To visit Malmö Konsthall is to walk straight into the art. The unique and open floor plan reflects the city’s view that art should be accessible to all. Malmö Konsthall is part of Kulturförvaltningen in the City of Malmö.
Malmö konsthall has since its opening in 1975 presented contemporary art that challenges and inspires. We present three to four exhibitions each year with both international and local artists who all reflect our world and society in their art.
Art can be defined as a part of a bigger conversation. This is something we have taken note of in our work. The meeting between visitors and Malmö konsthall in our educational activities linked to our exhibitions, and in our program where meetings with other art forms arise, such as literature and music. The flexibility of the exhibition space, with its 2,000 sqm, changes the appearance of each exhibition. Because of this, it becomes a unique extension of the art that is shown. Our exhibitions extend to other rooms inside and outside our premises.
We believe in the combination of working international and local and we strive to have an anchorage in our city of Malmö in various ways. At malmo.se you will find more of what Kulturförvaltningen’s work has to offer.
Kulturförvaltningens .. work with everything from ensuring that children and youths have a part in cultural life and their own creation, to large international art exhibitions, archive issues, museums and libraries, and provide support for free cultural life. See Kulturförvaltningens website to read more about their work.
Malmö Konsthall has since its opening in 1975, brought many major international artists to Malmö. Unlike a museum, the Konsthall has no permanent collections, it retains the flexibility to exist as a free space, recreating its surfaces in new constellations for each exhibition, and remains able to adapt and respond to contemporary trends. The overall objectives are to capitalise on the unique potential of Malmö as an international, multi-cultural city, remain strongly anchored in the local art scene, and acknowledge the diversity of identities that exists both when it comes to oeuvres and to different groups of visitors.
Malmö Konsthall is a meeting place for the local art scene, and has a strong association with cultural life. The work of Malmö Konsthall is based on the city around it and the people who live there, and we look to connect with local organisations that share our goal of making art and culture accessible to all. Malmö Konsthall wants to be an art space for everyone in Malmö, a place where everyone will feel welcome, included, and inspired, and we want to ensure that the threshold to visit us is kept as low as possible. Malmö Konsthall seeks to engage new visitors by achieving the greatest possible openness and accessibility, and there is never an entrance fee for our exhibitions or programme.
Malmö Konsthall has a reconfigurable, bright exhibition space that can be altered from one exhibition to the next. It is, essentially, a white box and the flexibility of the exhibition space has become a highly appreciated feature among the artists who have shown here: almost any spatial idea can be realised within the 2,000 square metres of the konsthall. Since its opening in 1975, Malmö Konsthall has shown close to 500 exhibitions of varying scope and character.
Malmö Konsthall collaborates with various cultural actors, and offers a multidisciplinary programme that includes literature, music, film, performing arts, and debates. Working simultaneously on the local, regional, national, and international levels, the konsthall strives to widen the definition of art to the fullest extent possible.
The educational programme of Malmö Konsthall, which is mainly directed at children and young adults, provides hands-on experience of creative work for thousands of individuals each year. To promote general interest in contemporary art and encourage creativity, we organise workshops, both as part of the regular programming and through outreach activities and school visits. Malmö Konsthall also offers educational activities directed at art practitioners with disabilities. The konsthall takes active measures to ensure that all residents of Malmö will enjoy equal access to art and cultural experiences.
The opening of Malmö Konsthall on the 22nd of March 1975 was the culmination of many years of planning. There had been plans of opening a public art gallery in Malmö since the late 19th century, and in 1931, members of Skånes Konstförening (the Scania Art Association) established a foundation to further this cause. They organised a raffle, and they intended to use the resulting profits to construct a public art space. These plans, however, were never realised. The social climate in the 1960s and early 1970s encouraged local politicians to approve funding for a konsthall, and it was announced that the city would take submissions from architects
When Malmö Konsthall opened its doors to its very first visitors, in March 1975, there were two exhibitions on show: a large solo exhibition of works by Edvard Munch–including the famous The Scream, Anxiety, and Madonna, and a group exhibition featuring contemporary artists titled Ögon-Blickar/New Media 1. These exhibitions were followed, some two months later, by a Vincent Van Gogh exhibition. As the coming years would demonstrate, an institution of this relatively modest size will always find it challenging to produce such prestigious exhibitions consistently.
The Konsthall has many times been the first to show artists who have later gone on to be hugely influential. Listed among the participating artists in the first exhibition from 1975, Ögon-Blickar/New Media 1, were names like John Baldessari, Bernhard and Hilla Becher, Annette Messager, Edward Ruscha, and Katharina Sieverding–all of whom have since produced bodies of work that have won increasing international recognition. Malmö Konsthall has always worked with local, regional, and international artists alike, and historically, the emphasis and expression of the productions have varied with each director who has fulfilled the role.
Architect Klas Anshelm won the design contest that was announced for the construction of Malmö konsthall. He founded his firm in Lund in 1947, and at that point in time, his main claims to fame were the buildings he had made for Lund University and Lunds Konsthall, which opened in 1958.
