Established in 1917 by the Aarhus Art Association (Aarhus Kunstforening), Kunsthal Aarhus is one of the oldest visual arts institutions in Denmark and in Europe.
Kunsthal Aarhus develops and promotes artistic programmes that work within traditional formats, in addition to functioning as a platform for visual experiences generated by research-based, participatory and trans-disciplinary experiments. Over the years, through projects carried out to high professional standards, Kunsthal Aarhus has established itself as a significant national and international exhibition space for contemporary art.
In recent years, solo exhibitions by established Danish and international artists have included: Kirstine Roepstorff (G[r]AIN, 2022), Sammy Baloji (Other Tales, 2020), Sondra Perry (A Terrible Thing, 2019), Sidsel Meineche Hansen (End-user, 2018), Thomas Hirschhorn (Pixel-collage, 2017), Otobong Nkanga (The Encounter That Took A Part of Me, 2017), Berlinde De Bruyckere (Embalmed, 2017) and Gillian Wearing (A Real Danish Family, 2016).
There have also been a number of group exhibitions, namely: Grave Monuments (2021), Post Institutional Stress Disorder (2018-19), DUMP! Multispecies Making and Unmaking (2015), and Systemics (2013-14).
Kunsthal Aarhus plays a significant role in the Danish cultural landscape due to its ability to inspire partners at local, national and international levels. Bringing local cultural communities together, and engaging with global debates and international trends, it stimulates cross-pollination of ideas. In doing so, Kunsthal Aarhus has created new spaces for art, engaged with broader audiences, bolstered the regional art scene, and helped shape debate in both artistic and academic contexts.
Locally, it frequently collaborates with a wide range of partners including Aarhus University, Jutland Art Academy, The Artists’ Easter Exhibition, Aarhus Billedkunstcenter, Malt Air, Jyllands-Posten, ARoS Aarhus Art Museum, Godsbanen and Moesgaard Museum. It also collaborates with local festivals such as Aarhus Festuge, as well as those taking place in Copenhagen (i.e. CPH:DOX documentary film festival). On a national level it has worked with the National Gallery of Denmark (Copenhagen), Brandts Art Museum (Odense) and Kunsthal Charlottenborg (Copenhagen).
In the past few years, it has expanded its international partnerships by collaborating with, among others: Art Sonje Center (Seoul), KW Institute for Contemporary Art (Berlin), BOZAR Center for Fine Arts (Brussels) and Castlefield Gallery (Manchester).
Known as Aarhus Kunstbygning until 2012, Kunsthal Aarhus is sited in a listed building in the heart of Aarhus. Originally designed in 1916 by architect Axel Høeg-Hansen, it went through a series of architectural redevelopments during the 1990s and 2000s, with the later work undertaken by C.F. Møller, one of Scandinavia's leading architectural firms. At present, the building houses 1000 square meters of gallery space.
Kunsthal Aarhus is a nonprofit independent foundation which each year raises 70% of funds for its day-to-day operations and artistic programmes. This is only possible thanks to the generous support of public grants from Aarhus Municipality and the Danish Arts Foundation, and private grants from major Danish foundations.