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Knock Knock – It’s Berlin Art Week!

It’s that time of the year: Summer has violently vanished and been replaced by depressing temperatures, the semi-licit outdoor rave program is put on hold and Berlin Art Week is here again.

For the sixth time, the city transforms itself into a hub for art-world professionals. It’s one of the two moments of the year in which collectors, a tribe terribly underrepresented in Berlin, take over the places no real Berliner could ever afford to eat, sleep or drink at and check out what’s new on the scene. It therefore only makes sense for galleries to put much effort into exhibitions showcasing the crème de la crème of their program. The competition to grab the attention of wealthy visitors is more ferocious than dealers would like to admit, and for small and mid-size galleries especially, the financial gain can end up being decisive. However, Berlin Art Week is not per se gallery-centered: it aims to offer visitors a more diversified alternative to Gallery Weekend Berlin, activating both commercial and institutional actors of the Berlin art scene. Its focus expands to exhibitions and accompanying events by museums, private collections and project spaces, of which there are plenty but who tend to be overshadowed by the density of commercial galleries.

The nucleus of this week-long celebration has until recently been abc art berlin contemporary. However, last year’s edition seemed oddly lackluster, with participants admitting to poor sales and a gloomy ambiance. This didn’t go unnoticed by the fair’s director, Maike Cruse, who was smart enough to question its concept and look out for new partners. In April, it was announced that Koelnmesse, the parent company of Art Cologne, the world’s oldest art fair, would be taking over abc and rebaptize it as art berlin. But not only the title has been adapted: this year, the range of works on sale has been extended to modern art, which is in fact a business model successfully implemented by Art Cologne.

The collaboration between the two most important German art fairs is an intelligent move for both of them since they can both benefit from each other’s advantages: cutting-edge spirit and a dynamic local scene for Berlin, a far reach into a more traditional collector base and a larger yet high-quality array of sellable works. By the way, if you’re a fan of art shown in booths and in case you are still ‘hungry’ after visiting art berlin, we recommend POSITIONS Berlin Art Fair at Arena.

Richard Prince: Super Group, 2017 (installation view). Courtesy Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin/Paris, photo:

Local gallerists, most of which are participating to art berlin, must have had a busy couple of weeks since they have to promote both their fair participation and the shows they’ve organized at their spaces. Galerie Max Hetzler, West Berlin’s prime destination for blue-chip treasures, opens two shows by Richard Prince, the king of appropriation and controversy. For his first show with the gallery, Prince further investigates his (and our) obsession with American pop culture, especially the field of music. In a grittier neighborhood, post-internet stable Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler presents works by the elusive and sought-after Andrea Crespo. After years spent in an austere office complex on Alexanderplatz, KTZ will now be located on the border between Kreuzberg and Neukölln (one could maybe compare that to the area where Bed-Stuy and Williamsburg meet in NYC), confirming a certain trend that sees galleries leaving the former East Berlin and venture into the West.

Courtesy Gillmeier Rech, Berlin

In Tiergarten, where those two zones meet, Gillmeier Rech is showing prints by Austrian artist Lisa Holzer. For “I come in you – The Party Sequel (Berlin),” Holzer photographed different types of purées and cake icings which, to a certain extent, are reminiscent of feces and bodily secretions. Morris Louis is also mentioned as an inspiration, and in fact, after looking at those strange works for a while, you could transpose their gooeyness into Louis’ bleeding abstractions, and vice versa. Good British sculpture will be on view in the same area: Arratia Beer has invited the young Londoner Holly Hendry for their September show, whose work is in line with the long tradition of great British sculptors such as Sarah Lucas or Tony Cragg, both intimate in form and often epic in scale. Her pastel-colored pieces are somehow reminiscent of a spooky merger between archeological terrain and the worms that inhabit it.

