Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart
Art building Schlossplatz Stuttgart 2015 02.jpg
purpose Promotion of the fine arts
Chair: Martin Fritz
Executive Director: Hans D. Christ and Iris Dressler
Establishment date: 1827
Number of members: approx. 3,000
Seat : Stuttgart
Website: http://www.wkv-stuttgart.de

The Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart was founded in 1827 and is one of the oldest art associations in Germany. The association, which today has around 3,000 members, is based in the Stuttgart Art Building and is dedicated to the mediation of contemporary art . The curator and publicist Martin Fritz has been chairman of the Württembergischer Kunstverein, which belongs to the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Deutscher Kunstvereine (ADKV), since 2018 .


One of the founding fathers of the Württembergischer Kunstverein was the lawyer and painter Carl Urban Keller , who initially ran the association as an honorary conservator. The aim of the association was the occupation of the bourgeoisie with art as well as the purchase, exhibition and raffle of works by local artists. As with other art associations established at the time, membership consisted of the purchase of shares with which one could participate in the raffle and thus privately acquire art.

The Württembergischer Kunstverein has been located in the art building on Schloßplatz designed by Theodor Fischer since 1913 and has been a place of engagement with contemporary art ever since. In the 1930s, like all art associations, it was brought into line under the National Socialist government in the Reich Chamber of Culture . In March 1933, Oskar Schlemmer's first major retrospective with his main work, the Bauhaus staircase , was closed by the new rulers before the opening.

The art building was almost completely destroyed during the Second World War. The reconstruction, which is linked to a modern extension, was not completed until 1961. With the art association, the gallery of the city of Stuttgart also moved into the rooms of the art building, which now consists of the historical complex with dome hall and gallery rooms, the new so-called Vierecksaal designed by Paul Bonatz and Günther Wilhelm , and a glass connecting wing between the old and new building.

In 2005, the Stuttgart City Gallery moved out of the art building and moved into the new art museum just a few hundred meters away . The Württembergischer Kunstverein has been permanently located in the new complex of the art building since 2012.


The Württembergischer Kunstverein is an exhibition center for contemporary painting , graphics , photography , video art , installation , performance and architecture . The association is currently setting a number of thematic priorities, which serve as a thematic background for the exhibition program as well as for other activities such as lectures, conferences or the award of scholarships.

The examination of the socio-political contexts and spheres of activity of contemporary art is of central importance for the Württembergischer Kunstverein. The focus here is on the resistant and subversive potential of art, which repeatedly tries to break open and reorganize existing systems of order. The critical questioning is aimed in particular at contexts such as architecture and urban development, economy and democracy, gender studies and postcolonial theories.

Another focus is the question of the forms of knowledge formation that art can produce. Art is seen as an opportunity to acquire “foreign” areas such as language, the stage or cinema, the mass media, public space, documentation, history, scientific methods or political discourses in order to subject them to a shifted, contradicting and absurd view.

Under the term center + periphery , the association is dedicated to the interrelationships between western art and art beyond Western European and North American standards. The corresponding projects are designed by curators and artists from the various regions.

The Württembergischer Kunstverein also sees itself as a production environment. This ranges from the Atelierhaus Im Schellenkönig to (artistic) research projects and the (co-) production of new works to the development of complex exhibition scenarios that arise for each exhibition.

Exploring the possibilities and limits of curating is also one of the central concerns of the Württembergischer Kunstverein. The testing of collaborative and multi-perspective working methods is just as important as the claim to approach the complexity and diversity of art. The association is concerned with making their multilayered, open and contradicting legibility, their resistance, effective.

In addition to the annual program of the exhibitions, the project series Querungen created a jointly designed, critical resonance space for the art association and the various local and regional actors in contemporary art. This is about processes of mutual sifting, evaluation and re-evaluation in ever different, repetitive and shifting constellations; about relocations and cross-references as well as de- and recontextualizations between the different scenes, institutions, initiatives and individuals. The aim is to create a multi-perspective and polyphonic space, a laboratory that relates internal and external, local and global settings of an artistic and curatorial nature to one another.

The association also regularly offers its members the opportunity to present their own works in a member exhibition. The annual exhibitions of the members each have a specific thematic context.


Which together with the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art designed (MACBA) Exhibition The beast is the sovereign was in 2015 by the German Association of Art Critics AICA for the exhibition of the year awarded.

Directors of the Kunstverein (since 1945)

Exhibitions (selection)




  • Max Ernst , paintings and graphics 1920–1950 (February 9 - March 9)





  • EW Nay (November 12th - December 25th)



  • James Ensor , Ensor - A Late 19th Century Painter (March 4 - May 7)




  • Thomas Schütte, can lilies lie? In cooperation with the Museum of Modern Art Munich (April 6th - April 30th)
  • John Baldessari , retrospective (September 20 - November 19)
  • Stephen Shore , photographs 1973–1993 (September 23 - November 19)






  • Ugo Rondinone , Coming up for Air (November 18, 2002 to January 12, 2003)





  • Anna Oppermann , Revisions of Ensemble Art (May 17 - August 12)
  • Stan Douglas , Past Imperfect (September 15, 2007 to January 6, 2008)











  • Alexander Kluge . Opera: The Temple of Seriousness (March 14 - April 26, 2020)


  • Württembergischer Kunstverein (Hrsg.): 150 years Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart. 1827-1977 . Stuttgart 1977.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart. In: kunstvereine.de. Retrieved May 3, 2019 .
  2. ^ Christoph Behnke: On the founding history of German art associations. In: www.kunstvereine.de. Retrieved April 8, 2015 .
  3. ^ Nicola Kuhn: The last avant-gardist. In: Der Tagesspiegel. November 27, 2014, accessed February 22, 2015 .
  4. Main focus of the Württemberg Art Association. In: www.wkv-stuttgart.de. Retrieved April 5, 2015 .
  5. 2041. Endless loop. In: www.youtube.com. Retrieved April 4, 2015 .
  6. Presence, Criticism, Utopia. www.wkv-stuttgart.de, accessed on September 12, 2017 .
  7. The beast is the sovereign. In: www.wkv-stuttgart.de. Retrieved November 27, 2015 .
  8. entry Alice Widensohler in Stuttgart Memorial Day calendar. Stuttgart Memorial Day Calendar, accessed on April 17, 2016 .
  9. ^ Entry Dieter Honisch at Munzinger. In: Munzinger online. Retrieved April 17, 2016 .
  10. Martin Hentschel's biography. Goethe-Institut, accessed on April 16, 2016 .
  11. ^ Biography of Hans D. Christ. Goethe-Institut, accessed on April 16, 2016 .
  12. Iris Dressler's biography. Goethe-Institut, accessed on April 16, 2016 .
  13. ^ Edition Domberger: Portfolio »Shapes of Color« 1967. Edition Domberger, 2018, accessed on June 1, 2018 .

Coordinates: 48 ° 46 '41.3 "  N , 9 ° 10' 49.8"  E