Annual program 2023

Annual program 2023

Hamburger Bahnhof—Nationalgalerie der Gegenwart

Hamburger Bahnhof—Berlin. © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / David von Becker.

November 15, 2022
Annual program 2023
New collection displays and exhibitions
February 24–December 31, 2023
Hamburger Bahnhof—Nationalgalerie der Gegenwart
Invalidenstrasse 50
10557 Berlin
Hours: Tuesday–Friday 10am–6pm,
Thursday 10am–8pm,
Saturday–Sunday 11am–6pm
Instagram / Facebook

Hamburger Bahnhof - National Gallery of Contemporary Art announces a new concept for the presentation of its permanent collection and a 2023 exhibition program that builds upon the numerous chapters of its multilayered history. An era-defining train terminal in the mid-19th century, the building has continuously adapted to changing historical circumstances, serving as a museum of transportation in the early 20th century and emerging from the ruins of the Second World War—a colossus straddling the demarcation line between East and West Berlin—to eventually become an artists’ squat in the 1980s, a pop-up exhibition space in the early 1990s and Germany’s National Museum of Contemporary Art since 1996. Hamburger Bahnhof has many stories to tell. 

Since January 2022 Hamburger Bahnhof has entered a new era of leadership with co-Directors Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath. Regarding their vision for the museum, Sam Bardaouil says, “It is essential for Hamburger Bahnhof to foster forward-thinking practices that stimulate stronger, more interconnected ties between local and global communities. The train station as a place of transient encounters, the spirit of free experimentation particular to Berlin and the precarious notion of national representation, these are all conceptual underpinnings of our programs.” Till Fellrath adds, “Through its many reincarnations, Hamburger Bahnhof has been a microcosm of Berlin exploring links between art and society at large. Ultimately, we aim to contribute to an institution at the heart of the city’s cultural landscape, which mirrors, to its core, the diverse audience that it serves.” 


New presentation of the permanent collection 
Through three interconnected presentations of the permanent collection, Hamburger Bahnhof reexamines its history as the National Gallery of Contemporary Art, rooting this survey in its immediate context in Berlin and its role in the wider landscape of the global arts community. The presentations will provide the conceptual framework for the museum’s rotating annual program. 

National Gallery Collection: 21st century
From April 2023 onwards Hamburger Bahnhof presents new configurations of its vast collection throughout the historical building’s refurbished western wing. The new formats will provide a history-transcending panorama of Berlin’s multifarious art scene from the unification of Germany in 1990 until the present. The selected works, including painting, works on paper, sculpture, photography, video and other media, reveal the intertwined sociopolitical and economic factors that have shaped contemporary narratives of the city and the artistic practices that have flourished within it. With the new presentation of the permanent collection, Hamburger Bahnhof invites audiences to reflect together on the role that art and cultural institutions can play as catalysts for inclusion, engagement and change. 

Forum Hamburger Bahnhof
The new program directive will showcase numerous objects and archival materials in an effort to revisit, revise and retell the story of Hamburger Bahnhof from 1848 until the present. Opening in April 2023 in a dedicated space that will be free of charge to the public, the Forum Hamburger Bahnhof will consist of three main components: an archival display, a collaboration with Berlin-based artist Henrike Naumann, and an interactive space for discursive programs. As an evolving space, the Forum Hamburger Bahnhof invites the public to co-imagine new concepts for the role of the museum as a space for coexistence and collective progress.

Perpetual Exhibition
Since opening its doors in 1996, Hamburger Bahnhof has invited artists to create site-specific works as permanent installations within and around the museum, by artists such as Dan Flavin, Bruce Naumann, Urs Fischer and Elmgreen & Dragset. The Perpetual Exhibition will inaugurate a program to select an annual commission that will recontextualize the existing works and those that come after it. This program will provide further opportunities to reflect on the institution’s historical engagements with artists and how these relationships necessarily evolve to reflect current discourses. The first new commission will be inaugurated in June 2023


Exhibitions program 2023
Together with the permanent collection, the annual program of temporary exhibitions at Hamburger Bahnhof further expands the museum’s conversations with the public. The program invites a diverse array of artists with practices that respond and react to history, and engage with relevant themes like social inclusion and political engagement. Building on Hamburger Bahnhof’s foundational interest in international art and pioneering works in video, performance and other time-based media from the 1960s onwards, the annual program commits to showcasing innovative global perspectives that continue to push the formal boundaries of art production.

