Head of Administration


Petra Wenzel 


Yvonne Reuther


Maria Kühl

Assistant to Head of Administration


Lippert v. Raggamby Rechtsanwälte 
Legal Advisors



Installation and Media Technology


Markus Krieger 

Head of Installation and Media Technology


KW Installation Team





Konrad Muchow

Tel. +49 30 243459-84


Roman Suckau 

Network Administration 



Guards Coordination


William Loftie

Udo Klink





Executive Members of the Board


Katharina Grosse

Julia Stoschek

Matthias Sauerbruch


Board Members


Hoor Al-Qasimi

Pedro Barbosa

Eike Becker

Klaus Biesenbach

Karen Boros

Mariana Clayton

Andreas Dornbracht

Olafur Eliasson

Simone Graebner

Almut Grüntuch-Ernst and Armand Grüntuch

Markus Hannebauer

Erika Hoffmann

Stephan Landwehr

Paula Macedo Weiß

Eberhard Mayntz †

Kate Merkle

Timo Miettinen

Brigitte Oetker

Adam Pendleton

Florian Peters-Messer

Sara Puig and Désiré Feuerle

Rivka Saker

Katharina Sieverding

Antje Vollmer

Axel Wallrabenstein

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. 



Friederike Klapp 

Tel. +49 30 243459-24 

Fax +49 30 243459-99



KW invites applications for a scientific traineeship (application deadline: December 8, 2021).


Find open positions at the Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art here.



Hotel Alexander Plaza


Julia Stoschek Collection


Schering Stiftung


Volkswagen AG


The publication on the history of KUNST-WERKE BERLIN e.V., which will appear in 2021 to mark the 30th anniversary of the institution, is generously supported by Volkswagen AG.