Each year, the Akademie der Künste publishes between ten and fifteen books on contemporary art and the history of 20th century art: on visual arts, architecture, music, photography and media art, literature, theatre, dance, and film. The subject matter comes from the membership of the Academy and the wealth contained in the wide spectrum of genres in the archives on 20th and 21st-century art. As far as the books are concerned, whose publication is mostly tied to exhibitions, openings of archives, or events of the institution, they are exhibition catalogues, symposium documentation as well as monographs on individual artists and books on thematic issues. Some of the publications appear in the series Archiv-Blätter (Archive Pages), akademiefenster (academy window), and Anmerkungen zur Zeit (Contemporary Remarks), which the Academy continues with a wide-ranging thematic spectrum without any fixed rhythm.

Visit our bookstore, where you can obtain all available publications by the Akademie der Künste.

Sinn und Form

Every two months, the Akademie der Künste also issues the “Sinn und Form” (Purpose and Form) journal.

Founded in 1949 by Johannes R. Becher and Paul Wiegler, the cultural magazine Sinn und Form (Purpose and Form), published by the Akademie der Künste, is one of the most influential of its kind in Germany. Originally addressed to a literary audience in particular, the journal today is also a venue for philosophical, aesthetic, and social issues, for the meeting of art and science, poetry and anthropology, and is thus a key publication for many Academy members. The ambitious programme has an international focus and comprises selected letters and conversations, essays, poems, and narratives. Findings from the extensive Academy Archive continue to be presented.

Current Publications

Could there be a more mysterious place for a summit meeting between a legendary literary critic, a former state premier, a Nobel laureate and a feisty housekeeper than a cobwebbed room in a house on the Wilstermarsch marshland in Holstein? Together with selected writings by former Döblin scholars, Berlin authors Thilo Bock and Peter Wawerzinek dedicate their ghost stories to the housekeeper and heart and soul of 'Villa Grassimo' in Wewelsfleth, and, at the same time, narrate a piece of recent German literary history.

For the exhibition catalogue, Edmund Kuppel has designed a special art object. From a video work of approx. 60 minutes of ten train journeys all ending in the departure station, he developed an eleventh journey in a 'book form' with a concertina fold to create a kind of endless loop. As the jury awarding this year’s Käthe Kollwitz Prize noted, "… in his artistic approach, [Edmund Kuppel] transforms his ideas into subtle sculptural structures, transforms the material into the simplest, i. e., abstract, form, in machine and media constructions expressing wonder and amazement at reality."

Werner Stötzer (1931–2010) was one of the most important sculptors in Germany. At the same time Stötzer was also a concise narrator. The notes, letters and anecdotes published here, mostly for the first time, provide insights into his thinking processes while reflecting a piece of contemporary history. Colleagues, friends and Academy members have written reminiscences and texts for this publication in the akademiefenster series. Drawings, documents and photographs complete the material which the sculptor gave to the Academy archives during his lifetime.

The catalogue for the exhibition includes essays by international experts and case studies from architecture, sociology, art and urbanism for the redefinition of public spaces, such as Tempelhofer Feld in Berlin, Trafalgar Square in London, Campo de Cebada in Madrid and the Brooklyn Bridge Park in New York. Artistic interventions in public spaces that question the status quo and add new interpretations will also be shown, as well as the findings of an international workshop and 3D tools for public participation.

Texts by Frauke Burgdorff, Ricky Burdett, Susan Chin, Barbara Hoidn, Andrew Keen, Regula Lüscher, Florian Matzner, Jeanine Meerapfel, Cristiane Muniz, Cordelia Polinna, Alvaro Puntoni, Julio Cesar Perez, Bernhard Schneider, Renata Stih, Rainalod Uriarte, Michael Van Valkenburgh, Fernando Viégas, Jörn Walter, Wilfried Wang, Blanca Zuñiga.

In a collage of photographs and texts, original accounts and documents, which are predominantly from the archives of the Akademie der Künste, this publication chronicles the joint theatre work of B.K. Tragelehn and Heiner Müller. At the same time it is a testament to two men of the theatre whose friendship went beyond their artistic collaboration. It is published on the 80th birthday of the director, poet and translator B.K. Tragelehn, who gave his archive to the Academy in 2013. It includes a catalogue of works.

Painter and graphic artist Alice Lex-Nerlinger belonged to the artistic and political avant-garde in the Weimar Republic. She became famous for her work §218 (1931) attacking the law on banning abortion. Influenced by “Der Sturm” gallery’s circle of artists, she started to work with modern techniques such as photography, montage and photograms. The catalogue for the exhibition in Das Verborgene Museum contains many documents and illustrations from the artist’s estate now in the Akademie der Künste Archive and art collection.