Fondazione Antonio Ratti

Stephan Berg, Peter Pakesch, Nicolaus Schafhausen

Kunsthallen and Kunstvereine: The German model – The Most Beautiful Kunsthalle in the World

6 October 2011
FAR – Villa Sucota

Watch on Vimeo Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV

The encounter discussed the specification of two of the most relevant models of German art institutions: the Kunsthalle and the Kunstverein. Doing so, and after an encounter dedicated to some important places and European cities, and another specifically dedicated to the French Fracs, the project pursued with our analysis of different ways of relating to spaces and to functions of the contemporary art platforms and our critical review of different systems in the art world.

Departing from the very simple assumption that a Kunsthalle is a place that hosts temporary art exhibitions, and that a Kunstverein is an organization run or supported through a system of members, generally, local collectors or artists, these two formats of the institution were the excuse to launch a debate based on a systematic comparison of the differences between an exhibition hall and an art club, in order to examine the needs of the art world today.

Is the Kunsthalle a simple temporary exhibition space and the Kunstverein an institution concerned with artistic practices in close relation with the local community? Is there a specific identity to the Kunsthalle, besides its function? What are the limits of having an organization run by a 'membership club'? Can some important aspects of these models of exhibition spaces give a contribution to the rethinking and reconfiguring of the spaces for art?

Stephan Berg (Kunstmuseum Bonn)
Nicolaus Schafhausen (Witte de With, Rotterdam)
Peter Pakesch (Kunsthaus Graz)

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