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nGbK façade view with works by Folke Köbberling in collaboration with Alexa Kreissl, 2023. Photo: Nihad Nino Pušija
Exterior view nGbK am Alex, 2023. Photo: Thomas Bruns
Exterior view nGbK am Alex, 2023. Photo: Thomas Bruns
station urbaner kulturen/nGbK Hellersdorf. Photo: Nihad Nino Pušija
Exterior view of nGbK at Oranienstraße 25, 2018. Photo: Nihad Nino Pušija

Founded in 1969 on a grassroots democratic model, the neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst (New Society for Visual Art; nGbK) is an art society funded by the City of Berlin whose program of exhibitions, events, and outreach addresses power structures in society. Today, the nGbK has around 1,000 members, making it one of the largest art associations in Germany. The nGbK established itself early on as an innovative location for contemporary art and exhibition production, influencing generations of curators, artists, and cultural producers with its pioneering exhibition concepts that address important sociocultural issues.

The association’s grassroots democratic structure is unique. At an annual general meeting, the members vote on the program for the following year. The program is then realized in working groups of at least five association members each. From the initial idea to its realization, it is accompanied and supported by the nGbK office. Its background is an understanding of art as a form of action with a potential impact on societal processes.

The structure determines the program: For instance, themes and formats often marginalized in the art world can gain institutional visibility here. (2024)


After more than thirty years in Kreuzberg, the Kunstverein moved to its new location on Karl-Liebknecht-Straße in Berlin-Mitte in August 2023. In a former McDonald’s adjacent to Alexanderplatz, new exhibition, event, work group, and office spaces for nGbK were created on more than 700 square meters. The reconfigurable room layout developed by the architectural firm Hütten und Paläste focuses on transparency, variability, and sustainability. Throughout the conversion, changes in the existing building structure from the 1970s were kept to a minimum and spatial interventions were reduced to the essentials. The architecture is open to the urban space, making collective negotiation processes visible in the heart of the city. At the same time, the variable usability of the space opens it up to the different curatorial approaches of the changing work groups.

In the immediate vicinity of the nGbK on Alex, there are several battle sites of cultural-political and urban planning, such as Molkenmarkt, the Bauakademie and the Humboldt Forum. The nGbK will be actively involved in urbanistic discourse also at this location.

The artist Folke Köbberling created a two-part façade work for the new site, which uses recycled materials and provides a nesting place for birds.

The nGbK location in Hellersdorf was initiated by members who have been active in the late-GDR housing project since 2014. Over time, it has become an exhibition and event space, and a place for artists and local residents to work together. Here, interventionist processes, the further development of social structures, and a reflection on the future of the district are initiated and enlarged upon. The site in the last prefabricated housing district of the GDR also hosts formats of urban practice as well as open-air events and exhibitions on the nearby green land known as Place Internationale. (2024)

For thirty years, the nGbK’s exhibition space was located in the backyard of Oranienstrasse 25 in Berlin-Kreuzberg. The new owner of the building, the real estate company Victoria Immo Properties V S.à r.l., did not extend the nGbK’s lease, meaning that the contract for 400 square meters of exhibition space on the first floor expired on July 15, 2022. The dissolution of the building community had already begun a year earlier with the eviction of the Kisch & Co bookshop.

An interim solution was found at short notice for the 160 sqm of office and event space on the first floor, so that the space could be used until summer 2023. From summer 2022 to summer 2023, the exhibition program of the nGbK took place in cooperation with and with the support of the Berlinische Galerie and the Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, as well as at the station urbaner kulturen/nGbK Hellersdorf location.