Cities & Culture

Modern art at its best at the Schirn Art Hall in Frankfurt am Main.

The Schirn building itself is something of a modern work of art in the heart of Frankfurt's Old Town with its light, angular design nestled between the distinguished red sandstone cathedral and the Römer old town hall. The art gallery is located at the heart of the city as an important focal point in Frankfurt's cultural life. It is also one of the most celebrated galleries in Germany and in Europe.

Schirn, the name of the gallery, is the Hessian word for "hut" or "shed", which belies its significance. Since opening in 1986, the Schirn has staged some 200 exhibitions. It has no collection of its own but organises temporary exhibitions and projects on selected themes or the work of individual artists. The themed exhibitions have made the most notable contribution to the gallery's international reputation, such as those offering an overview of Viennese Art Nouveau, Expressionism, Dadaism and Surrealism, the history of photography and subjects such as shopping – art and consumerism and the visual art of the Stalin era. Major solo exhibitions have honoured artists such as Wassily Kandinsky, Marc Chagall, Alberto Giacometti, Frida Kahlo, Bill Viola, Arnold Schönberg, Henri Matisse and Julian Schnabel. Taking a stance on topical themes and aspects of artistic creation can be said to be the Schirn's hallmark. It aims not only to engage visitors in a meaningful exhibition experience but also to encourage active participation in the cultural discussion.

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