Courtesy Future Gallery, Berlin

Another highlight might very well be Harun Farocki’s exhibition at Galerie Barbara Weiss, where films by the seminal German artist will enchant those receptive to a certain visual austerity between experimental and documentary film. If what you see at Barbara Weiss isn’t enough for you, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein hosts a retrospective of Farocki as well. At Future GalleryNicolas Pelzer shows Cockpit Rule, a new body of work based on parts of civil airplanes, as well as a continuation of previous pieces dealing with the artist’s fascination with lamps. Finally, Alexander Levy presents Felix Kiessling, whose practice explores the forces of nature and how those can be tamed, or at least played with. Many exhibitions will open on the occasion of Gallery Night, which takes place on Friday, September 15; if you love looking at art as much as you love looking at people, this might be the perfect evening for you, as the streets will be flooded with art aficionados.

Willem de Rooij, Ilulissat, 2014 (installation view). Courtesy KW Institute for Contemporary Art, 2017, photo: Frank Sperling

While galleries must have had a lot to do, institutions have prepared an equally impressive and complex program. At the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin’s de facto Kunsthalle, Willem de Rooij takes over the complicated space for an exhibition linking pieces from the last 20 years with some of his new work. The Dutch conceptual artist might not reward viewers with immediate visual enchantment, but that’s what makes his approach to image-making so interesting: De Rooij never offers you an easy solution and instead, triggers interest through subtle and strategically placed conceptual irritations. Berlinische Galerie hosts a show by Italian artist Monica Bonvicini, whose multi faceted practice acts on viewers like the sound of a gong: a first immediate loudness is usually followed by an echo that keeps on resonating for quite some time. Interested in the spacial embodiments of power structures, Bonvicini’s show at Berlinische Galerie investigates facades and their function, among other things.

On view until end of September at Museum Frieder Burda | Salon Berlin are Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg, arguably the masters of oddly cute creepiness and claymation. A part of the show is dedicated to dialogue with Willem de Kooning’s art; hence it will work well for those who like a bit of Abstract Expressionism with their Freudian malaise. A more realistic form of gut-wrenching yet fantastic art is on view at Martin-Gropius-Bau, where etchings by the master of portraiture Lucian Freud, who was born in Berlin, are to be admired next to two paintings and a watercolor. Freud’s precision, refusal to flatter his models and lifelong quest for the perfect balance between figure and light can also be perceived in his works on paper, who in fact are shown much more rarely than his canvases. Those who enjoy the moving image might want to meet at Kino Arsenal, where the haubrok foundation organizes “la > x,” a film festival plus an accompanying exhibition focusing on artistic viewpoints from Los Angeles.

Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg with works by Willem de Kooning from the Frieder Burda Collection, Installation view 2017. Museum Frieder Burda | Salon Berlin © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn; photo: Roman März

Beyond these Western perspectives, me Collectors Room inaugurates “Portrait of a Nation,” an exhibition by 50 artists from the United Arab Emirates. Whether on a geopolitical, natural, economical or cultural level, the young country continues to fascinate and intrigue; its ambitious museum policy, with the creation of many titanesque institutions such as the Louvre and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, will only be one of many aspects this exhibition plans to deal with.

A lot expects the Berlin visitor this week, and the density of compelling things to see proves once again that Berlin, at least in terms of culture, is far from dead, as so many like to claim. A comprehensive list of exhibitions and openings is available in our app, which we encourage you to use for the best possible experience of Berlin Art Week!

Naturally, this yearly highlight comes with its share of events, ranging from wild parties to mild cocktail receptions; we’ve also got all the info about those. So if you want to be always up to date, subscribe to our Exhibitionary Alerts (just follow the link for a description how to subscribe).


– Karim Crippa

#New York
5 Shows in November
Futile vacuums, visually confusing sculptures, and fluffy bears have made it into our Top Five this month. Ever wondered what a room filled with thick black liquid looks like? We’ve got you covered. See below for our suggestions of five shows not to miss in November. And download our app for more tips! They will lighten up your S.A.D.-mood of the winterly hemisphere, and maybe you’ll discover something new!

