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Portikus, Frankfurt

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Portikus is an exhibition hall for contemporary art in Frankfurt am Main, that was founded in 1987 by Kasper König, one of the most influential living curators of contemporary art. Its name is derived from the surviving portico of the Stadtbibliothek (public library) from 1825 that was destroyed during World War II. In 1987, the vestige of this classical building again fulfilled its architectural function as a facade when the Frankfurt-based architects Marie-Theres Deutsch and Klaus Dreißigacker built a simple white cube out of shipping containers. Portikus presents the work of internationally renowned artists, and exhibits younger, emerging artists. Almost always, art work is commissioned for the gallery space.

The city government decided to rebuild the destroyed library, however, awarding the contract to local architect Christoph Mäckler. In 2003, therefore, after 16 years and more than 100 exhibitions, Portikus moved into the ground floor of the historical building known as the Leinwandhaus. This temporary location was designed with the artist Tobias Rehberger (born 1964). Rehberger developed a spatial concept that, through the introduction of various modular elements such as platforms and boxes, allowed the integration of the gallery, office, reading area, and storage spaces into a large and rustic hall. In collaboration with the Zumtobel Staff, the artist Olafur Eliasson (born 1967) designed the lighting of the exhibition space. Until the beginning of 2006, the exhibition program operated in this space under the name “Portikus im Leinwandhaus”.

In 2006, Portikus moved to a new space, designed as well by Christoph Mäckler. The new building is located on a small island in the river Main at the very center of the city, with direct access only from the Alte Brücke, or Old Bridge, Frankfurt's oldest bridge.

The relationship of Portikus to the city is defined by its association with the Städelschule, Academy of Fine Arts; this link allows an intense exchange between the exhibiting artists and the students of the art academy.
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Portikus Reviews

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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.5
15 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • A curious red structure on the southern approach of Alte Brucke. I guess it used to have a more practical function but now serves as an exhibition hall. When we were there, works by Leo Asemota...  more »
  • Along the river, just beside a bridge is this odd shaped, tall roof building which looks like a tall, red barn. It is on an island where the river splits a little to go around this long spit of land.....  more »
Google
  • Super bb relaxing calming... Loving amazing
  • Here can be very interesting if there is a exhibition, or it will be totally lame if there is no exhibition.

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