The Kunsthaus Hamburg is a centre for contemporary art, centrally located between the Deichtorhallen and Hamburg’s main railway station, the Hauptbahnhof. On 500 square meters, the former market hall hosts six to ten varying solo and group exhibitions annually, presenting work from the contemporary visual arts and related disciplines. The main emphasis of the program lies on supporting the upcoming generation of artists; a counterpoint is provided by historical work with a particular relationship to Hamburg. Beyond its role as an exhibition venue, the Kunsthaus sees itself as a space of communication, as a forum for the discussion of issues relevant to today’s society. Over the last years, its traditional focus on the Hamburg art scene has been expanded to include an international exchange, and international contemporary art is to feature even more prominently in the future.
The Kunsthaus Hamburg was founded in 1962 by the Free Hanseatic City of Hamburg and was initially located in a building at the Ferdinandstor, where the Gallery of Contemporary Art – Die Galerie der Gegenwart of the Hamburger Kunsthalle – was then built in 1992. Since 1993, the Kunsthaus has had its home in the old market hall at the Klosterwall. In January 2002, it took on the legal status of a nonprofit limited liability company. Hamburg’s Professional Association of Visual Artists (Berufsverband Bildender Künstlerinnen und Künstler Hamburg) has had strong ties with the Kunsthaus ever since its establishment and presents an exhibition by its members here once a year .
The house has featured solo exhibitions by prominent Hamburg artists such as Rolf Rose (1995), Clivia Vorrath, Friedrich Einhoff (2009), or Jan Meyer-Rogge (2012) as well as exhibitions by well-known artists from a younger generation, such as Jochen Lempert (1999), Stefan Panhans and Alicja Kwade (2008), Daniel Richter (2009), Thorsten Brinkmann (2001), or Ulla von Brandenburg (2013). Regular guests include the applicants for the Hamburg Visual Arts Scholarship, and the Index art fair, both giving an insight into Hamburg’s younger art scene.
A past focus on Asia generated interests from far beyond the city; Ai Wei Wei and Wu Shanzuan (2006) were among the artists showcased. Exhibitions with a contemporary-historical or historical context attracted international attention, such as “Aby Warburg – Mnemosyne-Atlas” (1994), “Twen – Revision einer Legende” (1996), “Wols. Aquarelle, Zeichnungen und Notizblätter” (2001) and the exhibition “Nachtmahre und Ruinenengel. Hamburger Kunst 1920 bis 1950” (2013), which presented art from Hamburg ostracized by the Nazis, or “freedom roads!”, which looked at Germany’s urban colonial history.
The advisory board of the Kunsthaus Hamburg comprises Hamburg’s Professional Association of Visual Artists (Berufsverband Bildender Künstlerinnen und Künstler Hamburg e.V.), Griffelkunst-Vereinigung Hamburg e.V., the Verein Neue Kunst in Hamburg, and the media entrepreneur Frank Otto.
Photo: Björn Buddenbohm
Artistic Director: Katja Schroeder
Curator: Anna Sabrina Schmid
Trainee: Lea Ziegler (Press and Public Relations)
Intern: Vanessa Fischnaller
Accountant: Reni Pathak
Ticket Office: Hayo Heye, Naho Kawabe, Gabriele Meyer, Christa Weichel