#Los Angeles
#New York
5 Shows in October
Here are our picks for the five shows you should still catch in July.

Ugo Rondinone | Gladstone Gallery | New York
Gregor Hildebrandt | Wentrup | Berlin
AA Bronson & General Idea | Maureen Paley | London
A Journey That Wasn't | The Broad | Los Angeles
Anthea Hamilton | Secession | Vienna

Berlin gets busy - Your guide to Berlin Art Week!
Bringing it back to Berlin – the home turf of Exhibitionary – is the seventh Berlin Art Week from 26–30 September! Plotted around Berlin are two art fairs, 15 museums and institutions, two art associations, one theatre, eleven private collections and 20 project spaces, expecting your pretty feet on their freshly mopped floors. And mate, it’s an ambitious program!

Hi Munich & Various Others
First off, some exciting news: we have added yet another great city to our roster of contemporary art hotspots around the globe. Exhibitionary now also covers Munich and we are happy to announce that we have partnered with Various Others. It is a cooperative project, where galleries and off-spaces invite international partner-galleries to develop an exhibition project together. Besides, some of Munich’s best museums will be offering a wide thematic frame with an array of events to accompany their exhibitions.

They grow up so fast – 10 years of curated by_ in Vienna
Summer is making its slow exit, and you can embrace the lack of sweat patches, slow-cooking in public transport and finally don your matrix coat, order that pumpkin spice latte, and flock to Vienna, because it’s a whole flippin' month of curated by_! The gallery festival where 21 renowned Viennese galleries invite international curators and give them free reign over their gallery spaces to do as they please with it is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

#Los Angeles
#New York
Five Shows in July
Here are our picks for the five shows you should still catch in July.

Made in L.A. | Hammer Museum | Los Angeles
Lin May Saeed | Studio Voltaire | London
Vile Bodies | Michael Werner | London & New York
Make me look beautiful, Madame d’Ora! | Leopold Museum | Vienna
New North Zurich | Different venues in public areas | Zurich

This week all roads lead to Basel!
Lovers of prime-quality art, gossipy shenanigans, and overpriced liquor rejoice: Art Basel is back this week with its 2018 edition.

#Los Angeles
#New York
Five Shows in May
Five shows you shouldn't miss in May.

Iza Tarasewicz | Croy Nielsen | Vienna
Hito Steyerl & Martha Rosler | Kunstmuseum | Basel
Flora Hauser | Ibid | Los Angeles
Ragnar Kjartansson | Faurschou Foundation | Beijing
Jenny Saville | Gagosian | New York

Fabulous women, neolithic children and queer dudes: Say Hi to Gallery Weekend Berlin!
We’ve reached this time of the year again: for a couple of days, the Berlin art world puts on its shiniest frock to welcome visitors to Gallery Weekend. Aside from the 47 galleries who officially participate in the main event, everyone else who contributes to making Berlin such a uniquely vibrant place for contemporary art also plans on presenting exciting positions to brighten their reputation, press portfolio or finances.

#Los Angeles
#New York
Five Shows in April
A selection of five shows you shouldn’t miss in April. Enjoy!

Barbara Hepworth | Pace Gallery | New York
Timur Si-Qin | Société | Berlin
Sylvie Fleury | Karma International | Los Angeles
Sophia Al-Maria | Project Native Informant | London
Marianne Vlaschits | Galerie Nathalie Halgand | Vienna

#Los Angeles
#New York
Five Shows in March
Here are five shows you should check out in March.

Sam Lewitt | Miguel Abreu Gallery | New York
Gallery Share | Hannah Hoffman | Los Angeles
Elin Gonzales | Lucas Hirsch | Düsseldorf
Women Look at Women | Richard Saltoun Gallery | London
Louisa Gagliardi | Plymouth Rock | Zurich

#Los Angeles
LA (Un)confidential – Exhibitionary goes West!
About a hundred years ago, movie executives discovered California’s magic sunlight, relative absence of labor regulations and pleasant ocean views: Los Angeles was picked as the location of choice to shoot pictures. Ever since, a steady stream of hopeful, driven and adventurous people has been fuelling the city of Angels, transforming it into a fertile ground for cultural initiatives. Hence, it seems only logical for Exhibitionary to chose LA as its third US and eleventh altogether location! From now on, you can check out, select, and visit the city’s most thrilling exhibitions thanks to our app.

