Berlin Biennial

(exhibition, 1998-present)
Established in 1998, the berlin biennial has become a major international event for contemporary art. Located in Berlin, in the midst of the vibrant cultural scene in the fast-changing capital of Germany, the berlin biennial has received an enthusiastic response from the audience as an experimental, forward-looking and contextual show. The five editions of the berlin biennial that have taken place to date explored a variety of exhibition formats and involved diverse curatorial agendas. Klaus Biesenbach planned and set up the 1st berlin biennial in 1998 together with Nancy Spector und Hans Ulrich Obrist. The 2nd berlin biennial (2001) was curated by Saskia Bos and the 3rd berlin biennial (2004) by Ute Meta Bauer. Maurizio Cattelan, Massimiliano Gioni, and Ali Subotnick curated the 4th berlin biennial (2006). The 5th berlin biennial was curated by Adam Szymczyk and Elena Filipovic, who joined as co-curator at Adam Szymczyk’s invitation.

Artists Berlin Biennial:
  • abt - vo,

The berlin biennale für zeitgenössische kunst e.v. was founded on March 26, 1996 by Klaus Biesenbach, founding director of KW Institute for Contemporary Art, and a group of collectors and patrons of the arts such as Eberhard Mayntz. Eberhard Mayntz has since then been chairman of the association’s board.

The idea of establishing a biennale in Germany was inspired by the Venice Biennale in 1995. Following the demise of aperto - the forum for young contemporary art founded in 1981 - there was much discussion about the need to heighten the profile of contemporary art in Berlin, a fact which undoubtedly accelerated the project’s progress.

The aim of the association is to organise a representative, international exhibition of contemporary art in berlin every two years and to attract attention to less established younger artists. The exhibition’s original and most important institutional partner is the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, which regularly provides the berlin biennale with the use its exhibition spaces.