Marta Herford in Herford, Außenansicht von oben, © Tourismus NRW e.V.

Top-Ex­hib­i­tions 2022

Behrens and Baroque

Museums in North Rhine-Westphalia offer a wide range of fascinating exhibitions with different emphases. Those interested in arts and culture can look forward to artwork from renowned painters, sculptors, photographers and musicians. Institutions will display exhibits of prominent musicians. Historic events and social phenomenons also play a role. In the following you can find a chronological overview of top-exhibitions that will take place this year. They are divided into the sections "Art, Design, Architecture" and "Music, Science, Society".

Museum Folkwang Essen, Neubau Foyer, © Giorgio Pastore

Art, Design, Ar­chi­tec­ture

Monet – Rebel and Genius, Visiodrom at the Gaskessel in Wuppertal

White water lilies, green leaves, and a quiet pond are depicted in the work of famous French painter and father of Impressionism Claude Monet. The Visiodrom in the Gaskessel Wuppertal is hosting a dedicated exhibition for this, presenting an immersive multi-media experience for the entire family. 29 high-powered laser projectors project more than 250 major works by the French master onto the screen in a 360-degree show. Visitors can stroll through meadows of poppies together with the woman with the parasol, experience the changing seasons in the Creuse Valley and the tranquil Parisian suburban life of Argenteuil as well as the vibrant life at the Saint-Lazare train station. 

Dates: starting on 16 June 2022

Full House, Museum Küppersmühle for Modern Art in Duisburg

The “Full House” exhibition in Duisburg’s Museum Küppersmühle (MKM) presents informal and abstract post-war art bearing the signature of the present day: Now the roughly hewn wooden sculptures framed in colour by Stephan Balkenhol are staring blanky into space, dealing with humankind and its environment. Now photographs by Thomas Florschuetz, Candida Höfer, and Katharina Sieverding put architecture and nature in the spotlight. Like other exhibits, they come from the Sammlung Ströher, one of the most important and comprehensive collections of German art after 1945.

Dates: 15 July 2022 to 9 October 2022

Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Kunstpalast in Düsseldorf

Pictures of a crowd of art fans strolling across the Place Charles-de-Gaulle in Paris, where the Arc de Triomphe is wrapped in 25,000 square meters of recyclable, blue-silver plastic fabric, have gone around the world. Though artist couple Christo and Jeanne-Claude started planning this project in 1962, it could not be put into practice until the autumn of 2021, after Christo’s death. This installation is an example of their joint lives’ work. The Kunstpalast Düsseldorf now pays tribute to them with a large overview exhibition that teaches visitors about all the projects realised and planned since Wrapped Coast happened in 1968/69. With many objects, large drawings, graphic works, photographs, and designs on display, the exhibition also references the Paris avant-garde from the 1950s that deeply influenced Christo as well as Jeanne-Claude.

Dates: 11 August 2022 to 8 January 2023

A new kind of art. Photography and Impressionism, Von der Heydt Museum in Wuppertal

The Von der Heydt Museum in Wuppertal is examining the interactions of photography and painting in the 19th century in its exhibition “Eine neue Kunst. Fotografie und Impressionismus” (A New Art. Photography and Impressionism). Not only painters developed a new visual language with pictures of rural France, coastal views, and seascapes, as well as scenes of the metropolis of Paris, but photographers were turning to similar motifs. Claude Monet and Charles Marville, for example, depicted people strolling and heavy traffic in the big city. Cloud studies and views of the boulevard were popular in the art scene. Guests can now follow the influences and connections based on valuable photographs and illustrated publications.

Dates: 2 October 2022 to 8 January 2023
Travel offer to match: A new kind of art. Photography and Impressionism

Klare Kante!, Dortmunder U

The “Klare Kante!” exhibition is setting a clear sign for art and creativity. It presents 128 works by artists from NRW who have dealt with subjects such as climate change, war, or gender identity in the last seven years. In the large Kulturturm in Dortmund, painting meets graphic design and drawings. Photography is supplementing sculpting, video, ceramics, mosaic, and object art. The exhibition of the Bundesverband Bildender Künstlerinnen und Künstler Westfalen e.V. (BBK) challenges visitors to think and act as well.

Dates: 11 November 2022 to 8 January 2023

Expressionisten am Folkwang, Museum Folkwang in Essen

The Museum Folkwang has brought together 120 works of exceptional expressionists such as Max Beckmann, Alexej von Jawlensky, Oskar Kokoschka, Franz Marc, Paula Modersohn-Becker, and many others under its roof for the second one of its centennial exhibitions. The exhibition uses paintings, graphics, and sculptures to analyse the history of this revolutionary art style with its free forms, dissolved perspective, and colour inserts. The tale stretches from the early days in Germany, past confiscation of pieces of art in National Socialism, to the celebrated exhibitions after 1945. Guests can draw their own connections between work, events, and the Museum Folkwang, whose history is inseparably linked to expressionism.