Anshelm said the following about Malmö Konsthall: “It’s important to me that a visitor should enter the art gallery immediately. The moment you enter through the front door, you should be surrounded by art. I want it to be possible to put nails in the floor and the walls, without fear that it will ruin anything.” The flexibility of the exhibition space, which is essentially just a white box, has become a highly appreciated feature among the artists who have shown here: almost any spatial idea can be realised here. In the run-up to the Venice biennale of 1961, Anshelm was one of three architects to receive inquiries about designing the Northern Pavilion. He did not get the job in the end, but he held onto the idea of letting light in through the roof, and it eventually saw fruition here at Malmö Konsthall. The 550 skylights are still quite an attention-grabber whenever architecture students visit the konsthall.
In 1994, architect Jan Holmgren of White Arkitekter designed the construction of a section that was added between the gallery itself and the old “Craft’s house” from 1915. The reception, café, and auditorium were relocated from the exhibition space to what we now call Mellanrummet (the “in-between space”). The galley space grew, and the other facilities became more functional. The interiors of the café/restaurant and the bookshop/reception were designed by furniture designer Åke Axelsson.
- … the proceeds of the raffle organised by the Malmö Konsthall foundation back in 1931 have since been converted into an annual grant, which has been awarded to an active Malmö-affiliated artist each year since 1997?
- … the vine that grows on the outer concrete wall of Malmö Konsthall, along Munkgatan, is a Parthenocissus grapevine?
- …the floor inside the Malmö Konsthall gallery space is the original floor, which was made from 2-inch boards of unplaned pine?
- … White Arkitekter, apart from the addition to Malmö Konsthall, also designed the large square (Konsthallstorget and S:t Johannesplan) that has been in front of Malmö Konsthall since 2014, and which is located between the S:t Johannes Church and Pildammsvägen?
- … Åke Axelsson also designed spaces and furniture for places like Livrustkammaren (The Royal Armoury), the Moderna Museet restaurant, and the library of the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm, the Naval Museum in Karlskrona, and Värmlands Museum in Karlstad?
- …the “Crafts house”, which has an entrance that leads straight into the café and restaurant at Malmö Konsthall, is where our auditorium, children’s workshops, frame workshop, and offices are located? In the early 20th century, this building was used to house the widows of affiliated craftsmen, who would otherwise have had next to no prospects of securing housing without an income of their own. One of these lodgings used to be in the inner room of the Malmö Konsthall bookshop, and its kitchen windows once looked out onto the spot where our reception desk is placed today.
Mats Stjernstedt 2016–
Diana Baldon 2014–2016
Jacob Fabicius 2008–2013
Lars Grambye 2003–2007
Bera Nordal 1997–2002
Sune Nordgren 1990–1996
Björn Springfeldt 1986–1989
Eje Högestätt 1975–1986
The art education programme at Malmö Konsthall offers you as a visitor the tools you need to develop your appreciation for art and creativity. These activities are mainly intended for children and young adults, but adults, seniors, and members of various language communities are all included through our targeted workshops and activities. Regardless of your current skills and knowledge, you will be able to experience our exhibitions, learn something new, and explore your own creativity.
The popular workshop space at Malmö Konsthall is open on weekends and during school holidays through guided workshops held by educators, many of whom are professional artists themselves. Materials, techniques, and subjects from the current exhibition are explored, which means that you can expect to experience something new each time you visit. You are also welcome to visit the workshop on weekdays, to work on your own for a while. It is always free of charge, and you can bring what you have made home with you. The public workshops are intended for visitors of all ages.
Create in and around Malmö with us
We intend to be accessible to as many residents of Malmö as possible. To achieve this, we make frequent appearances at libraries, activity centres, festivals, and other venues that attract children and young adults. Feel free to contact us if you have an interesting collaboration to suggest.
Explore art from home
Would you rather prefer to experience the artworks from the comfort of your own home? If so, feel free to explore our exhibitions through our filmed guided tours and workshops, or through the audio guide app A Guided Tour, which you can access via your phone.
Creating with schools
Malmö Konsthall offers guided tours and creative workshops to schools in Malmö. Visits are free of charge for all schools located within the borders of Malmö. Schools can book visits here (https://kulturbokning.malmo.se/Schedule/Events)
Konstlyftet is a project aimed at adults with cognitive or physical disabilities. The project has been run by Malmö Konsthall in close collaboration with the Daglig verksamhet according to LSS (the law about support and service) social programme since 2011, and aims to be a free space for inspiration and creation in accordance with each individual’s unique needs and terms. Exhibitions are produced each year at Malmö Konsthall and other locations in the city. The project is run in collaboration with MKB Fastighets AB and the disability council in Malmö city.
Do you like to talk about the things you have read and seen? In Novellklubben, our short story book club, we read short stories or short texts on subjects related to the current exhibition at Malmö Konsthall. We then discuss the texts in accordance with a specific theoretical model. This programme is offered in collaboration with the Lindängen Library.
Art and culture provide a variety of preventive and rehabilitative health benefits. The Kultur på recept [Art on Prescription] project is aimed at individuals who suffer from mental health disabilities. It offers a safe, creative environment to work in, and the guidance of the educational staff at Malmö Konsthall.
Kultur för äldre [Art for Seniors] is a collaboration between the Culture Department and the Healthcare Department of Malmö. The intention is to strengthen and coordinate cultural activities for seniors in the city. Malmö Konsthall participates by offering creative workshops for seniors, film screenings, and art-related discussions.