Gallery of Contemporary Art
View of the Galerie der Gegenwart. Photo: Stefan Müller
With the opening of the Gallery of Contemporary Art, the Kunsthalle presents its new collection of international art from 1960 – from Pop Art until today. The two-part building by Oswald Mathias Ungers opened in 1997. It consists of a cube of for storeys, clad in luminous light limestone, supplemented with a pedestal-storey, which connects the building with the old Kunsthalle, clad in red granite. The building is determined by its urbanistic context and the connection with the original building of the Kunsthalle on the one hand, and by the diverse presentation requirements of the art works on the other.
Prominent and characteristic emphases of the collection held by the Gallery of Contemporary Art are constituted by painting from the sixties, the art of the Spurensucher und Feldforscher (Trackers and Fieldworkers) – from Nikolaus Lang to Sophie Calle and The Atlas Group –, German sculpture and marquettes of the late eighties and nineties (Thomas Schütte, Reinhard Mucha, Stephan Huber, Wiebke Siem, Olaf Metzel) as well as German photography by Becher-students, Andreas Gursky, Thomas Struth, Thomas Ruff and Candida Höfer. In addition the Hamburger Kunsthalle holds a constantly growing, substantial collection of videos and new media.
The continuous and sustained compilation and extension of the collection is an essential purpose – and a great challenge, especially with regards to the shrinking public funds. Private supporters and donators have therefore become an indispensable factor of acquisition-politics. The collection of the Hamburger Kunsthalle is supplemented with permanent loans granted by the Stiftung für die Hamburger Kunstsammlungen (Foundation for the Support of Hamburg Art Collections) and private sources – American and German art from the Collection Scharpff, Conceptual Art from the Collection Sohst, Minimal Art from the Collection Lafrenz.as works of the collection Böckmann and the Collection Jung.
The aspiration is to present contemporary art in a lively and versatile display. Just as contemporary art is constantly changing, its presentation should remain in flux.