Now in its fourth year, Berlin Art Week is fast becoming a fixture in the German capital’s art scene. While blockbuster exhibition Stadt/Bild is taking over four of the main art institutions, the week is also a moment for smaller galleries, project spaces, and non-profits to shine. And then, of course, there are the art fairs: Art Berlin Contemporary and platforms for emerging art, Positions and Liste.
Ubiquitous at any major art event these days, there are also a vast number of talks, panel discussions and one-off tours, but it’s also a rare chance, for example, to get a coveted look at Sammlung Boros without an appointment.
It's a lot to take in, but it'd be a mistake to forget the new season of gallery exhibitions as well. There are tons of shows and openings in Berlin galleries this week that are well worth taking the time to see. Here are some of the best:
Laure Prouvost, Dear dirty dark drink drift down deep droll (in der dole), Carlier Gebauer. Photo courtesy: Carlier Gebauer.
Laure Prouvost, Dear dirty dark drink drift down deep droll (in der dole)
carlier | gebauer
September 11–October 28
Laure Prouvost’s Dear dirty dark drink drift down deep droll (in der dole), presents the viewer with a winding narrative in both new and recent multimedia works that continue the artist’s interest in escaping into subterranean eroticism. For example, in the work Dinner Party (2015), the Turner-Prize winning artist shows a group of feline and human guests, complete with speech bubbles hinting at their thoughts. Prouvost’s work, ever a joy to decipher, weaves together themes of escape and imagining, both literally and figuratively.
Poster for Sprüth Magers group show. Photo courtesy Sprüth Magers
Eau De Cologne
September 17–October 21
Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Cindy Sherman, Rosemarie Trockel, Louise Lawler: the first thing you might notice looking at the artist list from this group show is how many big names are there. The second, perhaps? They are all women. In this show, Monika Sprüth returns to the artists she originally worked with in her first gallery, to combat Cologne’s male-dominated scene of the 80s, to present Eau de Cologne. Taking over the gallery’s entire Mitte space, dynamic self-expression pervades the show, from Barbara Kruger and Jenny Holzer’s trademark takes on the slogans of advertising, to Cindy Sherman’s pop-culture-inspired self-portraits.
Promotional image, Daiga Grantina, The Mountain Guide, Mathew Gallery. Photo courtesy Mathew Gallery.
Daiga Grantina, The Mountain Guide
September 11–October 31
Mathew gallery is located in the thriving gallery district around Kurfürstenstraße, and for Art Week will be showing a solo from Latvian Berlin-based artist Daiga Grantina. This young artist’s oeuvre is focused on describing the indescribable, through a formal language that has ranged from video to installation to photography. In this show, The Mountain Guide, the visceral lo-tech, sci-fi sculptural language centers on the figure of “the guide,” and the dialectic of his entry into a craggy outback.
Camille Henrot, The Pale Fox, 2014, Installation view at Kunstal Charlottenborg. Courtesy the artist, König Galerie and Kamel Mennour, Paris. © ADAGP.
Photo: Anders Sune Berg
Camille Henrot, The Pale Fox
September 5–November 1
It’s the fourth, and final, time that Henrot is exhibiting The Pale Fox, and according to her, “the most perfect.” Its eclectic array of found and constructed materials and objects includes, for example, a remote-controlled snake, and represents a sort of anthropological survey. Set against an Yves Klein blue interior space, built especially for the show inside the nave of the St. Agnes church, it shows the artist attempting to order this chaos, as based on her own system devised from the four cardinal compass points, philosophical principles, natural elements, and stages in human life, respectively.
Reverse Joy (Kha), 2012, MDF, tile, water pump, pigmented water, bowl, tile application with black spray paint. Courtesy the artists and Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler
Slavs and Tatars, Dschinn and Dschuice
September 12–November 14
The collective Slavs and Tatars’ work focuses on the area between the former Berlin wall and the Great Wall of China—what they define as Eurasia. For this installation at Mitte’s Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, the Berlin-based group deals with the nineteenth-century philological approach to the death of language, and particularly the mystical interpretations of these languages: what can we glean, for example for the tricksy four consonants that alliterate in the exhibition’s title: Dschinn and Dschuice? They’re also rumored to be the favorites to win the Preis der Nationalgalerie, on September 18.
(Image at the top: Laure Prouvost, Dear dirty dark drink drift down deep droll (in der dole), Carlier Gebauer. Photo courtesy: Carlier Gebauer.)
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