Dates: 20 August 2022 to 8 January 2023

Van Gogh. Experience und The Mystery of Banksy, Technikum in Mülheim

Do you want to dive into the world of Dutch master painter Van Gogh with multimedia light installations and video animations? Or would you rather get to know Banksy’s Street-Art based on 150 reproductions? The Technikum in Mülheim permits a new experience of art with two parallel exhibitions that are about as extraordinary as they get. Guests are looking at modernist paintings, enlarged multiple times, brimming with bright colours and contrasts of light in its hall. A few rooms on, they can discover true-to-the-original graffiti, photographs, sculptures, and prints reflecting the creative potential and political commitment of a world-renowned sprayer.

Dates: 7 October 2022 to 15 January 2023

Max Ernst and Nature as Invention, Kunstmuseum Bonn

A mysterious world with strange plants and fantastic animals: Max Ernst caused an outcry when he published his “Histoire Naturelle” in Paris in 1926, outlining his alternative model of the origin of the world. His idea of origin understands nature as a provocative and inspiring space of possibilities. The Kunstmuseum Bonn is now introducing its guests to this artist’s surreal universe by presenting the German painter and graphic artist’s pictorial parallel world in collages, rubbings (frottages), and colour prints (décalcomanies). Related works by artists such as Hans Arp and Paul Klee, Rebecca Horn, and Thomas Ruff complete the exhibition. Guests will find nature playing the part of a familiar and foreign element alike in these works.

Dates: 13 October 2022 to 22 January 2023

Wonderwalls. Street Art & Designer Toys, NRW-Forum in Düsseldorf

The NRW-Forum is bringing together more than 2,000 works from photography, graphic design, graffiti, sculpture, and figurative art to form a synthesis of pop culture. Elements include icons of the 1980s and 1990s, such as Bart Simpson, Luke Skywalker, or the Masters of the Universe, now appearing as small fantasy figures, now as the motifs of large murals. Anyone feeling nostalgic can enjoy a journey back in time when looking at works by Banksy, Javier Calleja, Martha Cooper, Shepard Fairey, Daniel & Geo Fuchs, Herakut, JR, or KAWS in the “Wonderwalls” exhibition. Contemporary history, consumerism, and mass phenomena are the themes here.

Dates: 30 September 2022 to 5 February 2023

Josef Albers. Homage to the square, Museum Quadrat in Bottrop, Germany

The Josef Albers Museum Quadrat in Bottrop pays tribute to the town’s most famous son with the “Josef Albers. Huldigung an das Quadrat” (Homage to the Square) exhibition. One of the 20th century’s important artists, the painter and art educator is known, among other things, for his iconic coloured-square paintings that represent Albers’ exploration of colours and shapes, lines and surfaces. The museum has assembled 90 pieces of outstanding artistic value out of the roughly 2,000 oil paintings of the “Homage to the Square” series. Works by Paul Cézanne, Giorgio Morandi, Ad Reinhardt, and Donald Judd complete the selection shown in the museum’s new extension. Further temporary exhibitions of international standing are to follow in the future in the 1,400 square meter building in the middle of the historical city garden.

Dates: 19 October 2022 to 26 February 2023

Zero, Pop und Minimal: Die 1960er und 1970er Jahre, Von der Heydt-Museum in Wuppertal

Zero, optical art, minimal and concept art go beyond the visual. They involve the audience, improve spatial perception, playfully or subversively reduce the distance from the work and inspire communication. All of this is made clear by the “Zero, Pop und Minimal: Die 1960er und 1970er Jahre” (“Zero, Pop, and Minimal – The 1960s and 1970s”) exhibition in Wuppertal’s Von der Heydt-Museum, as it draws attention to a time of revolt, when artists were politically active, made provocative statements with their works, and established new types of art. At the time, the location in Wuppertal served as a centre for everything new. Parts of its comprehensive collection and the museum’s history are now reflected in the events of the time.

Dates: 10 April 2022 to July 2023
Matching travel offering: Zero, Pop und Minimal

Departure into Modern Times, Kunstmuseum Bonn

The interpretation of art can be an ambiguous matter as it connects to discourses, ideas, and events. It communicates on many levels and brings about insights. Nothing could make this clear than the “Departure into modern times” exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Bonn, showing painted and graphic art from its collection of Classical Modernism. The exhibition places works by August Macke and the Rhenish Expressionists in a larger historical framework, connecting them with captivating episodes from the early 20th century. Guests can learn more about a continuing era full of pervasive changes on all levels of human life.

Dates: 27 June 2021 to 27 June 2024

Peter Behrens - Art and Technology – LVR Industriemuseum Peter-Behrens-Bau in Oberhausen

The redesigned permanent exhibition on the architect and designer Peter Behrens presents architectural models developed specifically according to original designs as well as current and historical photographs of his buildings - going from his early residential house in Darmstadt to the tobacco factory in Linz. The LVR Industriemuseum building in Oberhausen was also designed by Behrens.

