Kölnischer Kunstverein

The Kölnischer Kunstverein (Art Association of Cologne) was founded in 1839. As one of the oldest art associations in Germany and with 2000 members it is one of the most renowned exhibition institutions, and its activities are highly regarded not only in Cologne and the surrounding region, but also internationally. The main focus of the Kölnischer Kunstverein is to enable exhibitions that are determined by artistic demands and which intensify the confrontation with international art of today.
The Kölnischer Kunstverein building in Cäcilienstrasse was demolished in fall 2002. A museum complex is to be built in its place in the next few years. The Kunstverein has found new quarters in the "Brücke" ("The Bridge" - former British Council). The architecture of the "Brücke", its location in the center of Cologne, and most of all the context of the building in the history of ideas offer interesting conditions for the presentation, communication and discussion of contemporary art. The "Brücke" was built in 1949/50 by the architect Wilhelm Riphahn, who was charged with establishing a symbolic place of dialogue in the city destroyed by the war. This goal meant taking art and culture as a medium for mutual understanding and reconciliation among people and nations marked by war. With the former library of the British Council and a cinema and theater hall, the structure of the "Brücke" provides an infrastructure that forms the basis for developing new models of communication and space, contributing not only to the sensual experience of art, but also fostering theoretical discussion and reflection and helping to question the production conditions of art.

The facilities are currently being renovated and adapted for carrying out exhibitions according to plans by and under the supervision of the internationally respected architect Adolf Krischanitz. The existing rooms are being returned to their original state.

In cooperation with Filmclub813, a cinema enterprise devoted to high quality films has been established, which runs a continuous cinema program in the cinema hall. Film series and lectures are organized by artists, filmmakers and theoreticians to accompany the exhibitions and address selected positions and themes in greater depth. In collaboration with the Imhoff Foundation ten working spaces have been provided for young artists from Cologne on the upper floor of the "Brücke". In this way the Kölnischer Kunstverein seeks to improve the constrained living and working conditions of young artists in Cologne. In addition, an "artist apartment" has also been set up, in order to enable artists and theoreticians that have been invited to exhibition projects to explore the spatial and local conditions over a longer period of time. This also means that the production conditions of contemporary art are made visible and questioned in a way that is otherwise hardly given in the separation of production and presentation in contemporary art practice.
Since the end of 2002 the Kölnischer Kunstverein has been the carrier of a project initiative from the Federal Culture Foundation, which deals with the representation and visualization of migration. In cooperation with project partners DOMiT (Documentation Center and Museum on the Migration from Turkey), Institute of Cultural Anthropology and European Ethnology, Frankfurt am Main, Institut für Theorie der Gestaltung und Kunst, Zürich, and a rotating team of curators, exhibitions, films, scholarly projects and international symposia will be organized from 2003 to 2005 and new artistic and theoretical works will be initiated.

Kölnischer Kunstverein
Die Brücke
Hahnenstraße 6
D-50667 Köln

Tel.: +49 (0)221 217021
Fax: +49 (0)221 210651

Tuesday–Friday 1–7 pm
Saturday and Sunday 12–6 pm