NordArt 2024: Everything You Need to Know Before Your Visit

Last Saturday, the moment had come: NordArt 2024 opened its gates and is once again delivering a wealth of inspiring art to its visitors.
In this post I’ll tell you everything you need to know for your visit to the NordArt 2024 – but first, I reveal the secret of where the fun-sounding venue Büdelsdorf is actually located.

Eva by MojDa David Moješčik at the NordArt 2024
Eva by MojDa aka David Moješčik in the center of the humongous former production hall.


Büdelsdorf is a townlet on the outskirts of Rendsburg which isn’t exactly a bright lights big city place, either. Actually, Rendsburg is located in Germany’s Federal State of Schleswig-Holstein on the train route from Hamburg to Copenhagen. To this date, you find traces of the city’s historical function as the southern border fortress of the Danish Empire in the quite charming old town. Büdelsdorf is located north of Rendsburg and can be reached by walking in about 20 minutes. However, there are also public buses.

Houses in Rendsburg
Traditional Nordic architecture in Rendsburg.

The iron foundry Carlshütte was founded in Büdelsdorf in 1827. It was the first industrial plant on the Jutland peninsula. This peninsula consists of the continental part of Denmark, most of the German Federal State of Schleswig-Holstein, and even a part of Hamburg.

Art Machine in Rendsburg
Walking from Rendsburg’s train station to the venue, you discover the first amazing cultural projects: What an intriguing idea to buy art from a vending machine.

While in 1850, the foundry had almost 500 employees, by 1965, the staff quintupled to over 2500. Obviously, the Carlshütte dominated the region’s economy for the longest time. Yet, in 1997, they had to file for bankruptcy and close the plant down.


One man’s trash is another man’s treasure: As the iron foundry closed in 1997, Hans-Julius Ahlmann, Managing Partner of the internationally active ACO Group, acquired the grounds with its massive industrial halls and historic housing. He converted them into an outstanding venue for cultural projects. Hence, today, the Carlshütte is not only an impressive industrial monument. The industrial buildings and vast gardens also offer a distinctive setting for cultural events of all kinds.

Demirtaş Server Türkiye 15 Self Portrait
Turkish sculptor Server Demirtaş contributed a Self Portrait. Demirtaş already caused a sensation at NordArt 2023 with his sophisticated sculptures. That year, Turkey was the country focus.

I guess this explains how the provincial town of Büdelsdorf gained a venue where one of Europe’s most important art shows takes place every year.

Hyperrealistic painting Plástica Fantástica by Bego Riba from Spain.
Hyperrealistic painting Plástica Fantástica by Bego Riba from Spain.
I’ve introduced her work already in my post about the NordArt 2023.

Although the NordArt is by far not as famous as other European art shows such as the Documenta in Kassel let alone the Biennale di Arte in Venice, it has found its spot in the art scene and is an internationally acknowledged event.

To Be a Muse by Lilya Corneli
One of my fondest memories of last year’s NordArt is the picture series To Be a Muse by Lilya Corneli. Corneli was born in 1978 in the Armenian capital Yerevan. Today she lives in Hamburg. In her work, she interprets famous paintings using models of flesh and blood. The arrangement is surprisingly close to the original, but replaces the historical costumes with modern robes and leaves room for an exciting play with unexpected accessories.

The first NordArt took place back in 1999. There are three exhibition spaces on the grounds: The former factory building, the old carriage shed, and the spacious park.

Girl With A Pearl Earring is an oil painting by Dutch Golden Age painter Johannes Vermeer,
Everyone will immediately recognize the world-famous Girl With A Pearl Earring by Dutch Golden Age painter Johannes Vermeer.

Over the years, most of the statues and installations in the sculpture park remained in their places. That’s understandable since they are mostly made of iron, stone, and marble. Hence, they are a bit heavy to be shuffled around on the garden’s 80,000 square meters.

The exhibitions at the coach house and the industrial hall, however, show a comprehensive selection of works by contemporary artists from all over the world. And although you won’t always find the works of some big art scene players here, you’ll get to see fresh, inspiring art.

