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Grazer Kunstverein
Palais Trauttmansdorff
Burggasse 4
8010 Graz, Austria

The Grazer Kunstverein is a non-profit, members-based arts organisation located on the ground floor of the historic Palais Trauttmansdorff in the centre of Graz. Founded in 1986, the Grazer Kunstverein has developed a distinctive voice within Austria, and operates in strong dialogue with international developments in contemporary art. Established as a space for artistic production, exhibition-making and mediation, it has always resisted populist influences, instead advocating for the promotion and presentation of qualitative artistic experiments. The history of the institution itself is one of experimentation, risk-taking, and critical discourse and therefore provides the context to rethink the role and function of a Kunstverein within contemporary conditions.

The Grazer Kunstverein works with artists from Austria and all over the world, with the aim of nurturing and empowering recent and compelling artistic positions, while facilitating a depth of engagement within processes of artistic practice. The artistic programme today is defined by its commitment to ‘performativity’ – the constitution of meaning through acts or practices. The conceptual focus of ‘performativity’ and its role in relation to contemporary art practices is explored in dialogue with artists and audiences, through four major new commissions each year.

International artists are invited to locate the production of challenging new work in the city of Graz, and are supported to engage with multiple publics to play direct roles in the development and realisation of original and ambitious artistic projects. Within this, our emphasis is on finding points of connection, and facilitating dialogue, while fostering insight through participation. All the while, striving to elicit a meaningful depth of engagement between the many and varied communities of Graz, and the artists whose projects are brought to life by them.

Each new commission is developed, produced and presented alongside a companion programme of exhibitions and events. The Grazer Kunstverein engages with cross-disciplinary, process-based practices through an ambitious programme of activities including exhibitions, performances, and events. This trajectory reflects our research-based, artist-centred, engagement-oriented approach. The programme is distinguished by close collaborations with exciting artists at critical moments in their career, working responsively in a way that is locally rooted, nationally relevant, and internationally resonant.

1986 by Peter Pakesch and Helmut Strobl

Artistic directors

from 2021 (October) Tom Engels
2016–2021 (September) Kate Strain
2012–2016 Krist Gruijthuijsen
2012 (January–September) Daniel Pies
2005–2011 Søren Grammel
1994–2005 Eva Maria Stadler
1987–1993 Elisabeth Printschitz
1986–1987 Peter Pakesch/Helmut Strobl


Georg Mayer-Heinisch, Chairman
Alexander Isola, Cashier
Stefan Stolitzka, Secretary
Georg List, Member of the Board

Advisory Board

Ann Demeester, Frans Hals Museum/De Hallen, Haarlem, NL
Annie Fletcher, IMMA Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, IE
Tessa Giblin, Talbot Rice Gallery, The University of Edinburgh, UK
Teresa Gleadowe, CAST Cornubian Arts & Science Trust, Cornwall, UK
Krist Gruijthuijsen, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, DE
Vanessa Joan Müller, AT

Funded by


bundeskanzleramt kunst RGB

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Main Private Sponsor

Patrons and Partnerships


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