Kunsthal Extra City exhibits contemporary visual art in a welcoming and unique setting. As a middle-sized, Antwerp-based art organisation, we are firmly rooted in Belgium’s artistic ecosystem and offer a hub where artists, art lovers and city residents can come together.
With an open gaze, intentional decision-making and attention for the artist, Kunsthal Extra City develops relevant and challenging exhibitions that serve to complement the activities of other arts organisations. We and our visitors seek to be surprised by contemporary artistic projects that position themselves explicitly within a societal, social or political context.
We care about the field of visual arts and about our visitors and seek to offer them a warm welcome. They are, after all, crucial actors in the sectoral and societal impact we seek to make. In this way we hope to create a safe environment, rich with diversity, imagination, new experiences and unique ideas.
At its new location in the former Dominican Monastery, Kunsthal Extra City seeks to become a bastion of the visual arts with a solid reputation both in Belgium and internationally. In synergy with our audience and partners, we seek to be a meaningful player in the artistic field, with an inclusive and committed artistic direction. We offer opportunities to young artists as well as a platform for established figures to experiment. Our visitors can think of us as a sustainable place in the city where relevant art projects can serve as a source of inspiration. In our search for meaning, we dare to make radical choices, guided by a deliberately open-minded – even slightly naive – attitude.
→ 2004 – 2006
Extra City was founded in 2004 by Wim Peeters and was originally housed in a grain silo located in Antwerp's docklands. The tone was set from the start with a number of internationally renowned exhibitions, with depth and quality proving to be the firm foundations on which Extra City would be built.
→ 2007 – 2010
In 2006, Anselm Franke was appointed Artistic Director, subsequently moving Extra City to a former industrial space in the North of Antwerp. More and more, Extra City was evolving in the direction of a fully-fledged art institution or 'Kunsthal', with carefully considered thematic exhibitions including 'Mimétism' and 'Animism', solo exhibitions by internationally renowned artists and a discursive programme the likes of which had been rare in Belgium.
→ 2011 – 2016
Under the leadership of Mihnea Mircan, Extra City focused more on the capacity of the exhibition as a research tool, such as with the series 'Cross-Examinations' and the impressive 'Allegory of the Cave Painting', as well as solo exhibitions from artists such as Luc Deleu, Jean-Luc Moulène, Koenraad Dedobbeleer, Laure Prouvost and Michael Dean. The accompagying programme also became an important platform for research. In this period (September 2013) the Kunsthal was re-established at the former premises of the industrial laundry business Wasserij Goossens. In addition to there being room for Extra City's exhibition spaces, there was also space for artists' ateliers, a bar and a small cinema, as well as the offices of partner organisations.
→ 2017 – 2019
In 2016 we embarked on a process to fundamentally reposition the institution with regard to our mission, vision and organisational structure. Under the leadership of Adinda Van Geystelen, Kunsthal Extra City set out an ambitious artistic programme, embedded in the urban fabric. We realized exciting exhibitions about urgent societal topics, gave opportunities to young artists, collaborated closely with urban partners and civil society organisations, arranged consultations with diverse groups of city dwellers about its programming, paid great attention to diversification and decolonisation, and developed an innovative project on citizenship for young adults in dialogue with education and youth policy.
→ 2020 – present
In the autumn, Joachim Naudts starts as new artistic coordinator. Furthermore, Kunsthal Extra City will move to the main site of AAIR and strengthen the collaboration with the organisation. Naudts shall, together with the team, transform the church on Provinciestraat into an inspiring exhibition space for contemporary art, a place to reflect on the city and our changing society.