Every year NordArt receives around 3,000 applications from all over the world. The works of 200 selected artists form a kaleidoscope of very different contemporary art.

25th Anniversary

Year after year, the same procedure. Year after year, lots of great art.
Nevertheless, 2024 is a special year as the NordArt is celebrating its 25th anniversary!
And what do you do on such a special birthday?
You look back and invite all your pals that have accompanied you through these years!

Happy Hour by Bratislav Radovanovic from Serbia
Let’s celebrate the NordArt’s 25th anniversary!
What better way to honor this event than by the painting Happy Hour! Serbian artist Bratislav Radovanovic impressed me already at the NordArt 2022 as his paintings aren’t only made in a hyperrealistic style, but they also depict sometimes harsh reality.
Looking at this painting, can’t you just feel the burden of hard factory work lifting off these three women?

The trip to the NordArt in Büdelsdorf has always been worth the effort. But if you’ve never attended this mega art event before, 2024 is certainly a good year to become a new disciple.

Sculptures by LIU Ruowang
Every year, LIU Ruowang amazed us with his much larger-than-life-sized iron cast installations. Whether his Original Sin apes, each of them 3.5 meters tall, or his 110 wolves that I encountered for the first time at the Biennale in Venice back in 2015 and then met again in Florence in 2020. And while all those creatures are also on display at this year’s NordArt, I was far more impressed by the miniatures of those gigantic pieces. Like they say, sometimes, less is more.
Three miniature walkers by LIU Ruowang
Three miniature walkers. In 2022, they were life-sized and circled in lockstep around a humongous Mr. Pinocchio in the NordArt’s sculpture garden.

This year, the organizers offer you an overview of the masterpieces among the most significant artists we have seen in recent years. And for us die-hard NordArt regulars, the exhibition is not just a welcome déjà vu. It also offers some fresh impulses that I think are another amazing asset.

Adenauerplatz 1-3 by Jaroslav Drazil
Triptych Adenauerplatz 1-3 by Jaroslav Drazil. Drazil is a Czech born in Austria who now lives in the southern German city of Würzburg. Some of his signature motifs are portraits of people in melancholic settings.

What I particularly appreciated was that new works by many of the past participants are exhibited in 2024. So you’re happy about the reunion and the recognition, yet at the same time, you still have the joy of seeing brand-new, inspiring pieces and thus being able to follow the artists’ creative development.

Michal Gabriel Eye To Eye
At the NordArt 2018, there already was a life-sized version of this sculpture called Eye to Eye by Czech artist Michal Gabriel. This year, he presents 41 miniatures in a side wing of the exhibition hall.

This year, there seem to be fewer and more selected works on display, which is absolutely beneficial to the quality of the event. As much as I love the NordArt, some years I found that too much quantity diluted the quality. This year, they really just focused on the best of the best. Maybe that’s also the reason why the works in 2024 are less pleasing and banal, but more quirky and edgy, which I personally like a lot.

Jesus Christ by David Cerny
I was also amused by this work by Gabriel’s compatriot David Černý in 2017.
In addition to the Chinese, the Czechs have an overall presence at NordArt, especially in the field of ​​sculptures.
David Černý achieved world fame primarily through his Sigmund Freud hanging from a roof in Prague.
Although I find many of his works a bit too forcedly provocative, I absolutely love the life-sized Jesus Christ kit.

After my visit, I come to the conclusion that the NordArt was worth seeing every year, but the 2024 edition is a must!

Dogsbeach by Rolf Ohst
German artist Rolf Ohst was born not far away from Büdelsdorf, namely in Lübeck. Last year, he already unsettled visitors with some of his motifs painted in a hyperrealistic style. This year, he challenges visitors’ gaze with a trilogy of beach scenes. As with this painting called Dogsbeach, something threatening is to be noticed behind the ostensibly light-hearted scenario.

