Ellen Seifermann, born in 1956 in Lauf (Bühl), has been director of the Kunsthalle Nürnberg since 1999.
Having gained a degree in law, Seifermann studied philosophy, political science and art history in Freiburg. In tandem she had also been running a producers’ gallery in Freiburg since 1983. From 1992 to 1999 she was the artistic director and secretary of the Kunstverein Heilbronn. Among others, she curated exhibitions by Eberhard Bosslet, Katharina Grosse, Anton Henning, Nan Hoover, Michael Jäger, Hubert Kiecol, Karin Kneffel, Horst Münch, Max Neuhaus, Hermann Pitz and Ulrike Rosenbach, which also came to critical attention beyond the region.
As director of the Kunsthalle Nürnberg since 1999, Seifermann has presented an exhibition programme focusing on German and international contemporary art since the 1960s. This includes solo exhibitions of young international artists – such as Marijke van Warmerdam, Paul Morrison, Joachim Koester, Annika Larsson, Thomas Rentmeister, Jonathan Monk – as well as selected positions since the 1960s. This either comes in the shape of a retrospective (as in the case of Gustav Metzger, 2000, and John Wesley, 2006) or of an analytical survey of an artist’s early work (as with Robert Barry, 2003).
These presentations are complemented by group exhibitions which include international artists and centre mostly on topical themes, which might take a popular angle – such as “Sport in der zeitgenössischer Kunst” (2001), “fuckin’ trendy” (2003) or “trouble with fantasy” (2005) – or else address issues related to art and cultural theory. For instance: “Reality Bytes. Der medial vermittelte Blick” (2000) that explored the influence of new media on traditional artistic genres; “Kennen wir uns?” (2000) on the issue of identity and anonymity in relation to the possibilities of the Internet; “This Land is My Land” (2006) on the question of national and cultural identity in Germany.
In connection with her curatorial work Seifermann has conceived, published or co-produced numerous catalogues and publications whose key emphasis lies on contemporary art since 1960 (in particular Conceptual Art and Context Art), contemporary sculpture and so-called new media.