#New York
Five Shows in February
The top five shows not to miss in February.

James Benning | neugerriemschneider | Berlin
Adrian Buschmann | Gabriele Senn Galerie | Vienna
Mi Kafchin | Lyles & King | New York
Pizza is God | NRW Forum | Düsseldorf
Lydia Ourahmane | Chisenhale Gallery | London

Five Shows in January
Our recommendations for the five shows to see in January.

Kathe Burkhart | Mary Boone Gallery | New York
Carmen Herrera | Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen | Düsseldorf
Leonor Antunes | Whitechapel Gallery | London
Group Show | Eva Presenhuber | Zürich
Fahrelnissa Zeid | Deutsche Bank Kunsthalle | Berlin

#New York
Five Shows in December
Here are the five shows we recommended to see in December.

Evgeny Antufiev | Emalin | London
Jemima Kirke | Sargent’s Daughters | New York
Anna K.E. & Florian Meisenberg | WNTRP | Berlin
Publishing as an Artistic Toolbox: 1989–2017 | Kunsthalle Wien | Vienna
Tschabalala Self | Thierry Goldberg Gallery | Miami

Lots of glamour, lots of art and lots of fun. Here comes Art Basel Miami Beach!
The conclusion of this year's busy schedule will have Miami’s white beaches and refrigerated fair halls as a setting; but this time, the program of and surrounding the Donatella Versace of fairs seems at least as busy as the rest of the year: museum (re)openings, satellites, parties and endless Uber drives will keep the glitterati more occupied than ever.

#New York
Five Shows in November
Here’s our a selection of five shows we recommend to check out in November.

Michael E. Smith | KOW | Berlin
Hannah Quinlan & Rosie Hastings | Arcadia Missa | London
Marguerite Humeau | Museum Haus Konstruktiv | Zurich
Louise Bonnet | Half Gallery | New York
Basel Abbas & Ruanne Abou-Rahme | Kevin Space | Vienna

Frieze Week is here – with some radical feminism, emerging talents and new spaces!
This week London celebrates the 15th edition of Frieze, the capital’s prime art fair and a must-go station on the art world’s calendar. As it so often is the case with an event of such magnitude, the wave it triggers makes many others want to ride it; consequently, a myriad of great shows, openings and satellite fairs are set to take place concurrently.

We've just released some amazing new features!
Now you’re able to publish your Picks and share them with others. It's easy to follow your friends and other interesting editors and see which shows they recommend.

Talking Art and Artsy Talks – Good to Talk
Good to Talk, a 46-hour long marathon of talks, lectures, and panel discussions, rounded off by the occasional live performance and musical intermezzo, aims to break open the sometimes crusted cocoon in which the art world unfolds and therefore produce fresh food for the minds of audience and participants alike.

Great Art, Good Beer, and a Juicy Rivalry – DC Open in Düsseldorf & Cologne
Düsseldorf and Cologne, historically two of Germany and Europe’s most relevant spots regarding postwar culture. We’re glad to announce that we’ve partnered with DC Open and on this occasion, we are launching Düsseldorf in our app. We will consequently provide you with some insight into the highlights taking place during these three days.

#New York
Five Shows in June
These are the last shows for many galleries before they take a much needed holiday. All too often they just present a group show of whatever inventory is available from their artists (that didn't sell at the fairs). We searched for exhibitions that raise well above the expected, and we’re delighted to see some galleries mounting some of their finest of the year.

