This is where the heart of the Leipzig art scene beatsOctober 12, 2018
HEARTH OF the LEIPZIG
DThe green hinged door under the glass canopy from the turn of the century is open. The artistic home of Claudia Biehne is a bit hidden in this building on the edge of the Leipzig cotton mill. “No. 10 F “stands at the brick wall. Since 2003, the Leipzig porcelain artist is part of the scene here.
“From Cotton to Culture” is the slogan of the operators of the area in the district Plagwitz – from cotton to culture. The old spinning mill did not have an English motto when it was built in 1884. The original business concern was to meet the global demand for cotton.
Today, the site is considered the centerpiece of the Leipzig art scene – especially the New Leipzig School around painter Neo Rauch. On around 100,000 square meters, in the south-west of the city are galleries, project rooms and studios presenting national and international art. There is also space for porcelain art, as seen by 44-year-old Claudia Biehne.
Visitors spend their time in Bauhaus style apartments
The cotton mill was from the beginning something of a city in the city. Georg Lisek, himself an artist and an art educator on guided tours of the site, points to the large watercolor in the so-called Archiv Massiv, as the visitor center was baptized in the oldest building of the spinning mill.
This was long after the Leipzig cotton mill had become the largest on the continent: after only 25 years from its founding, it had grown to six hectares, 20 buildings, 240,000 spindles, 208 combers and 1600 workers.
There was company fire brigade, factory canteen, bathhouse, kindergarten. The buildings survived the war because the roofs were green and so huge that the bomber pilots thought they were meadows – that’s the legend.
In the pleasure garden of the former director’s villa, the view of the workers’ apartments, which are today popular living space, is striking. Idyllically situated in the shade of the trees, the Bistro “Die Versorger” serves coffee, cakes and warm snacks.
If you would like to spend the night as a guest on the premises, you can also do so: four master bedroom apartments are available, which were designed in Bauhaus style. The tour of the site shows how spacious and venerable the factory is. Incredibly beautiful huge rooms with fantastic light everywhere – that was and is the trademark of the spinning mill.
The New Leipzig School has its roots here
In 2000, the last production site was closed, in 2001, three real estate agents from West Germany bought the area. Elsewhere, it might have become loft apartments. Not so in Leipzig, where there is no tenant for such a high price at the turn of the millennium.
“Then something blossomed like phoenix from the ashes”, Lisek conjures up this period of promoterism. And means the artists who breathed new life into the site and still breathe it.
The world famous and famous New Leipzig School has its roots here, Star Neo Rauch, one of the first hour, still his studio. Where exactly, the tour guide may not and does not want to betray. The run is sometimes too hard. Above all, collectors from America unknowingly bought everything, the main thing being the Leipzig School.
The cotton mill is rapidly becoming one of the largest cultural centers for art-loving travelers from all over the world. Already in 2007, the English “The Guardian” called the Kunstfabrik – pertinently meant – “the hottest place on earth” (German: the hippest place in the world). A shooting star! Well-known galleries like the gallery Eigen + Art by Judy Lybke settle on the site.