Kunstverein is close-knit network of domestic, not-for-profit spaces aiming to show practices, attempts and failures, of avant-garde artists (all ages) who have been undersung in contemporary art history. The franchise was founded in 2009 in Amsterdam by Maxine Kopsa and Krist Gruijthuijsen and is led, since March 2019, by Yana Foqué.
Our name is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the age-old German system, whose membership structure we also mirror. This membership structure constitutes the basis of each Kunstverein’s existence: the support of individuals from our surrounding communities guarantees us an independent position in the traditional discourse, while at the same time embedding us meaningfully within that community.
From the onset, the goal of the Kunstverein franchise has been to fill gaps in contemporary art history and the cultural field. Each of us does this in a way that simultaneously challenges the (now) traditional formats of the institutional white cube by exploring alternative ways of mediating artististic practices. With this we bring about non-conventional hierarchies between art, artist, audience and institution, participants and authors, offering a fresh alternative to the way art can be encountered, experienced and enjoyed.
This vision is reflected in our event and exhibition programs and permeates our publications. Through our programs we take a closer look at the relationship between visual arts, design, film, dance, and literature, in an attempt to sublimate the boundaries between them. This attitude also has an effect on the scale of our teams (small) and the structure and way in which our organisations function (agile and domestic).
So far the network includes branches in Amsterdam, Aughrim, Milan, New York and Toronto.
Find out more about each of our sisters via the links bellow:
Interested in joining our network? Get in touch.