Wandering through Dresden’s chic modern art galleries

Photo Credit: Ostrale 2010 – 2010-09-04 by Henry Mühlpfordt via Flickr. License info.

If a visit to Dresden is in your future, consider setting aside time to immerse yourself in the city’s electrifying contemporary art scene. Dresden, the capital of Saxony, is brimming over with some of the best new modern art galleries Germany has to offer. Here are a few suggestions to get your Dresden art tour started.

Photo Credit: Vernissage Dresdener Sommerakademie 2015 (086) by Stephan Kambor-Wiesenberg via Flickr. License info.


Motorenhalle, which in German means “engine hall” or “engine shed,” is a contemporary art institution that hosts interactive art experiences, as well as artistic workshops and educational opportunities that aim to elevate the profile of fine art in Dresden. This arts centre collaborates with the educational organisation Riesa Efau to offer patrons different styles of modern art, such as painting, photography and sculpture throughout the year — all showcased inside Motorenhalle’s large, open exhibition hall.

Galerie Gebr. Lehmann

Dresden’s Galerie Gebr. Lehmann, which focuses on contemporary art, is the spot to stroll through if you want to soak in some modern painting, photography and sculpture, or awe at an ingenious art installation. With a large stable of experimental international and German artists exhibiting their work — including the German sculptor Martin Honert (specialising in non-heroic sculptures), and the American painter Dan McCarthy, who brings a quirky esthetic to the human figures he paints — Galerie Gebr. Lehmann should delight anyone with a penchant for viewing (and purchasing) innovative modern art.

Photo Credit: Ostrale 2010 – 2010-09-04 by Henry Mühlpfordt via Flickr. License info.


If you’ve read Kurt Vonnegut’s seminal novel Slaughterhouse Five (or seen the film), which deals with the firebombing of Dresden during World War II, you should swing by OSTRALE. This arts facility is housed in a former slaughterhouse designed by the renowned German architect Hans Erlwein. Inside the complex, supporters of the arts will find a stunning space for visual art that explores the boundaries of the human imagination.

Of special note is the OSTRALE International Exhibition of Contemporary Arts, which every summer invites hundreds of artists from more than 30 countries to exhibit their work — framed against the backdrop of this historical abattoir-turned-arts-centre — for the public to enjoy.

Galerie Abstrakte Momente

The Galerie Abstrakte Momente, or the Art Gallery Abstract Moments, got its start in 2005. Since then, the gallery has been going strong, championing “sophisticated, aesthetic art.” With an emphasis on sculpture, contemporary acrylic and oil painting, and themed exhibitions swapped out three or for times per year, the Galerie Abstrakte Momente is worth at least one — or perhaps two or three — visits during the year, just to see what kind of inspired tours de force the gallery will exhibit next.

Photo Credit: Georgios Tsichlis / Shutterstock

Old Masters Picture Gallery

While contemporary art may be the focus of your tour, it would be a crime to leave out the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, or the Old Masters Picture Gallery. This colossal collection of fine art features works by Correggio, Raphael, Rembrandt, Rubens, Titian and more — as well as Jean-Étienne Liotard’s pastel “Chocolate Girl,” and Giorgione’s oil on canvas “Sleeping Venus.” The paintings (well over 700 of them) found a home in the 1850s in a specially designed gallery at Dresden’s Baroque Zwinger palace, where art lovers can drop in and admire these exquisite gems of canvas, paint and brush to this day.

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