Additional Features

Apart from the general curated exhibition, there are always some featured extras: Every year, one particular country is the main focus and exhibits a choice of contemporary art. This tradition started in 2012 with art from China. Since then, very different countries such as Denmark, France, Ukraine, and Poland had the opportunity to put together a collection for their so-called country pavilion.

Steppe Full of People by BILIGT Enkhtaivan from Mongolia
Steppe Full of People:
Enkhtaivan Biligt’s linocut print on fabric focuses on the Mongolian way of life and the enigmatic country’s traditions.

In 2015, contemporary art from Mongolia was in focus, which was great because most people associate the country with steppes and yurts, and folkloric leatherwork. It’s wonderful when an exhibition like this broadens your horizons and refutes common clichés.

NASANTSENGEL Bayanjargal Mongolia 70 Concentration / Konzentration Listening/Hinhören Prayer/Gebet 2017, Ol auf Leinwand Oil on canvas NASANTSENGEL Bayanjargal 70
Surrealist artist Bayanjargal Nasantsengel contributed her trilogy Concentration – Prayer – Listening.

This year again, 20 Mongolian artists are exhibiting their works in the old carriage shed. The exhibition takes place as part of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Mongolia and Germany.

Special Projects

Apart from the country focus, there are some special projects every year.
One of them takes place in a specially designed pavilion in the rear part of the former production hall.

Poland was the country partner in 2022, thus, they presented a special exhibition called Above Borders / Ponad granicami. Already then, Michał Jackowski’s pieces were so outstanding that in 2023, he was specially featured in a special pavilion called Antique Games. This year, he contributed the marble statue Empty Gold.

Last year, Michał Jackowski transformed it into a classic antique temple. This year, British artist Paul Critchley converts it into an ostensibly cozy home. The four rooms are decorated with paintings of furniture and accessories to create the illusion of two-dimensional furnishings.

From the Cradle to the Grave by German artist Willi Reiche.
From the Cradle to the Grave by German artist Willi Reiche.

The other special project is a twelve-part kinetic installation with the meaningful title From the Cradle to the Grave by German artist Willi Reiche.

Plan Your Visit

Opening Hours And Tickets

In 2024, the NordArt takes place from June 1 to October 6. It’s open from Tuesday to Sunday between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Matchstick Men by Wolfgang Stiller
This year’s NordArt is definitely hot. Albeit, it did not set Wolfgang Stiller’s Matchstick Men on fire, did it?
What you cannot see in this picture: They are incredible 163 centimeters high!

The general admission is 18.50 €uro on weekdays and 21 €uro on weekends. There is also a ticket for 30 €uros which grants access on two consecutive days – no matter if you are visiting during the week or on a weekend. Also, there are discounts for students and families as well as season tickets so you better check out their website. There you can also buy your tickets online.

How to Get to Rendsburg and Büdelsdorf

The most convenient way to get to Rendsburg is by train. You get there for instance from Hamburg in less than 90 minutes, from Lübeck in 2 hours, and from Berlin – via Hamburg – in about 3,5 hours. Then, it’s a 20-minute walk from the train station to the Kunstwerk Carlshütte. Alternatively, you can also catch one of the very few buses.

Train station in Rendsburg.
With the Germany Ticket, you can travel on regional trains for one month for a flat rate of only 49 €uros.

Here’s a special tip for you Germany travellers: For about 25 €uros, you can travel an entire day by train within every federal state. However, you are only allowed to take regional trains, not IC or ICE. The best part is: each further person pays only 3 to 6 €uros. Up to 5 people can travel on one regional day ticket. The basic fare as well as the supplement per person vary from federal state to federal state.

Due to its central position, Hamburg is automatically included in tickets for Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg Western Pomerania, and Lower Saxony which includes also Bremen.

Büdelsdorf is in Schleswig-Holstein, and the day ticket for one person is 29 €uros. Additional fellow travellers pay 5 €uros per person.

The Germany-Ticket for 49 €uro

Following the fantastic 9 €uro ticket that allowed nationwide travel for an entire month from June to August 2022, there now is the 49 €uro ticket. For good.

