Outdoor Art Installations Across Four German Cities Aim to Revitalize Urban Downtowns

DesignWalk.Art, organized by gallerist Isabel Bernheimer, is on view throughout Augsburg, Munich, Nuremberg, and Passau.

Jan Kuck, Sore Point, red & green (2021). Photography by Lérot. Courtesy Bernheimer Contemporary.
Jan Kuck, Sore Point, red & green (2021), installed in Passau. Photo: Lérot. Courtesy of Bernheimer Contemporary.

This month, across Bavaria’s four largest cities—Augsburg, Munich, Nuremberg, and Passau—artists, restaurants, stores, and cultural institutions are coming together for the first-ever DesignWalk.Art (DWA). 

Organized by Isabel Bernheimer, the owner of Munich gallery Bernheimer Contemporary, DesignWalk.Art features artworks installed in city squares and in store windows by artists including Alexander Deubl, Jan Kuck, Felix Rodewaldt, and Johannes Vetter. After the upheavals of the pandemic, these outdoor art walks are aimed at revitalizing energy in the cities and encouraging visitors and residents alike to engage with the fabric of the city. 

DWA evolved from a “Window Shopping” campaign Bernheimer initiated in Munich in 2020 . “We asked various stores if we could put artworks in their windows and they agreed. The retailers said afterwards that they could see from the sales how their revenues had gone up as a result of the art promotion, despite the lockdown. We asked ourselves, how can we develop the concept further?,” said Bernheimer. “After that, I suggested to the Department of Commerce that a concerted effort could be made to bring several cities together to make it even more of an impact to revitalize the centers. That’s how I came up with the DesignWalk.Art.” 

For its inaugural edition, DWA is also collaborating with local institutions on special activities, such as artist talks, interactive tours, and personal guided tours through Bernheimer Contemporary. 

Among the most captivating of the works is Jan Kuck’s neon installation Always Reach Beyond the Lightwhich debuted at Munich’s Ohel Jakob Synagogue during Rosh Hashanah. A total of 54 works will be on view across the four cities. The installations are made possible with financing by the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs. 

“Cultural and event industries as well as downtown businesses have still not recovered a year and a half after the first lockdown” said Bernheimer. “Our hope is that art can be a salve for the recovery of these cities.” 

See images from DesignWalk.Art 2021.

Johannes Vetter, Monument. Photography by Lérot. Courtesy Bernheimer Contemporary.

Johannes Vetter, Monument (2018), installed in Munich. Photo: Lérot. Courtesy of Bernheimer Contemporary.

Johannes Vetter, Ear (2018). Photography by Lérot. Courtesy Bernheimer Contemporary.

Johannes Vetter, Ear (2018), installed in Passau. Photo: Lérot. Courtesy of Bernheimer Contemporary.

Jan Kuck, Always Reach Beyond the Light . Photography by Lérot. Courtesy Bernheimer Contemporary.

Jan Kuck, Always Reach Beyond the Light (2021), installed in Munich. Photo: Lérot. Courtesy of Bernheimer Contemporary.

DesignWalk.Art 2021 is on view through October 31, 2021. 


Follow Artnet News on Facebook:


Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.

Share