Tomás Saraceno - in orbit, Kunstsammlung NRW in Düsseldorf

It is a rather different type of art enjoyment that visitors experience below the huge dome of the "K21 Ständehaus" building that houses the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, the North Rhine Westphalia art collection. They can enter the "in orbit" room installation by artist Tomás Saraceno and, in an extensive web structure covering 3 levels and a total area of 2,500 square metres, move freely between half-a-dozen "spheres", air-filled balls with diameters of up to 8.5 metres. The web sways from the steps, high above the piazza of the museum, and with it, the other people climbing it sway too - a communicative experience. The artist’s room in the K21, which was also designed by Saraceno, shows how the movement in the web construction works. Here, real spiders move about in their own webs.

Dates: the installation is part of the permanent exhibition in K21, but is occasionally closed for maintenance works. Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, the artwork is currently not accessible. More information can be found on the website of the Kunstsammlung NRW.
Suitable travel offer: Tomás Saraceno - in orbit

Kloster Dalheim in Lichtenau, Außenansicht, Innenhof, © Tourismus NRW e.V.

Mu­sic, Sci­ence and So­ci­ety

Rome’s flowing borders, five sites in the Rhineland

The Lower Germanic Limes has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 27 July 2021. The river border, with a length of more than 400 kilometres, follows the course of the Rhine from that time. Starting around 15 BC, it separated the Roman province of Lower Germania from free Germania for more than 450 years. A five-part exhibition now teaches history fans from all age groups about its significance for the development of urban centres in the Rhineland. Museums and archaeological parks in Detmold, Xanten, Bonn, Haltern am See, and Cologne have opened their exhibitions in September to explain where military and civilian centres were located in NRW, where people used to explore, build, trade, and fight. Unique new finds, research results, and replicas of Roman buildings and objects bring the Roman era to life.

Dates: September 2021 to October 2022

Power2Change: Mission energy revolution, Henrichshütte in Hattingen

How can the energy revolution be successful in times of scarce resources and political strife? The “Power2Change” exhibition is tackling this question, presenting current projects from science and research. The Henrichshütte Hattingen is teaching its guests about new concepts and technologies that are to provide a climate-neutral future without oil and gas. Transport of green electricity, production of raw materials for medicines from CO2 or fuelling up vehicles with E-fuels are some of the relevant factors here. Media stations, augmented-reality experiences, and exhibits from the lab point out the necessity of change.

Dates: 14 August 2022 to 11 December 2022

The fragile paradise, Gasometer in Oberhausen

A 20-meter-wide globe floats high above the visitors’ heads. Projectors cast high-resolution satellite images of the Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR; the German Aerospace Center) onto its surface, making our world visible in all its beauty. This grace is fleeting, as the new exhibition “Das zerbrechliche Paradies” (The fragile paradise) in the Oberhausen Gasometer demonstrates impressively with award-winning photographs and videos. Some of these present beautiful landscapes and exotic animals to the guests, while others show smoking stacks or polluted waters to reflect the effects industry has on the environment. The dramatic consequences of human intervention in nature are made visible in these exhibits. The show presents the unadulterated truth, demonstrating the history climate in all its facets.

Dates: 1 October 2021 to 30 December 2022

The last of their kind, Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn

What is the common factor of woodturning and wickerwork, porcelain painting, and silk weaving? They are all near-forgotten professions UNESCO has put on the list of Germany’s intangible cultural heritage. The exhibition “Die letzten ihrer Art” (The last of their kind) presents these and other now-rare trades. Guests at the Bundeskunsthalle will learn about the challenges these professionals are facing on a daily basis from personal stories. The exhibition places a special focus on revitalising such dying crafts. Current trends like the do-it-yourself one, repair and recycling workshops also play a role here, along with the sustainability debate and technological change.

Dates: 3 December 2022 to 16 April 2023

Worldbuilding, Julia Stoschek Collection in Düsseldorf

The Julia Stoschek Collection has been permanently established in Düsseldorf’s cultural scene since 2007. One of the world’s largest private collections of time-based art, it celebrates its 15th birthday by hosting an anniversary exhibition on video games and art in the digital age. The exhibition’s name of “Worldbuilding” is the game here, as guests are led through a number of parallel worlds that reflect the aesthetics behind digital games and question their origins. Passionate gamers, as well as art enthusiasts and anyone interested in technology, can discover anything from single-channel video work to interactive environments to engage with the mass phenomenon of “gaming.” Of course, virtual-reality applications and AI-based projects are a must-have in this modern presentation as well.

Dates: 5 June 2022 to 10 December 2023

  • Museum Schloss Moyland in Bedburg-Hau am Niederrhein, Außenansicht, © Tourismus NRW e.V.
    Max Ernst Museum in Brühl, Außenansicht, © Tourismus NRW e.V.
    Marta Herford in Herford, Außenansicht von oben, © Tourismus NRW e.V.
  • Kloster Dalheim in Lichtenau, Außenansicht, Innenhof, © Tourismus NRW e.V.
    Blick auf die Bundeskunsthalle Bonn, © Tourismus & Congress GmbH Region Bonn,Rhein-Sieg,Ahrweiler
    Gasometer Oberhausen in der Dämmerung, © Ruhr Tourismus GmbH Jochen Schlutius

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