Alongside classical museum themes, the ZKM | Museum of Contemporary Art [Museum für Neue Kunst, in short »MNK«] presented contemporary approaches from international artistic production.
The department "Museum für neue Kunst" [Museum of New Art] emerged from the department "Museum für Gegenwartskunst" [Museum of Contemporary Art] in 1999. As a so-called "collector's museum," the MNK was directed by Götz Adriani like an institution independent of the ZKM. In 2004, the museum was reintegrated into the ZKM as a department.
In 2017, the Museum of Contemporary Art as well as the Media Museum were formally dissolved as part of the restructuring of the ZKM and the collections of the houses were integrated, as the separation of artworks according to media increasingly contradicted contemporary artistic and curatorial practice.
Since 1999, a great number of pioneering thematic and monographic exhibitions on art and the history of culture have been realized. The history of painting, contemporary painting, sculpture and object art of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, as well as performances and body and media art comprise the focus of interest. Reflecting the global sphere, artistic works from the cultural regions of European, American, Asian and Arabic cultural regions have been represented here.
Exhibition Spaces in Special Formats / the Superlative Class
Thanks to the size and height of the exhibition halls, the ZKM | MNK was particularly well-suited for showing extensive, monumental installations and exhibits, which in many cases the artists have designed especially for these spaces. Around 7,000 square meters of exhibition surface, extensive atria, and flexible exhibition architecture facilitate both comprehensive monographic exhibitions as well as theme-based overview shows presenting the development of an art genre throughout the entire twentieth century.
Cooperation with Renowned Institutions and Partners
Since its opening, the ZKM | MNK has collaborated with internationally renowned art collections. In addition to the founding partners in Baden-Württemberg, the FER Collection, Siegfried Weishaupt and Grässlin are the collections of Christian Boros, the VAF-Stiftung/MART, and the Landesbank Baden-Württemberg. Among the long-term cooperation partners are also the private collections Falckenberg (Hamburg), Ingvild Goetz (Munich), and Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary/TBA 21 (Vienna).