Program 2021


Courtyard of Kunst-Werke Berlin, 1991. Photo: Uwe Walter

Amelie von Wulffen


Curator: Anna Gritz
Assistant Curator: Kathrin Bentele
March 17 – May 24, 2021


Berlin-based artist Amelie von Wulffen has long established herself internationally as one of Germany’s most important painters. Since the 1990s, she has created a unique oeuvre that enquires into the historic, economic, and social conditions of painting. Highly self-reflexive, von Wulffen’s practice expands to include the artist herself. She frequently appears in her own work in different guises, interweaving her family’s past with national history and existential questions about a specifically German cultural heritage. The exhibition at KW marks von Wulffen’s first institutional solo show in Berlin and presents a comprehensive body of new commissions among a survey of selected existing works.

Drawn 1975–1993


Curator: Krist Gruijthuijsen
Assistant Curator: Léon Kruijswijk
March 17 – May 24, 2021


The late Brazilian artist Leonilson is recognized for his poetic vision during a period of social upheaval within his home country. His work is characterized by a turn to subjectivity, eschewing the rationality of Conceptual Art predominant in the 1970s and rediscovering a “joy of painting” in the years following the end of Brazil’s military dictatorship. The exhibition at KW is the first major retrospective of the artist’s work in Europe and presents a selection of over 250 works, encompassing a broad range of mediums and styles, from early paintings to the introspective embroidery of Leonilson’s last years, providing an overview of his entire oeuvre.

KW Digital:
The Last Museum


Artists: Nicole Foreshew, Juliana Cerqueira Leite, Jakrawal Nilthamrong, Zohra Opoko, Charles Stankievech
Curator: Nadim Samman
April 30 – June 6, 2021


A group exhibition that simultaneously unfolds across six continents and the virtual realm. The Last Museum’s experimental format spans both offline and online scenarios, exploring tensions between the universalizing space of the digital and facts on the ground. Principally accessed through, the exhibition features new commissions exclusively—works that examine the drama of (web)site-specificity and the poetics of infrastructure. The Last Museum will tour as a “pop-up exhibition” on partner institution websites.

Pause: Michele Rizzo


A production by KW Institute for Contemporary Art, in collaboration with Julia Stoschek Collection
Dates to be announced
Curator: Léon Kruijswijk


KW Institute for Contemporary Art and Julia Stoschek Collection collaboratively present a commissioned performance by Michele Rizzo (born in 1984, IT). The choreographer and multidisciplinary artist investigates rave culture and the significance of the moments and spaces in which it becomes palpable. Departing from the ecstatic attitude of his HIGHER xtn. (2019) performance, the trajectory of the artist’s research transitions in the liminal space of REACHING, through a slow-paced choreography, with a sound score by composer Billy Bultheel (born in 1987, BE).


Rizzo assesses and embraces multiple layers intrinsic to a journey of unison and transcendence, which comes into existence between and among moving bodies. REACHING unfolds the space hidden within and around the predominantly addressed emotions of ecstasy, euphoria, and acceleration by unveiling allusions to desire and the secret will of each individual, to evolve into an introspective yet rousing choreography of friction and coalescence.

30 Years of KW


January – December 2021: Commissions by Susan Philipsz, Katharina Sieverding, Sissel Tolaas
June & December 2021: Auction
September 2021: Celebratory weekend full of performances and events around Auguststrasse

Michael Stevenson
Disproof Does Not Equal Disbelief


July 3 – September 19, 2021
Curator: Anna Gritz
Assistant Curator: Léon Kruijswijk


The exhibition Disproof Does Not Equal Disbelief by the Berlin-based artist Michael Stevenson (born in 1964, NZ) presents an unconventional invocation of his practice over the past 35 years. Since the 1980s Stevenson has developed an artistic language that operates at the juncture of economy, technology, education, and faith, exploring the infrastructural systems that condition these disciplines and their entanglement. The exhibition marks Stevenson’s first institutional solo presentation in Berlin and presents a focused revision of his work, in which early paintings are brought into dialogue with more recent expansive installation.