Christopher Wool | Galerie Max Hetzler | Berlin
Carol Rama | New Museum | New York
Yan Xing | Kunsthalle | Basel
Tom Burr | Maureen Paley | London
Jorge Pardo | Galerie Gisela Capitain | Cologne

Basel is more than a symphony. It's an entire opera!
Everyone wants to look fresh when they step off the plane in Basel, but just as important as looking good is what you go to see and where you’re seen. One of the strongest ways for collectors, new and experienced, to show dedication and commitment is to show up in person to support new presentations of artists they acquire. In Basel, more than anywhere else, it is a non-stop meteoric shower of events and openings to attend.

Zürich is more than just an overture. It's a symphony!
As the art world nearly fills up its dance card with Documenta 14 and Skulptur Projekte Münster, we must have one last waltz before Basel at Zürich’s Contemporary Art Weekend! Some say this is just an ‘overture to Art Basel,’ but we say it is so much more.

Skulptur Projekte Münster made easy
Wondering how to navigate Münster? The city transforms itself every ten years with Skulptur Projekte Münster into a mecca for the art world. We have mapped it all for you so download Exhibitionary and you don’t have to spend precious little time in this scenic city lost.

We show you more in Berlin than just Gallery Weekend!
Gallery Weekend is an event like no other. Unlike the artificial situation in a trade fair or on the auction chopping block where meaning and context are emptied out. Collectors from all over the world come to see art in its primary public source, to buy early, for galleries to step up to the plate and for artists to give it their best. Our home turf and source of pride is Berlin and we hope here to provide a few entry points in this.

Are you ready for the Cologne whirlwind?
The history of post-war Cologne is a history of the emergence of contemporary art itself. Today the city still is home to major collectors (among other, Reiner Speck and Benedikt Taschen) who support established and emerging galleries. Here shows of the absolute highest caliber take place. The best way to discover which works become meaningful to you over time is to go out and see them in person.

#New York
Five Shows in April
Here we try to give a mode of entry for first time collectors but also insight for those seasoned in the art world. This is a roundup of five shows that share a depth of lasting power, they are not simply mass-market appeal even if some are very popular.

Korakrit Arunanondchai | Clearing | New York
Yu Honglei | Carl Kostyál | London
Yuri Pattison | Kevin Space | Vienna
Susan Hiller | Pérez Art Museum | Miami
Donna Huanca | Travesia Cuatro | Madrid

Athens: The unsolved mysteries of Documenta 14
Everyone has heard something about the first ever Athen’s chapter of Documenta (arguably the biggest thing happening in art right now). With only days before the inauguration, there is little clarity of what to expect, and the artist list is the biggest mystery. We provide an overview of the complicated themes and why the whole art world is talking about this quinquennial.

#New York
Five Shows in March
With “Five Shows” we launched a new format which consists of five – as Harald Szeemann would say – “with great enthusiasm and a bit of obsessiveness” hand-picked exhibitions we recommend to see or we would like you to read about.

Cristof Yvoré | M Woods | Beijing
Sheree Hovsepian | Higher Pictures | New York
Hal Fischer | Project Native Informant | London
Hannah Black | mumok | Vienna
Ned Vena | Société | Berlin

#New York
The Armory is bolder than Frieze Week. We tell you what not to miss!
Long before it became The Armory Show, it was the highly experimental perversely satirical Gramercy International Art Fair, a playing ground for a new generation of radical artists and gallerists. It took place inside the hotel of the same name and was the meeting ground for the downtown New York art scene.

All about ARCO and what to see in Madrid
It’s late February which means we are off to Madrid, already we have spent all month practicing Spanish. What is great about going to Madrid is being able to see artists who are underrepresented in Western Europe and the US (because they are often overlooked in the international scene).

The Beginning of the End: A Look Ahead to 2017
We are more positive about the coming year than the title of this post might suggest, even if we do live in fraught times. We share the sentiments of Jerry Saltz who said when asked about 2017 and the future of galleries:

#New York
The End of the Beginning: A Look Back at 2016
The end of the year gives space and time for reflection. 2016 was incredible for us. We launched our app Exhibitionary during the hot days of summer, which – now in winter – seems so far away. Within a few months, Exhibitionary grew into a global art guide with curatorial picks in major art centers around the world.