With the 49 €uro ticket, you can travel basically the entire country by regional trains. Those train numbers begin for instance with RE or MET. But keep in mind, it is not valid in interregional trains such as the Intercity IC or Intercity-Express ICE. However, you can also use regular buses, trams, subways, and suburban trains as well as regional express trains everywhere in Germany.

While the 49 €uro ticket is valid throughout the country, it is not linked to German citizenship. Non-residents can also purchase it. Although it is an annual subscription, it can be canceled on a monthly basis.

So if you are planning on taking regional trains in Germany as well as intercity public transportation, the Germany Ticket might be your best option.

Just for the record: There is also a Flixbus going to Rendsburg, however, it’s not a valid alternative. It takes as long as the train but is less comfortable and just a couple of €uros cheaper.

Some Extra Tips

After having been to several NordArt editions, I’m happy to share some tips that will make your visit even smoother and more enjoyable:

Wear comfortable, sturdy shoes

There are a couple of reasons why you should refrain from wearing fancy heels. Firstly, you’ll probably have to walk around 20 minutes from the train station in Rendsburg to the venue. Although there is bus #10. However, as it’s not going very often, you’ll possibly even save time by walking.

Schloßplatz in Rendsburg
I guess this picture of Rendsburg’s Schloßplatz proves that wearing heels is inadequate.

Then, if you have time to explore the historic center of Rendsburg, you’ll have to walk on cobblestones. And finally, keep in mind that the venue is an old industrial building with time-worn uneven floors and simple iron stairs.

Bring some picnic and water

This is actually optional since there is a small charming café on the premises. However, it won’t surprise you that they are not exactly cheap. As a matter of fact, the prices aren’t even the main reason for bringing at least water with you.

Couple at the NordArt 2024
Don’t worry: If you need a break, you’ll find enough chairs and benches on the premises.

The café is really very small and chances are that you won’t find a free spot to enjoy some refreshments. However, coming from Rendsburg, you’ll pass a supermarket where you can stock up on drinks’n’snacks.

The café Alte Meierei is open from Tuesday to Sunday from noon until 6 p.m. On weekends, there is also a pop-up cafeteria at the Alte Technikum open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Visit also the Cast Iron Art Museum

Across the street from the NordArt is the so-called Eisenkunstguss Museum, a museum showing a vast collection of cast iron works. After extensive remodeling, the museum was reopened in 2016. A media guide navigates visitors through the exhibition with many interactive features and hands-on stations.

Crown Prince Christian VIII of Denmark and Caroline Amalie of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg, formed after busts by Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen
Crown Prince Christian VIII of Denmark and Caroline Amalie of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg, formed after busts by Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen.

The Eisenkunstguss Museum opens from Tuesday to Sunday between noon and 5 p.m. You can visit it for free with your NordArt ticket. Otherwise, the general admission is 5 €uros.

Make Time for a Stroll Through Rendsburg and the Sculpture Park

Rendsburg is not that big, yet, a stroll through the center is quite enjoyable.

Rendsburg's streets are lined with houses some of which were built in 1541.
Rendsburg’s streets are lined with houses some of which were built in 1541.

You’ll get to see lots of traditional North German architecture. and if you still have capacities to relish more art, there is the serene Hans Heinemann Park with 26 intriguing sculptures from different art epochs.

Sculpture Park in Rendsburg
Rendsburg’s lush sculpture park. In the small pond a big fish.

The park was laid out in the 1950s and 1960s and is named after Hans Heinemann, a local painter, patron, and founder of the cultural association.

In Retrospect

If this post inspired you to look back at further NordArt editions, here are my posts from the past years:


On this map, you get an idea of how to get to the NordArt and also of what else to see in Rendsburg. Clicking on the slider symbol at the top left or the full-screen icon at the top right will display the whole map including the legend.

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Disclaimer: NordArt granted me free entrance to write about this year’s edition. However, all opinions in this post are mine and were by no means influenced by my cooperation partner.

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