Terra Foundation-supported Events

Symposium: “KUNSTHALLEN. Architectures for the Continuous Contemporary in Europe and the US”

Co-organized by Universität Bern’s Department of Modern and Contemporary Art History and Kunsthalle Bern, which will celebrate its 100-year anniversary in 2018, this conference will address how Kunsthallen—non-collecting art museums—have contributed to the history of contemporary art in Europe and the US. In Europe, these institutions developed during the second half of the nineteenth century alongside public museums dedicated to the collection and presentation of historical, cultural artifacts. European Kunsthallen, however, were largely founded as local and communal efforts to advance and show contemporary art. In the US, they emerged primarily in the early twentieth century and can be linked to an institutional critique of established museums. In both places, Kunsthallen were the first institutions to show the work of avant-garde artists. The Institute of Contemporary Art, in Boston, for example, introduced American audiences to Georges Braque, Oskar Kokoschka, and Edvard Munch. After World War II, Kunsthalle Bern presented the work of Barnett Newman, Clyfford Still, Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, and Sam Francis. Therefore, the conference will also address these spaces as sites for international collaboration between artists and curators.