Forget the fairs! Seven things you shouldn't miss in Miami
Miami is the best place to see the diversity of Latin American art because of its proximity to the region. Many of the great private collections in Miami focus on art outside the hegemonic cannon. It is not only the rich visual arts but also the culture and food of the region that we immerse ourselves in.

Must-see guide for Art Basel Miami and the top parties you probably won't get into
As always, we are determined to find hope, sun, and LSD (love, stimulants, vitamin D) in Miami. Last year, postdiluvian floods reminded us that nature is bigger than even Gavin Brown’s beach party. This year, Zika put a cramp in Galerie Perrotin’s party and canceled Jack Shainman’s outdoor blast – but fear not, the show must go on and the parties rage on.

Top Six Shows in Turin
We are on a pilgrimage to Turin! Part of what makes the treasured art institutions in the city so exciting to see is the beautiful town that inspires them and the jaw-dropping post-Renaissance buildings they are housed in. Here are our top six shows that are must-sees.

Top ten shows to see in Paris during FIAC
There is no place like Paris; it is the right city for art. This year many galleries chose FIAC over Frieze. One major factor putting Paris back on the map is the evolution of FIAC under the Director Jennifer Flay. So here are our top 10 museum quality exhibitions to see in Paris now.

London Calling for Frieze Frenzy
London, one of the world’s most important art cities comes alive for Frieze, one of the world’s most important art fairs. The fair is about frenzied buying, except Londoners have a unique kind of refined connoisseurship that is anything but fanatic. Here are ten exhibitions we won’t miss in London and we hope you won’t miss either.

Berlin Art Week for Aficionados
The art world shuts down in August, a time to cross the blurry boundary between professional (art) life into personal (art) life. We jump out of our bathing suit directly back to work in the newest fall fashion for the big openings of jam-packed September.

Berlin's Project Space Festival Breaks the White Cube
Project Space Festival Berlin is an annual opportunity to step out of the white cube routine and experience the exciting fringes of the local scene. The strength of Project Space Festival is twofold, in its diversity and ephemerality. We’ve gone through it with a fine-comb to call out five of the finest.

Gstaad my Love – A Summer Art Affair
The summer season of art is so quiet that in order to find a great show you have to make a great pilgrimage. We are heading off to Gstaad, one of the most remote art locations, for Project 1048 which is a little bit of everything, outdoor exhibition, boundary-defying collaboration and non-profit project.

Liverpool on Strike for the Future
Facing the aftershocks of post-Brexit, it is urgent to go to the Liverpool Biennial. Under director Sally Tallant the Biennial takes over the city in the form of a free festival, a Midsummer night’s voyage through six episodes. Profound questions about our past, present, and future remain without easy answers in this political moment.

#New York
New York Warm Up
No sleep till Brooklyn – NYC celebrates its week of summer openings. What better way to avoid the grotesque hot summer days than a pilgrimage through pristine well air-conditioned galleries in the art world’s capital?! Exactly, none.

Düsseldorf Back on the Map
In constant search of the next big celebration; we are heading for the infamous Rhineland. Historically thought of as the 80's center of the German art-world, it is now putting itself back on the map. Düsseldorf is the place to be with a new private museum, a new hip gallery, and commemorative performances!

Last Look at Art Basel
In the congested summer schedule of the touring art world, Art Basel is an event sometimes preferably ignored but never forgotten. Art Basel was overwhelming and exhausting. At times it was underwhelming, at times, it blew us away.

Manifesta Tips
Just as the hangover is fading from (the celebrations of) the 9th Berlin Biennale, Manifesta 11 begins. Zurich, as everyone knows, is all about the money. Christian Jankowski hit it right on the head when he chose “What People Do For Money,” as the theme this year for Manifesta.