Fragmentation becomes the default mode to display older bodies of work akin to the boneyards of industry. Navigation in these galleries is through analogy—that of a great fish or a whale’s digestive tract. In this way, architecture becomes anatomy and, by extension, the contents therein, on the floor, on the wall, studies in its entrails. With this exhibition, Stevenson provides insights from the belly of our constructed world to raise awareness that disproving rational theories does not automatically and irrevocably equal disbelief.


Disproof Does Not Equal Disbelief is co-presented in partnership with Formerly known as Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art (Kunstinstituut Melly) in Rotterdam, where a previous iteration was presented from September 20, 2020 – February 14, 2021.

Zeros and Ones


Artists: Lutz Bacher, Jay Chung & Q Takeki Maeda, Hanne Darboven, Jana Euler, Jef Geys, Tishan Hsu, Ilmari Kalkkinen, Silvia Kolbowski, Pope L., Louise Lawler, Carolyn Lazard, Lee Lozano, Henrik Olesen, Sarah Rapson, Margaret Raspé, readymades belong to everyone®, Ketty La Rocca, Sturtevant, Otto Wagner, and Martin Wong
July 3 – September 19, 2021


The group exhibition Zeros and Ones investigates the ways artists operate within, and question, their surrounding institutional structures. Taking algorithmic precedent from strategies of scripting, scoring, instruction, or command, the selected positions systematically complicate procedure through lived experience. Tools and tasks are mobilized without measurable outcome, repeating, cancelling, and intervening, while always returning to the material conditions of their labor. Through subtle redistributions, infrastructure and the body are situated in their relations of dependence, both intimately and violently. The practices of artists such as Lutz Bacher, Jay Chung & Q Takeki Maeda, Hanne Darboven, Jana Euler, Jef Geys, Tishan Hsu, Ilmari Kalkkinen, Silvia Kolbowski, Louise Lawler, Lee Lozano, Sarah Rapson, Margaret Raspé, Ketty La Rocca, Otto Wagner, and Martin Wong, amongst others, prompt us to question the metrics and hierarchies that are being reproduced in the field of art and beyond, and our own role within this.


Kathrin Bentele, Anna Gritz, Ghislaine Leung


The exhibition Zeros and Ones is made possible through support from the Capital Cultural Fund.

stanley brouwn


July 3 – 8 August 8, 2021

BPA// Berlin program for artists


Artists: Kévin Blinderman, Sofia Defino Leiby, Mooni Perry, Shirin Sabahi, Jana Schulz, Joshua Schwebel, Adam Shiu-Yang Shaw, Xiaopeng Zhou
August 21 – September 19, 2021
Curator: Krist Gruijthuijsen


KW and BPA// Berlin program for artists founded their partnership in 2020.


BPA// Berlin program for artists is a mentoring program that fosters exchange between emerging and established Berlin artists. Founded in 2016 by Angela Bulloch, Simon Denny, and Willem de Rooij, BPA organizes studio visits, public lectures, and group exhibitions.
In summer 2021, KW will for the first time be the venue for BPA Exhibitions: an annual exhibition of work produced in the course of the current BPA program.

Renée Green
Inevitable Distances


October 16, 2021 – January 9, 2022
Curator: Mason Leaver-Yap
Assistant Curator: Kathrin Bentele


Since the late 1980s, Renée Green’s multifaceted practice has imagined and expanded the ways in which art can surface and give form to underwritten histories, collective memory, and circuits of cultural exchange. Her writing, installations, films, digital media, and sound works continue to trace and interrogate the power of cultural institutions and their relationships with language, knowledge, and constitutions of selfhood, while at the same time indicating other ways of being and becoming. Green’s work came to prominence and circulated within the social and political flows between the world and the Americas, a concept that includes the United States, Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean. Her work continues to investigate the distribution and relay of art and ideas, and how these are braided with histories of migration and legacies of displacement, and the aesthetic forms and poetics that stem from these.


In one of the largest exhibitions of her work since 2010, Inevitable Distances presents recent productions in conversation with some of Green’s earliest and rarely exhibited works. Indicating the encounters and distances travelled in a life’s journey, the exhibition puts her artistic production into a speculative and, at times, fictional constellation.


This exhibition is delivered in collaboration with DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program, Berlin.

