About us

Since 1974 Kicken Berlin has been setting standards in the innovative presentation and promotion of the medium photography. Today the gallery is still guided by the mission of its founder, Rudolf Kicken (1947-2014): to convey to an international audience the importance of photography as an art form. As one of the leading galleries in the world for artistic photography, Kicken Berlin has always been committed to making a lasting contribution to the visual culture of photographic images, and today this medium is firmly established in the international art world.

One of the gallery’s strengths is its diversity. Also all of the major names in the early artistic photography dating from the beginnings of the medium in the 19th century have been presented in the gallery program. The focus, however, lies in the 20th century, particularly on the German and Czech avante-garde of the twenties and thirties as well as the outstanding masters of the genre. Also the subjective photography of the fifties, West and East German photography, fashion photography, and contemporary conceptual positions are core emphases. The discovery of new or previously overlooked photographic and artistic work is a special area of interest. As a result, the gallery has presented the shining stars of the history of photography as well as anonymous snapshots and exceptional images from functionally oriented photography. The estates managed by the gallery, including those of Erwin Blumenfeld, Ed van der Elsken, Heinrich Kühn, Rudolf Koppitz, Helmar Lerski, Heinrich Riebesehl, and Umbo, among others, are of particular importance.

History

The current Gallery Kicken Berlin has its roots in Galerie Lichttropfen, founded by Rudolf Kicken in Aachen in 1974, together with Wilhelm Schürmann. From the very beginning the gallery pursued an ambitious program of exhibitions and publications. In 1979 the gallery moved to Cologne as Galerie Rudolf Kicken.

As of 2000 Annette and Rudolf Kicken jointly managed the gallery, which moved to Linienstraße 155 in Berlin, at the heart of the capital’s gallery district. The exhibition space designed by J. MAYER H. Architects as a flexible, walk-through installation offered an experience of photography that went beyond the traditional white cube. Also at this address was the Kicken II showroom, which allowed passersby to look in from the street, which remained in use until 2010.

Since 2007 until early 2019 the location of the gallery at Linienstrasse 161A had been open to visitors and provided a setting that encouraged viewers to immerse themselves in the photography on display.

In 2019 Kicken Berlin gave a large collection of works to the Museum Kunstpalast in Düsseldorf, where it will be accessible for a large audience. This collection covers the full spectrum of photography and grew over decades of work, with a lot of dedication, time, expertise and passion within the gallery.

Since spring 2019 Kicken Berlin is realigning the emphasis of its work torwards the sustainable maintenance of institutional and private collections and scientific research on groups of works in its new location at Kaiserdamm 118, in the center of Berlin–Charlottenburg. Here the gallery is all the more devoted to cooperation, lecture series and publications in order to share the specialized knowledge and know-how that they have accrued over decades. What is more, the work of the gallery comprises museum-quality exhibitions and external curatorial projects for private collectors and institutions.

Gallery Locations (1974 – today)

1974 – Fall 1976
Galerie Lichttropfen,
Kockerellstr. 19, 5100 Aachen

Fall 1976 – 1978
Galerie Schürmann & Kicken,
Hof 3, 5100 Aachen

1979 – 1980
Galerie Rudolf Kicken,
Albertusstr. 47–49, 5000 Cologne

1981 – 1986
Galerie Rudolf Kicken,
ALbertusstr. 1, 5000 Cologne

1987 – 1990
Galerie Kicken-Pauseback,
Bismarckstr. 50, 5000 Cologne 1

1991 – 1999
Galerie Rudolf Kicken,
Bismarckstr. 50, 5000 Cologne 1

2000 – 2007
Kicken Berlin,
Linienstr. 155, 1011 Berlin
Kicken I / Kicken II

2007 – March 2019
Kicken Berlin
Linienstr. 161A, 10115 Berlin

Since April 2019
Kicken Berlin
Kaiserdamm 118, 14057 Berlin