Cutting Edge Contemporary
2017 is an exciting year for contemporary art in Germany with two rarely staged ‘must-see’ events occurring simultaneously: the Skulptur Projekte, held only every 10 years, and documenta 14, every five. This tour includes both.
Münster’s Skulptur Projekte presents an innovative perspective on sculpture in public spaces while documenta 14, held in the city of Kassel, is the so-called ‘Olympics of the contemporary art world’.
End with a week in Berlin to attend the annual ABC contemporary art festival and to explore the city’s outstanding museums and private collections. A day trip to Leipzig’s Spinnerei art district concludes this unique and stimulating tour.
This tour is part of the World Art Tours program organised by the Art Gallery Society of NSW in partnership with Renaissance Tours.
Suggested afternoon departure from Australia on Etihad Airways via Abu Dhabi to Düsseldorf. Renaissance Tours can assist you with these travel arrangements.
Arrive in Düsseldorf early morning (07:20). Check-in available from 14:00. Remainder of the morning and afternoon at leisure. Briefing and welcome dinner in the evening.
After breakfast, join Gitte for a talk followed by a visit to Düsseldorf’s Kunst in Tunnel (KIT) exhibition space. Opened in 2007, this is a spectacular subterranean meeting space and focal point for contemporary art. Afterwards, visit a couple of stations of Düsseldorf Metro’s recently-opened Wehrhahn line. Part of an international competition, each of the six stations, which are completely devoid of advertisements, were designed by a different artist, while the connecting tunnels provide a unifying look.
In the late afternoon depart for Münster, home for the next two days.
Attend a talk by Gitte followed by a brief walking tour exploring the history of the city of Münster. Spend the rest of the day exploring the city’s engrossing sculpture installations that form part of the Skulptur Projekte.
Skulptur Projekte Münster
Held every ten years since 1977, Münster’s Skulptur Projekte presents the works of international artists in a wide variety of spaces. The project’s focus on the urban environment provides both an important snapshot of the state of sculptural practice and of artwork in the public realm. Skulptur Projekte takes a unique approach to the subject by examining the ambivalent relationship between art and the public space through commissioning site-specific works that respond to the urban context and encourage active public participation.
In the morning visit a few more installations of the Skulptur Projekte before travelling by coach to Kassel, with a stop en route for lunch. Arrive in Kassel in the late afternoon. Dinner is at a local restaurant near the hotel.
Following a morning talk, enjoy an orientation walking tour of the city. In the afternoon, visit documenta 14, a world-leading exhibition of contemporary art held only every five years and now one of the most important exhibitions of contemporary art.
Every five years for 100 days, the city of Kassel transforms itself into the centre of the international art scene. Around 100 international artists and agents present contemporary art in its most diverse manifestations in various places around the city. Founded by Arnold Bode, documenta was held for the first time in 1955, and thirteen editions have been presented since then. Every documenta has its own character which is determined by the respective curator. The next edition in 2017 is entitled ‘Learning from Athens’, with Polish art critic and curator Adam Szymczyk as the artistic director.
In the morning visit the Fridericianum, around which documenta is centered. Built in 1779, it is one of the oldest public museums in Europe. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure to continue exploring documenta.
Morning at leisure.
In the afternoon visit Schloss Wilhelmshöhe, a neoclassical palace built for William IX of Hesse in the late 18th century. German Emperor Wilhelm II made extensive use of it as a summer residence and personal retreat. Since 2013, the palace has been part of the Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today, the palace houses an art gallery.
Depart Kassel by coach for Berlin. En route stop at the town of Quedlinburg, one of the best-preserved Medieval and Renaissance towns in Europe, having escaped major damage in World War II. A number of half-timbered buildings from at least five different centuries are found in the centre of the town, including a 14th century structure, one of Germany’s oldest. In 1994 the old town, and castle mount and church were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Arrive in Berlin in the late afternoon and check in to your hotel located in the heart of the historic Mitte district. Enjoy dinner at Kaefer’s restaurant on the rooftop of the Reichstag, with fine views over Berlin
Following a talk, enjoy a morning orientation tour of Berlin from Alexanderplatz in the east to Charlottenburg Palace and the Kurfurstendamm in the west. In the afternoon enjoy a guided tour of the Neues Museum (New Museum), restored to its former glory in 2009. Since its reopening, the Egyptian Museum and the Museum of Prehistory and Early History have once again found a place to display their treasures in the museum, including its showpiece, the bust of Nefertiti.
In the afternoon, visit the Art Berlin Contemporary exhibition.
In the morning enjoy a guided tour of the Hoffman Collection, a private art collection set over four floors in a former factory building. The collection features contemporary works of art including painting, sculpture, photography and video. After lunch walk through the thriving and creative Mitte district. To experience the pulse of the city’s art and culture scene, we will make our way along Auguststrasse and through its side streets. This was the original core of Berlin’s artistic community in the early 1990s. In the late afternoon view the Boros Collection, a private collection of contemporary art with works by international artists dating from 1990 to the present.
Berlin – a city on the (cutting) edge
Since the fall of the Wall in 1989, artists from all backgrounds have been transforming the city’s forgotten spaces into workshops, galleries and collectives. With a multitude of museums, from the giants of Museum Island to lesser-known gems, over 300 established contemporary art galleries and an ever-expanding network of temporary spaces throughout the city, Berlin has clearly established itself as a cultural and creative capital of Europe.
Take the train from Berlin to Leipzig to spend a day exploring the so-called Spinnerei (mill) art district. A working factory until as recently as 2000, this 19th-century cotton mill has been gradually colonised by Leipzig’s creative scene and is now regarded as the epicentre of the New Leipzig School of art. Painter Neo Rauch, one of the first artists to settle in the building, may be one of the community’s more high-profile inhabitants, but the output of the more than 120 artists working here is diverse. The compound also contains a number of workshops, offices and a small cinema. Return to Berlin in the late afternoon.
In the morning visit the Haubrok Foundation, featuring more than 1,000 works by artists including Günter Förg, Jonathan Monk, Christopher Williams and Heimo Zobernig. Continue to the Julia Stoschek Collection – contemporary art with a focus on time-based media art.
The remainder of the day is free to discover Berlin at leisure.
In the morning enjoy an art and architecture tour of the Reichstag Collection (subject to Parliament sitting dates). The remainder of the day is at leisure for some last-minute shopping. In the evening, enjoy a farewell dinner.
Tour arrangements conclude after breakfast. If you are returning to Australia today, we recommend a mid-morning departure from Berlin to Abu Dhabi, connecting with Etihad Airways flights to Australia. Arrival in Australia early evening of Thursday, 21 September. Renaissance Tours can assist you with your travel arrangements.
*Single travellers may request to share.
Please advise at time of booking.
Final payment due
07 July 2017
Please see Terms & Conditions for fitness levels definitions.
Please contact Renaissance Tours for current airfares and flight reservations.
Australian and New Zealand passport holders do not require a tourist visa for Germany.
Tour price includes
- Accommodation with daily breakfast (B)
- Meals as per itinerary (L=Lunch, D=Dinner). Wines with meals
- Comfortable air-conditioned coach and rail transportation as per itinerary
- Comprehensive sightseeing and entrance fees as per itinerary
- Gratuities for local guides and drivers
- Hotel porterage (one piece per person)
Tour price does not include
- Transfer on arrival and departure
- Items of a personal nature (e.g. telephone, laundry, minibar etc.)
- Travel insurance
Düsseldorf – InterContinental *****
Münster – H4 Hotel ****
Kassel – BW Plus Kassel ****
Berlin – Regent Berlin *****
NB. Hotels of a similar standard may be substituted.