Dr. Peter Joch: Lively encounter with contemporary art


Kunsthalle Darmstadt is a tradition-rich gallery with a lively and extremely diverse programme. Presentations include high-class thematic exhibitions devot­ed to socially relevant topics and motifs from every­day life. Throughout the year, various exhibitions are present­­ed over periods of several months. Exam­­ples include “Baby Body” – the infant motif in contemporary art, “Wings of Art” – the aero­­plane motif, “gezeichnet graffiti” (signed graf­­fiti), “Märchen Kunst” (art fairy tale), and “schöner leben” (living more nicely) with artistic reflections and parodies about home décor. The day-to-day themes help allay initial fears of contemporary art. The exhibitions feature world-famous stars such as Jeff Koons, Jörg Immendorff, Jonathan Meese, Sigmar Polke, William Kentridge, Mel Ramos, Kara Walker, and Keith Haring. The more established artists are contrasted by younger, avant-garde talents.


Another part of the Kunsthalle programme involves exchanges with artistically dynamic regions such as South Korea, Arab countries, Aquitaine (France), Poland, and Israel.

Monographic exhibitions introduce artistic person­alities who have a signal effect, such as Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Andreas Feininger, and Bill Viola. Kunsthalle is also known to produce far-reaching, eye-opening historical retrospects. To date, such artists as William Hogarth, Eugène Carrière and James McNeill Whistler have represented the precursors of an artistic moder­­n­­ity. The programme is equally devoted to international art and world-renowned artists as well as the discovery of younger artists.

Thematically and historically, Kunsthalle Darmstadt produces side glances and surprises. Its programme is as diverse, variable and dynamic as art itself.


Porträt-JochAfter studying art history and German philology in Berlin, Rome, Aachen and Florence, Dr. Peter Joch completed a doctoral study on the French Baroque painter Nicolas Poussin. He held positions as copywriter and concept generator for various advertising agencies and as art historian for universities in Berlin, Basel and Aachen as well as for the Federal Foreign Office. He was the curator of the Ludwig Forum for International Art in Aachen. Dr. Peter Joch has been the director of Kunsthalle Darmstadt since 2001.