neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst

Founded in 1969 on a grassroots democratic model, the neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst (New Society for Visual Art) 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.

A pencil sketch on brown paper with circles and arrows pointing at each other
Sketch of the structures of nGbK by Herbert Mondry and Gernot Bubenik, 1969

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.

The neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst (nGbK) is financed by the Senate Department for Culture and Community.