To visit Malmö Konsthall is to immerse yourself in art. The unique, open floorplan reflects the city’s view that art should be accessible to everyone.
Since its opening in 1975, Malmö Konsthall has presented contemporary art that challenges and inspires. We present three to four exhibitions every year with international and local artists who reflect the world we live in today. The 2,000 square metre exhibition space is a blank canvas that transforms with every new exhibition. In this way it is able to become a unique extension of the art that is displayed.
We believe that art is always part of a bigger conversation. This is something that we aim to work with across all platforms, not only through exhibitions but also in our pioneering educational and events programme where we are able to situate what we do within a larger cultural context. Our work often extends to spaces outside of our premises in Malmö and is driven by genuine, long-term collaboration with communities and organisations.
We prioritise working directly with Malmö and its residents in a variety of ways and aim to balance our work in the city with our regional and international outreach. Malmö Konsthall is part of the Cultural Administration of the City of Malmö. Here you can find out more of what Malmö’s cultural sector has to offer.
Since its opening in 1975, Malmö Konsthall has brought many major international artists to Malmö. Unlike a museum, the Konsthall has no permanent collection. It retains the flexibility to exist as a free space and adapts and responds to each new exhibition and contemporary trends. Our goal is to make the most of the unique potential of Malmö as an international, multicultural city, to remain strongly anchored in the local art scene and to acknowledge the diversity of artistic practices and visitor groups.
Malmö Konsthall is a meeting space for the local art scene and is strongly associated with the cultural life of the city. We want to base our work on the city and its residents and to connect with local organisations that share our goal of making art and culture accessible to all. Malmö Konsthall strives to be an art space for everyone in Malmö, a place where everyone can feel welcome, included and inspired. We want to ensure that the threshold to visit us is kept as low as possible. Malmö Konsthall seeks to engage new visitors by being as open and accessible as possible; there is never an entrance fee for our exhibitions or programmes.
Malmö Konsthall has a flexible, bright exhibition space that can be transformed 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 presented almost 500 exhibitions of varying scope and scale.
Malmö Konsthall collaborates with a variety of cultural practitioners and offers a multidisciplinary programme that includes literature, music, film, performing arts and debate. Working simultaneously on 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, mainly directed at children and young adults, provides hands-on creative experience to thousands of individuals each year. As a way of promoting a general interest in contemporary art and to 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 have equal access to art and cultural experiences.
We aim to offer cultural experiences to all residents of Malmö. These activities encompass everything from ensuring that children and young people have access to cultural life and opportunities for their own creativity, to major international art exhibitions, archive matters, extensive museum operations, libraries, and support for independent cultural initiatives. More about the cultural activities in Malmö here (in Swedish).
Malmö Konsthall runs many different educational projects that aim to give participants keys to art and creativity. The educational activities at Malmö Konsthall are mostly directed towards children and youth, but adults, the elderly, people with developmental disabilities and different language groups are also welcomed through targeted workshops and programmes.
One of the konsthall’s most important projects is Konstlyftet, which is directed towards people with developmental disabilities who want to explore creative expression. Read more about Konstlyftet and sister project Frisco Studio Syd here below.
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.
Art and culture provide a variety of preventive and rehabilitative health benefits. The project Kultur på recept (Art on Prescription) is aimed at individuals who suffer from mental health issues. It offers a safe, creative environment to work in under the guidance of the educational staff at Malmö Konsthall.
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 Lindängen Library.
Konstlyftet is a project for adults with developmental disabilities driven by Malmö Konsthall in collaboration with daily acitivity centres in Malmö. Konstlyftet aims to offer participants an open space for inspiration and creativity, based on every individual’s personal needs and on their own terms.
Frisco Studio Syd
In March 2023, Malmö Konsthall started a new project that builds upon 10 years of experience working with people with developmental disabilities. We have started to explore the possibilities of starting up a new studio, Frisco Studio Syd. The studio will function as both a physical meeting space and a platform, specifically for people with developmental disabilities in the region that would like to work as professional artists.
The opening of Malmö Konsthall in 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 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. However, 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 soon after 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.
Malmö 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 character of the work shown has varied with new each director.
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 visitors enter the gallery space 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 Bienniale of 1961, Anshelm was one of three architects that was asked to submit a sketch for the Northern Pavilion. He didn’t 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 still catch the attention of architecture students who visit the Konsthall.
In 1994, the Konsthall was renovated and reopened. Architect Jan Holmgren of White Arcitecture 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 of Malmö Konsthall’s 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, the library of the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm, the Naval Museum in Karlskrona, and Värmlands Museum in Karlstad?
- … Malmö Konsthall was not at all involved in the purchase and placement of the three-part large sculpture by Tony Cragg, which was inaugurated in 2017 at Konsthallstorget. However, in 2001, Malmö Konsthall hosted a major retrospective exhibition featuring the artist.
- … The Craft House, which has an entrance directly into the Konsthall’s café and restaurant, houses an auditorium, a children’s workshop, a framing workshop, and an office. In the early 1900s, it was a so-called “widow’s house” for craftsmen who had passed away, and their widows, without their own income, had the opportunity to have a small residence. One such residence was located in the inner room of Malmö Konsthall’s bookshop, with a kitchen window facing the current reception desk.
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