Berliner Salon: Gallery Weekend Redux

Sammlung Boros, Photo 2003 © ARUN KUPLAS, NEW YORK

The Berlin art world is still recovering from last weekend’s gallery marathon, which witnessed an unprecedented number of events in what can only be described as the city’s most strategic p.r. ploy since Mayor Klaus Wowereit inadvertently labeled Berlin “poor but sexy” and, in doing so, accidentally created his Hauptstadt’s unofficial slogan. Well, Berlin seems to be losing its poor status, while remaining as sexy as ever, with new (and often extravagant) spaces opening en masse and major patrons opening their collections to the public now more than ever before.

Last weekend saw the opening of Loock, a beautiful new space run by Friedrich Loock, the founder of Wohnmaschine, which exhibits Alec Soth and other internationally renowned artists. In addition, Carlier Gebauer inaugurated their new space, a massive venue that boasts 800 square meters and has major solo exhibitions planned in upcoming months for artists such as Paul Graham, Janaina Tschäpe, Ryan Trecartin and Art:21 Season 2 artist Paul Pfeiffer. The new gallery will feature a “media room,” essentially a movie theater, which will also be used for lectures and workshops “to develop an intensive communication program with an emphasis on the gallery’s focus on installation pieces working with video and film,” according to the press release.

Among the private collections that were open last weekend was the Sammlung Boros, an amazing selection of artworks, many by local art stars like Anselm Reyle and Olafur Eliasson, housed in a converted bunker that behaves like a concrete contemporary art labyrinth full of neon light and surprising sculptural installations. Adding to the weekend’s intense art itinerary, Italian collector Mariano Pichler opened a curated exhibition entitled Leftovers, which featured works by Maurizio Cattelan, Steven Parrino, Zilvinas Kempinas and Art:21 Season 2 artist Gabriel Orozco. The exhibition only ran for the duration of Gallery Weekend, but Pichler’s decision to bring his collection to Berlin proves that despite this city’s penchant for poverty, it still knows how to attract money, if only for the weekend. Schoenes Wochenende.