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Gallery Weekend Berlin Special Edition: THE Gallery to Start Your Weekend, Artist Initiatives in Wedding
by ArtSlant Team


Themes & Variations: A Gallery Weekend Primer

Get your Weekend started with a trio of shows whose themes echo throughout the city's exhibition programs. Guy Parker is on the scene.

Gallery Weekend Berlin is back for its tenth anniversary with fifty galleries showing over sixty artists. Including the talks, peripheral events, and shows there’s a veritable tidal wave of art crashing over the Hauptstadt this weekend. Getting a piece of the action should be no problem, right? All that's required in way of preparation is a good breakfast and a pair of overpriced sneakers for all that perambulation flitting between venues, soaking up as much culcha as you can manage. But are you really prepared? A beginning is a very delicate time and embarking on a weekend’s worth of art viewing deserves the right kind of start.

My opinion is that you could do a hell of a lot worse than starting your journey at Sprüth Magers this year. The intuitively hip curators have corralled a triptych of work that is not only remarkable in itself but serves as a great primer for a weekend of looking at, thinking about, understanding, and enjoying art. The gallery’s three shows provide a catalyst for the senses—perfect for getting the critical and aesthetic synapses booted up to simultaneously appreciate and question the offerings of Gallery Weekend...

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Beyond the White Cube

Dakota DeVos visits Wedding—a neighborhood filled with artist studios and project spaces—to find a vibrant artistic community outside of Berlin's commerical establishment.

Gallery Weekend offers an impressive lineup of some of the most successful and provocative artists represented by Berlin galleries. The exhibitions effectively target the international audience of curators and collectors who descend on the city for the three-day event. But the vibrancy of Berlin’s contemporary art scene is not concentrated solely in the Gallery Weekend’s official program. More than a commercial center for contemporary art, Berlin is also a vital site for its creation. And for those art lovers longing to break away from Gallery Weekend’s white cube exhibitions and yearning to get back to the unspoiled source of the art world, a trip to Berlin’s Wedding district is highly advisable.

The neighborhood of Wedding (technically separated into the boroughs of Wedding and Gesundbrunnen) is home to the largest non-German population as well as the largest percentage of unemployed people in the city. Its abundance of affordable studio space has also made it a haven for unrepresented and aspiring artists. In a rather brilliant urban planning scheme, the city teamed up with degewo AG, Berlin’s leading real estate company, to fill empty apartments and shops with ateliers and artist-run showrooms. This decade-long initiative, known as Kolonie Wedding, successfully revitalized the derelict Soldiner Kiez, turning the neighborhood into a wellspring of creativity...

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Athens-born, Berlin-based artist Despina Stokou always has several projects going on at any given time. She believes contemporary artists should be active players in the art world and her involvement in Berlin's ever-changing, always-moving art scene goes beyond her studio practice to include writing, editing, and the organization of events to support young artists and curators. By all accounts, her hard work seems to be paying off. Following a flurry of successful showings last year in Berlin, New York, and Vienna, as well as a private view this year in Los Angeles, her new body of work, entitled The royal we, is now up and running at the Eigen + Art Lab. With a little over three days before hauling proverbial ass over to the Eigen to install for opening night, Swax McIver caught up with Stokou putting the finishing touches on the new works in her studio in Wedding...

Swax McIver: What was it like for you breaking into the Berlin art scene as an emerging artist?

Despina Stokou: Because I didn’t actually graduate in Berlin, I missed the University context, which is the usual way to make your first steps as an artist. I grew very interested in the rich history of producer-run galleries here, first and second generation: Koch und Kesslau, LIGA, later Diskus, Amerika. I got to meet a lot of the initiators and grilled them with questions about how, when, and HOW?? Later I felt ready to organize something of my own... 

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Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Coming II, Johann König

May 3 - May 24, 2014, Opening: Friday, May 2nd, 6 - 9 pm

Georges Adéagbo, "Les artistes et l'écriture"..!, Wien Lukatsch

May 2 - July 25, 2014, Opening: Friday, May 2nd, 6 - 9 pm

Wu Tsang, A day in the life of bliss, Isabella Bortolozzi Galerie

May 2 - July 31, 2014, Opening: Friday, May 2nd, 6 - 9 pm, with performance by Wu Tsang & Boychild at 8 pm


Chris Martin, Cool Drink on a Hot Day, KOW

May 3 - July 27, 2014, Opening: Friday, May 2nd, 6 pm

Chris Martin, Upside Down Guitar Solo, 2008-2013, Oil, burlap, collage on canvas, 109 x 86 cm / Courtesy of KOW, Berlin

Huma Bhabha, solo exhibition, VW (VeneKlasen/Werner)

May 2 - June 28, 2014, Opening: Friday, May 2nd

Huma Bhabha, What is Love (detail), 2013, Cork, styrofoam, acrylic paint, oil stick, lipstick, 80 x 12 x 14 in; ©VW (VeneKlasen/Werner), Berlin



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Posted by ArtSlant Team on 5/1/14

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