February 24–July 30, 2023Zineb Sedira’s highly acclaimed project for the French Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2022, Dreams Have No Titles, premieres in Germany in an adaptation that further explores the artist’s fascination with the history of post-colonial militant cinema within the contexts of France, Algeria and Italy.

March 24–September 17, 2023: The museum presents the first institutional solo exhibition in Germany by Los Angeles-based painter Christina Quarles, with a spatial installation that weaves in works from the Hamburger Bahnhof collection by Absalon, Charlotte Posenenske, Vito Acconci and Annette Kelm, among others. 

March 31–September 17, 2023: The museum hosts a presentation of several seminal room installations by legendary American minimal artist Fred Sandback alongside archival materials centering on his 64-room project for Kunstraum München in 1975.

July 6, 2023–January 7, 2024: London-based artist Eva Fàbregas creates a monumental, site-specific sound sculpture in a commissioned installation in the museum’s iconic central hall. In line with the artist’s practice, she invites visitors to engage with the work in a variety of ways, transforming the exhibition hall into a space for collective experience. 

September 13–17, 2023: Coinciding with Berlin Art Week, multidisciplinary artist and activist Tania Bruguera will re-stage her radical performance Where Your Ideas Become Civic Action, a 100-hour long reading of Hannah Arendt’s 1951 The Origins of Totalitarianism. Bruguera’s initial performance of the work in May 2015 in Cuba led to her detention by the Cuban authorities. For the performance at Hamburger Bahnhof, the artist will invite artists, historians, cultural figures and political activists to partake in the reading.

September 8, 2023–February 24, 2024Nadia Kaabi-Linke presents an exhibition originally planned for the National Art Museum of Ukraine that was placed on hold due to the ongoing war there. The exhibition of the Berlin- and Kyiv-based artist confronts historical erasures and examines the roles of censored artists and artworks across art and political histories.

October 6–March 10, 2024: New York-based artist Naama Tsabar presents her first institutional show in Germany. With a practice that skews the borders of sculpture, music and performance, Tsabar’s exhibition in Berlin includes a newly commissioned performance convening female-identifying and gender non-conforming musicians and members of the museum community.

October 27–March 7, 2024: Hamburger Bahnhof presents the first major survey exhibition in Berlin of the Tokyo-based artist Lee Ufan, a seminal figure in the Japanese Mono-ha and Korean Dansaekhwa artistic movements. Spanning five decades of the artist’s prolific career, the exhibition will feature paintings, works on paper and sculptural installations that resonate with Hamburger Bahnhof’s collection of post-war minimal art. 

External collaboration
A special collaboration project between Hamburger Bahnhof and the Vorderasiatisches Museum supports a new site-specific light installation by New York based artist Liam Gillick. The exhibition responds directly to the iconic historical architecture and displays of the Pergamon Museum on Berlin’s Museum Island and will be on view from April 7–October 15, 2023

RSVP for Annual program 2023
Hamburger Bahnhof—Nationalgalerie der Gegenwart
November 15, 2022

Thank you for your RSVP.

Hamburger Bahnhof—Nationalgalerie der Gegenwart will be in touch.


e-flux announcements are emailed press releases for art exhibitions from all over the world.

Agenda delivers news from galleries, art spaces, and publications, while Criticism publishes reviews of exhibitions and books.

Architecture announcements cover current architecture and design projects, symposia, exhibitions, and publications from all over the world.

Film announcements are newsletters about screenings, film festivals, and exhibitions of moving image.

Education announces academic employment opportunities, calls for applications, symposia, publications, exhibitions, and educational programs.

Sign up to receive information about events organized by e-flux at e-flux Screening Room, Bar Laika, or elsewhere.

I have read e-flux’s privacy policy and agree that e-flux may send me announcements to the email address entered above and that my data will be processed for this purpose in accordance with e-flux’s privacy policy*

Thank you for your interest in e-flux. Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.