Künstlerhaus was founded in 1978 as an initiative of Stuttgart artists and has since developed into a contemporary art institution of regional and international significance. Focal points of the exhibition and event programming include the mediation of current tendencies in genres of art, architecture, design and theory, as well as the conjunction of local and international debates. In addition, the Künstlerhaus hosts technical workshops accessible to members, and a studio program.
Künstlerhaus is located in the building of a former luggage factory in Reuchlinstrasse 4b in Stuttgart-West. It is has four levels with 600 sq meters of exhibition space. The Künstlerhaus is financed through the city of Stuttgart and additional privat and public funds.
Central to the exhibition and event programming is the presentation of young international artists as well as historical positions that are significant to current discourses. Exhibits in recent years have included solo presentations of Andreas Gursky, Cosima von Bonin, Olafur Eliasson, Liam Gillick. Historical exhibitions included films and models of Gordon Matta-Clark and an exhibition with videos and documentation of the work of architect Oskar Hansen. Thematic exhibits are also shown at Künstlerhaus, centering on cultural and social issues. Generally 6 to 8 exhibits are presented each year and are supplemented with lectures, discussions, performances and film programs.
The exhibition program of the Künstlerhaus is designated by the artistic director, who is chosen by the board of directors for periods of up to four years. Prior directors include Ulrich Bernhardt (artist and curator, Stuttgart), Veit Görner (Director Kestner-Gesellschaft, Hannover), Ute Meta Bauer (Director Visual Arts Program, MIT, Cambridge, MA), Nicolaus Schafhausen (Director Witte de With, Rotterdam/Curator of the German Pavilion, Venice Biennial), Fareed Armaly (artist, Berlin), Elke aus dem Moore (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen Stuttgart), and Axel John Wieder (curator, Berlin).
The workshops offer regional artists the necessary production facilities to realize artistic projects and enable international exhibiting artists the production of site-specific projects. Artists are supported through the expertise of workshop managers.
The workshops (audio, computer, silkscreen, etching, film, video and photo) are located in the main building of the Künstlerhaus. Introductory courses are regularly offered as well as thematic seminars. The workshops are not only a space of production for local artists, but also a place for social artistic exchange.
The children’s workshop of Künstlerhaus Stuttgart is located around the corner from the main building at Augustenstr. 67b. Each weekday afternoon, children between 4 and 14 years come to experiment with materials and techniques, guided by artist-educators in playful projects.
The interdisciplinary studio program is for professional artists, architects, designers and writers, and is reviewed yearly. Studio grant recipients are assigned their own workspace on the third floor of Künstlerhaus, have free access to the various workshops at Künstlerhaus and have the possibility to present their work in an exhibition or event at Künstlerhaus. Individual work spaces are circa 25 sq meters. There is also a larger shared meeting space.
Library and Archive
Visitors have access to a large array of national and international periodicals as well as publications on contemporary art. The library houses more than 3500 books and magazines as well as circa 350 international films and art videos. The archive of the Künstlerhaus, and the over 800 exhibits and events that have taken place here, is also accessible. The library is not a classical collection of books, rather an ecclectic accumulation reflecting the interests of former artistic directors, and also includes brochures, photocopies and other documents. Thus the library also reflects the development of contemporary art. It is a valuable resource for regional artists, students, cultural enthusiasts as well as visiting scholars and artists.