Luther and the Avantgarde

Lutherdenkmal auf Wittenberger Marktplatz

From 19 May to 1 November 2017, the Foundation for Art and Culture will present the exhibition "Luther and the Avantgarde" with works of contemporary art.

In Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Berlin and Kassel, the Foundation for Art and Culture, the art exhibition "Luther and the Avantgarde", is exhibiting. In Wittenberg the works are exhibited in the old prison, which in the summer of 2017 is marked by international contemporary art. Actual artists from all over the world present their works in the prison. They depict the ideas of the Reformation from their point of view in pictures, short films and creative works - that is progress - avantgarde!

Luther and Art

With his contribution to the question of the image as a result of the reformist picture of 1522, Martin Luther liberated the art of religious dictation. Pictures are neither good nor evil. They can inspire faith and reflection on God and the world. His attitude towards artistic freedom paved the way for modern art. Both artists and viewers are encouraged to think about the tasks and statements of art. In the focus of the exhibition "Luther and the avant-garde", Martin Luther is not a historical person but a "spiritual model" of a progressive, reformatory attitude.

Idea, concept and implementation

The art exhibition makes the "spiritual model of Luther", the idea of the Reformation, the starting point. It represents the reformer as a world-changing, thought-proving and avantgardeist of his time and asks for the impulses of today's time. Some 70 international artists are concerned with the ideas of the Reformation. In their works they visualize their view of freedom, individuality, religion, resistance, social conflict fields and the media. As a reflection of social observations, art has the task of sharpening the senses of the beholder, and calls for tolerance and acceptance.


In Lutherstadt Wittenberg the exhibition will be shown in the former prison. It has been specifically set up for the exhibition of art and creates an exciting spatial contrast to freedom. In the two other places of Berlin and Kassel, the works of art are presented in churches. The works of Gilbert & George are exhibited in the St. Matthew Church in Berlin. The works of the Indian artist Shilpa Gupta and the works of the Stuttgart artist Thomas Kilpper can be seen in the Karlskirche in Kassel.

Kassel Kirche
Berlin Kirche

Artists all over the world
In Lutherstadt Wittenberg works by g.e. Ólafur Elíasson, Ayşe Erkmen, Isa Genzken, Günther Uecker, Ai Weiwei, Erwin Wurm, Achim Mohné, Michael Sailstorfer, Olaf Metzel and Zhang Peili will be shown.

Impressions of the exhibition in Lutherstadt Wittenberg

Installationsansicht Achim Mohné
Metzel Installation
Erwin Wurm Installation
Michael Sailstorfer Mückenhaus
Jia Installation


Art exhibition
„Luther und die Avantgarde“

May 19 to November 1st, 2017

Altes Gefängnis
Berliner Straße
06866 Lutherstadt Wittenberg

Opening hours
Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm

Other Exhibitions
St. Matthäus-Kirche, Matthäikirchplatz, 10785 Berlin
Karlskirche, Karlsplatz, 34117 Kassel

Stiftung für Kunst und Kultur e.V. in cooperation with the Reformationsjubiläum 2017 e.V.
Realization within the scope of the Reformation world exhibition.