Gallery Weekend in Berlin got underway yesterday with the gala launch party at the Kino cinema in the Kreuzberg area. Two interesting new galleries of note also opened as part of this internationally visited event. House of Egorn is an intimate space showing the work of the emerging artists Yi Dai, Hyojun Hyun and Vivien Zhang and curated by Angels Miralda a Royal College of Art PHD candidate. Mapping in Memory explores post globalisation art, a genre which is very new by definition. It manifests itself in traditional practices such as painting, collage utilising digital photography, printing and sculpture. The exhibition finds its common ground by unifying the highly conceptual planning which is mapped in the pieces on display.
Sharon Zhu, Director House of Egorn, said: “We created House of Egorn as a response to a need for a European home to a new generation of artists from the Far-East and ‘Far-West’ alike. The artists presented here today as part of Mapping in Memory are the first ones to have grown up in a fully globalised world. Post-internet art has been much talked about, but it might just be the art of post-globalisation that will give the clues to a closer understanding of today’s society. There is no better place than Berlin, Europe’s art hub where the encounter of East and West has great historic significance, to showcase the work of these artists.”
Another gallery launch we visited yesterday was a brand new cavernous space, in an deconsecrated Brutalist Church. St Agnes is a new space for the successful Konig Gallery. On display are the masterful paintings of Katharina Grosse. These stunning abstractions are multilayered studies in space and depth. They are created through spraying techniques in vibrant colours which adds inward distancing and immersive spacial challenges. Watch out for one of Katharina’s works at Gagosian Britannia Street, London, this summer.
Another must see during the week is the NGORO NGORO exhibition in Lehderstrasse area. This is a complex of artist’s studios and galleries. The many artists displaying work from video installations to painting, ceramics and sculpture, are mostly emerging and mid career practitioners. Of note is the Saloon Gallery’s Sexauer exhibition a group of young emerging women artists working in many disciplines Outstanding for me were the works by Ina Sangenstedt, a sculptor creating familiar objects such as tables which sprawl on the floor like dogs and a Blue and white china dog bowl, set at the height for humans to drink from. (top photo) Explore the space, take a dip in the swimming pool, have a beer and wander.
Gallery week takes place from 1 – 3 May. 47 with most participating galleries opening their exhibitions this weekend. Contemporary positions of established artists, as well as promising newcomers will be presented.
The gallery space takes a central role during Gallery Weekend Berlin. The concept of the White Cube as an ideal space to allow visitors a complete reception of art free from the distractions of architecture or other inﬂuences can be traced back to the 1920s. Over the last decade, the perception of the gallery space has developed and changed. Exhibition space and architecture increasingly merge into an integrated concept for the perception of art – for instance, in old apartments, in factory buildings, in a church, in a former boiler room in a tower block or in an ofﬁce building. The highly diverse gallery spaces in Berlin serve primarily to present works of art and also as key settings for interaction between gallerist, artist, collector and art enthusiast.
Berlin is one of the most important art metropolises owing to the remarkable quality and number of galleries, the multifaceted art scene and the numerous, internationally exhibiting artists who live and work here. Once a year on Gallery Weekend Berlin, a selection of renowned galleries join together, open their doors and invite national and international collectors, curators and art enthusiasts into their spaces and present works by their artists.
A massive installation work by the Mexican artist Gustavo Aceves is also unveiled this week in the form of a monumental sculpture project, ‘Lapidarium’ which opens to the public at the Brandenburg Gate in the Pariser Platz, Berlin, on Saturday 2 May. The exhibition commemorates the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.
Gallery Weekend Berlin was founded eleven years ago as a private initiative of Berlin galleries. It draws collectors, curators and art enthusiasts from all over the world to Berlin and has established itself as a successful event for contemporary art. abc art berlin contemporary takes place this year from 17 – 20 September in the Station Berlin. Both events serve to promote Berlin as an art market location and bring participants together. They are backed by a board of Berlin gallery owners. Maike Cruse is the director, Christiane Rhein is the general manager.
On to Venice next week for the 56th Biennale. Can my liver take it!
Words/Photos: P C Robinson
House of Egorn Mapping in Memory runs from 30 April to 6 June
Katharina Grosse Konig Gallery St Agnes 2 May – 21 June
NGORO NGORO Open Berlin Gallery Week