While Munich is renowned for its art galleries and museums, sometimes people forget that there’s more to discover than the Pinakothek galleries and the Deutsches Museum; in fact, the city has countless more recently established galleries and art spaces that are well worth a visit.
The Kreativquartier (creative quarter) in the north of the city is a unique site. Spanning some five hectares, it is a haven for art and culture – in addition to studios and theatre stages, you’ll find various open workshops and studios belonging to Munich designers. The Kreativquartier events calendar includes a changing programme of exhibitions and performances, as well as concerts, readings and workshops. Visitors to the area stroll past old industrial buildings and overgrown gardens; at lunchtime people congregate at the Import Export Kantine, which itself hosts events and workshops almost every day. The Zirka Zentrum für interdisziplinäre Raum- und Kulturarbeit (Centre for interdisciplinary spatial and cultural work) will soon be opening here too, and the future of the area may be as an urban district in which living and creative work go hand-in-hand.
Kreativquartier, Schwere-Reiter-Strasse 2
If you’re wandering through Haidhausen, be sure to check out the Lothringer 13 hall – Hamburg artist Stefan Marx’s piece installed on the façade of the building can be spotted from a good distance away: “I wait here for you forever / as long as it takes”. Inside, visitors are greeted by bright exhibition rooms and what is probably the coolest museum café in the city: Rroom, a café and bookshop in one. By day you can browse its extensive collection of art magazines, while at night you can experience various readings, performances and lectures there. Lothringer 13 is an artists’ studio which was established in 1980 in a former factory building, and today serves as a venue for group exhibitions on social topics and discourses, with a particular focus on supporting the work of young artists.
Lothringer 13, Lothringer Strasse 13
Köşk in the Westend district is a temporary use project aimed at offering easy access to art for young people in particular. However, it is also a neighbourhood meeting place for visitors of all ages. Housed in what was once a city library, today anyone interested in art can come to view a changing programme of free exhibitions. Young Munich residents can also have their work exhibited here. Köşk aims to inspire young people and motivate them to engage with art, and works with schools, cultural institutions and creative artists to achieve these aims. The large, bright exhibition space is also used as a venue for various courses and offerings, from the Digitalwerkstatt (digital workshop) and photography darkroom to the Orchester für alle (orchestra for all).
Köşk, Schrenkstrasse 8
The Färberei in Giesing is part of Köşk, and is used as the venue for some of the workshop courses offered in Westend, in disciplines such as screen printing, sewing and pottery. The roof garden at the Färberei also functions as a space for growing vegetables, while musicians can record and experiment in the recording studio. This young art venue is a true institution in the city. It is located in the rear courtyard of a historic building and the premises was once an operational Färberei, or dye works. The changing programme of free exhibitions showcases graffiti and graphic design, street art and screen printing, painting and fashion as well as photography, installations and sculpture.
Die Färberei, Claude-Lorrain-Strasse 25
The KloHäuschen is a room encompassing just eight square metres, located at the western entrance to the Grossmarkthalle, and since 2009 has been in use by Anja Uhlig of the realitaetsbüro. The moment the Munich artist saw inside this century-old building – a former public urinal block (“klohäuschen” means “outhouse”) – she fell in love. Now people in the fields of art, music, architecture, performance and more come from all over the world to put their stamp on the KloHäuschen for a specific period. It has been transformed into a stalactite cave, holiday home, a forest and even a lecture hall. What’s more, every two years a guest artist is invited to exhibit in the space as part of the KloHäuschen Biennale event. Anja Uhlig has already won multiple awards with her little KloHäuschen!
Das KloHäuschen, Thalkirchner Strasse 81
“BNKR – current reflections on art and architecture” is a platform for contemporary art and architecture founded by Munich entrepreneur Stefan Höglmaier. Inside and out, the gallery is devoted to the topic of architecture. The BNKR exhibition spaces are on the ground floor of a multi-storey former war bunker in the north of Munich, and host exhibitions that change every twelve months. Internationally renowned artists such as Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath have also exhibited here. The thing that makes BNKR special is that you can approach the curators directly to discuss concepts. It is inevitable that any art exhibited here will engage with the theme of architecture, simply because the bunker is such a unique exhibition space.
BNKR, Ungererstrasse 158
If you are looking for exciting contemporary art, the størpunkt gallery in Schwabing district is the place to go. The art exhibited and sold here is encouraged to dig deeper; nothing should simply scratch the surface. Exhibitions run for six weeks each and include works by national and international artists. It is always important that the works on display should not just be aesthetically pleasing, but should instead explore the topics of our times in various ways. The størpunkt gallery will delight fans of contemporary painting, film, conceptual art and performance art alike.
størpunkt, Tengstrasse 32a
For over 30 years, the Feierwerk cultural centre on Heimeranplatz has been an important cultural venue where people can celebrate and experiment, with the extensive site encompassing a huge variety of facilities, from concert halls to a children’s radio station. One project here is the Farbenladen initiative, intended to act as a forum and a showcase for young Munich art; since 2010 the project has led the arrangement of various exhibitions and workshops, as well as the sale of art works. Farbenladen is also an artistic production centre and co-working space, catering for all forms of art from painting and sculpture to video and fashion design.
Feierwerk Farbenladen, Hansastrasse 31