Understudies: I, Myself Will Exhibit Nothing


with works by: Latifa al-Zayyat, Geta Brătescu, Moyra Davey, Haris Epaminonda & Daniel Gustav Cramer, Iman Issa, Olaf Nicolai, Sergei Parajanov, Mohammad Rabie, Walid Raad, and Valeska Soares, as well as a loan from Museum Rietberg: Kunst der Welt in Zürich
October 16, 2021 – January 9, 2022
Curated by Iman Issa
Assistant Curator: Léon Kruijswijk


Understudies: I, Myself Will Exhibit Nothing is an exhibition curated by the artist Iman Issa (born in 1979, EG), whose work often takes the form of displays featuring multiple elements and where text plays a central role. Understudies: I, Myself Will Exhibit Nothing is Issa’s first opportunity to reflect on her artistic methodology through the prism of a group exhibition. In order to unfold this introspective venture, the exhibition brings together works by artists, writers, and filmmakers, who each create their own parameters and universes within their practice. Many of the selected works touch upon notions of illustration, portraiture, and self-narration.



The School of Casablanca


Artist-in-Residence: Céline Condorelli, Fatima-Zahra Lakrissa, Marion von Osten, Manuel Raeder, Bik Van der Pol, Abdeslam Ziou Ziou
2020 – 2022
Curators: Krist Gruijthuijsen, Hoor Al Qasimi, Salma Lahlou, Inka Gressel, Alya Sebti


For 2020 – 2022, KW Institute for Contemporary Art and Sharjah Art Foundation, in collaboration with Goethe-Institut Marokko and ThinkArt, have initiated a collaborative venture revolving around the approach pursued by the School of Casablanca after it adopted innovative education and exhibition strategies in 1960s Morocco.
Drawing on and interpreting the Bauhaus Manifesto, the School of Casablanca engaged models of rethinking the relationship between arts, crafts, design, and architecture within a local context. In reviving this engagement after the Bauhaus Centennial of 2019, the collaborative venture seeks to further explore the legacy of the School of Casablanca in contemporary thought. This aim proves to be important not only within a Moroccan context, but also in relation to critical reflection on the traditions of Western methodology and self-perception.

An integral part of the venture is a residency in Casablanca that will take place from 2020 to 2022, during which time residents will conduct research, produce new work, and create a public program focused on the subject(s) addressed in their research.

Metabolic Museum–University (MM–U)


Members: BLESS, Matthias Bruhn, Iman Issa, Augustin Maurs, Tom McCarthy, Henrike Naumann, Azu Nwagbogu, Margareta von Oswald, Manuel Raeder, El Hadj Abdoulaye Sène, Krista Belle Stewart, Luke Willis Thompson
2020 – 2023
Curator: Dr. Clémentine Deliss
Curatorial Research and Coordination: Dr. Margareta von Oswald
Curatorial Assistance: Sarah Wessel


In the framework of the Metabolic Museum–University (MM–U), associate curator Clémentine Deliss investigates, together with a group of peers, the conceptual potential and underlying politics of collecting in the city of Berlin. In 2021, the circle of colleagues of the MM–U will continue shaping an expanded technique of interpretation and remediation based on the transdisciplinary and visual analysis of diverse private and public collections in Berlin. Assemblages formed from historical and contemporary artworks, artefacts, documents, recordings, and ephemera will animate a series of experimental “Debating Chambers” to be held at KW and other venues in Berlin. As it progresses, the Metabolic Museum–University will expand to include “Companions,” an associated group of young researchers who will work closely with the MM–U and delve deeper into the holdings of Berlin’s neighborhood museums and university collections. The generative process of the MM–U and the outcome of its inquiries will be presented in a publication and comprehensive exhibition to be held at KW in 2023.

Press Contact


Natanja von Stosch
Tel. +49 30 243459 41


KW Institute for Contemporary Art
Auguststraße 69
10117 Berlin



KW Institute for Contemporary Art is institutionally supported by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe, Berlin.


The exhibitions and projects in the 2021 program of take place in collaboration with and/or are supported by:





Titles and exhibition dates are subject to change.


In the interest of everyone’s safety, we kindly ask you to inform yourselves about the current COVID-19 hygiene measures and precautions when visiting our exhibitions and events.


As of: 18 January 2021