Looking up in Wuppertal, you will be able to see more than just the floating trains: High culture, for one thing. Offspaces, too. In the park, in the former gas boiler, or in the LOCH – the town in the Bergisches Land region truly does live up to its name. It goes up and down, back and forth – also and in particular when moving in the tracks of art and culture.
Find my certainly incomplete, wildly mixed, but very personal selection of places for everyone interested in a colourful visit to the city on the Wupper full of culture below.
Culture to the Power of 10 in Wuppertal
- Von der Heydt Museum
- Pina Bausch Dance Theatre & Pina Bausch Center
- Visiodrom Wuppertal
- Neuer Kunstverein Wuppertal
- Sculpture Park Waldfrieden
- die börse
- hebebühne e. V.
- Stadtsparkasse Wuppertal
- Art in the public space
One of the most famous museums of art from the 16th century to the present day in North Rhine-Westphalia – who am I kidding? – in all of Germany is standing right in downtown Wuppertal. Works by Claude Monet, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Otto Dix, Pablo Picasso, or Francis Bacon are stored behind the thick walls and shown in changing exhibitions from time to time. It’s a good start into a day dedicated to art. Advice: Looking at art brings up an appetite, and muluru is conveniently located right in the museum to offer more art in addition to good food: Daniel Buren designed the café’s interior in the 1990s. It’s worth stopping by!
Von der Heydt-Museum
Pina Bausch is another celebrity from Wuppertal! Her style revolutionised the world of dance and continues to shape it to this day. The Wuppertal Opera House is the home to the dance theatre named after this avant-gardist. From mid-November 2022 onwards, you will once again be able to experience her idea of dance when the new production of “Kontakthof – A Pina Bausch Play” starts its run. The Pina Bausch Center is another player dedicated to the choreographer’s legacy: With its genre-spanning programme, the project continues Bausch’s idea of linking everyday life with the art of dance. Does that sound complicated? The popular artists’ collective Rimini Protokoll makes it more straightforward with their “Remote Wuppertal” audio tour. New dates will be available in October 2022.
Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch
The immersive experience of the exhibition “Monet – Rebel and Genius” at the Visiodrom Wuppertal is also impressive, though in a different manner. The projection screen for Monet’s greatest painterly moments is located inside a former gas boiler. This multi-media exhibition showcases more than 250 of the painter’s works, uniquely combining visual and sound worlds. Art can be felt and experienced with all senses here. The spectacle is going to be hosted in Wuppertal until the end of 2022.
The Neue Kunstverein Wuppertal in the Kolkmannhaus impresses with its quiet tones: Since 2009, it has given a platform to show, discuss, and network art for artists from the city as well as those from elsewhere and citizens interested in art. Right now, Myriam Hofer’s exhibition “vogelfrei” is on exhibition. The Open Forum is hosted every last Wednesday of the month at 7 PM, inviting people to exchange ideas.
Neuer Kunstverein Wuppertal
The Waldfrieden Sculpture Park is another major feature of Wuppertal’s cultural landscape. Internationally renowned sculptor Tony Cragg presents a mix of his own sculptural work and that of his colleagues among the nature on the heights between Elberfeld and Barmen. This idyll houses three glass pavilions with space for changing exhibitions. I keep coming back to this fascinating interaction of art and nature, of inside and outside. Do not skip a stop at Café Podest after a long walk through the park to enjoy a cup of coffee, some cake, or one of their delicious dishes.
Wuppertal’s socio-cultural centre very close to the sculpture park. The communication and cultural centre numbers among the oldest and largest ones of its kind in Germany. It offers culture with everyone and for everyone: This is where communities and cultural initiatives meet, where social participation and political education happen. Countless events also take place at the börse, including theatre, dance, music, cabaret, poetry slam … It’s worth taking a regular look at the börse calendar of events.
die börse Wuppertal
The “get involved” motto of the socio-cultural meeting places continues further down the road in Wuppertal. Since 2010, LOCH has been about cross-disciplinary art and the exchange of wild thoughts and ideas. Initially just a group of people striving to make art and create free spaces, the troupe now prefers to organise concerts, readings, workshops – or to hatch other ideas – together with the audience. Take a closer look at what’s on offer at LOCH if you wish to join them in their hatching.
The Hebebühne is yet another association that enriches the cultural life of Wuppertal. This non-profit exhibition and event venue has been around since 2009. It regularly hosts exhibitions of young art in any form: No matter if you are a designer, artist, musician, or writer – anyone looking for space for exhibitions, concerts, or projects can find it on Mirker Straße. For you, that means that something new is being created at this meeting place at any time. Dropping in periodically is a great idea.
Mirker Str. 62
The foyer of the Stadtsparkasse Wuppertal is an entirely different place for art. Let me be frank: It does take quite a bit of resolve for a creative to enter the customer forum to visit the part of the exhibition that is open to the public. You also need to know when there is anything to be seen here. Maybe my inclusion of the savings bank here will help a little!? In any case, the “Art in the Savings Bank” project periodically showcases contemporary art from Wuppertal. Currently on display are works by Tatjana Valsang. Advice: Some Thursdays in September and October 2022 are going to have guided tours of the expanded exhibition in the rooms at the Islandufer and Johannisberg.
Stadtsparkasse Wuppertal (Foyer)
It is also worth keeping your eyes open on the paths from the historical town hall on the Johannisberg and the Von der Heydt Museum: Many sculptures and pieces of plastic art decorate the urban space of Wuppertal. From Tony Craggs’ sculpture “Zufuhr” outside the Sparkasse administration building to Alf Lechner’s “Rondo” at the Stadthalle, there is no shortage of sculptures in Wuppertal. Incidentally, another sculpture by Craggs, who has lived and worked in Wuppertal for many years, is standing opposite the opera house. “Scala” by Horst Glasker at the Holsteiner Treppe, the most frequently photographed one of Wuppertal’s many staircases also constitutes art in the public space and is definitely worth a stop as well.
Holsteiner Treppe (Holstein Stairs)
Holsteiner Treppe 1