March 22, 2016 - KW Institute for Contemporary Art - Restructuring and new beginnings
March 22, 2016

KW Institute for Contemporary Art

Restructuring and new beginnings

KW Institute for Contemporary Art
Auguststraße 69
10117 Berlin
Facebook: KW Institute for Contemporary Art / Facebook: Berlin Biennale

KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin is pleased to announce a restructuring of the institution effective July 1, 2016. On the basis of an amendment to its statutes, KW will be represented in the future by Krist Gruijthuijsen as its director; Gabriele Horn, previously director of both KW and the Berlin Biennale, will continue to run the Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art.

“KW and the Berlin Biennale have continuously grown and professionalized their structure. Therefore it is a logical and necessary next step to strengthen each institution with an independent director, in order to advance new ideas and impulses for both KW and the Berlin Biennale,” says Gabriele Horn, who has successfully led both institutions over the past ten years.

The two directors will be supported by an administrative manager. KW will continue to be the responsible body and main location for the Berlin Biennale, which is funded by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation) as a cultural institution of excellence. This statutory reform has been made possible to a large degree by financial support from the Governing Mayor of Berlin – Senate Chancellery – Cultural Affairs.

Krist Gruijthuijsen (born 1980), curator and art critic from the Netherlands, was selected from a group of invited candidates. He is moving to Berlin after four years as artistic director of Grazer Kunstverein, during which he was also course leader in the Department of Fine Arts at the Sandberg Instituut in Amsterdam. He co-founded Amsterdam’s Kunstverein, of which he acted as director from 2009 to 2012, and he was a consultant to Manifesta 7. Among others, he has curated projects for Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center, Istanbul; Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerp, Belgium; Arnolfini, Bristol, United Kingdom; Artists Space, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade; and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. From July 1, 2016, he will take over the running of KW in Berlin, beginning his exhibition and event program in fall 2016, after the 9th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art. 

Chairman Olafur Eliasson: “As the board, we are glad that an increase in our subsidy from the Senate Chancellery has enabled us to create a solid basis for the restructuring of KW Institute for Contemporary Art. As reflected in the selection committee’s unanimous decision, we are confident that Krist Gruijthuijsen is eminently qualified for this post and that he will be highly motivated. Krist is an independent and creative thinker, and an experienced exhibition maker with excellent connections to artists and colleagues of different generations, who was nominated multiple times. The board sought sound advice and collegial support through its international network of experts, who assisted the selection procedure with their recommendations; their professional bond with KW enriched the process and rendered it productive. We are extraordinarily happy to have succeeded in creating conditions under which we can now enter a new era at KW with Krist Gruijthuijsen as artistic director of KW and Gabriele Horn as director of the Berlin Biennale.”

Krist Gruijthuijsen takes over programming from Ellen Blumenstein, who has been chief curator at KW Institute for Contemporary Art since January 2013. With her commitment to discursive formats, Blumenstein helped improve the institution’s networking at local and international levels. Her programmatic focus on themed exhibitions like Fire and Forget. On Violence, that reflected on the ambivalence of violence with the means of art, considerably raised the public profile of KW, as well as its visitor numbers. Blumenstein presented the first institutional solo shows of Kader Attia, Ryan Trecartin, and Kate Cooper in Germany and brought the first major retrospective of Californian artist Channa Horwitz, Counting in Eight, Moving by Color, to KW, currently on show at Raven Row in London. In September 2016, a second, fully reworked version of Fire and Forget opens at Museum Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt/Main, under the title Unter Waffen. Fire and Forget 2.

The cultural programs of KW Institute for Contemporary Art are made possible with the support of the Governing Mayor of Berlin – Senate Chancellery – Cultural Affairs.

KW Institute for Contemporary Art
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