29 April 2013

GALLERY WEEKEND BERLIN: FRIDAY RECAP

Gallery Weekend 2013 _ photo by artfridge.de
 Richard Artschwager at Sprüth Magers Berlin
Gallery Weekend 2013 _ photo by artfridge.de
Claus Larsen at Reh Kunst
Gallery Weekend 2013 _ photo by artfridge.de
Jana Euler at Galerie Neu
Gallery Weekend 2013 _ photo by artfridge.de
George Condo at Sprüth Magers Berlin
Gallery Weekend 2013 _ photo by artfridge.de
George Condo at Sprüth Magers Berlin
Gallery Weekend 2013 _ photo by artfridge.de
Joseph Kosuth at Sprüth Magers Berlin
Gallery Weekend 2013 _ photo by artfridge.de
Steve Schepens at SMAC
Gallery Weekend 2013 _ photo by artfridge.de
Alice Aycock at Galerie Thomas Schulte
all images by artfridge, courtesy the galleries and artists

While some gallerists are burying their heads in the sand, Alicja Kwade created a place of pilgrimage for the art-disciples: Gallery weekend doesn't have a central theme, so most galleries have to either come up with a spectacular idea or a spectacular artist. I had prepared a list of places to see before and managed to get a glimpse of most of my favourite exhibitions...

Before the official opening time, I passed by the art-space REH Kunst - an ambitious project, currently showing two thrilling kinetic works by the danish artist Claus Larsen. "I kill you before I leave" transforms sound and movement into a drastic performance. Compared the quality of Larsen's work, Jana Euler's opening at Galerie Neu was a complete anticlimax, as they decided to display a shallow painting show about the theme of - surprise - painting. On the contrary, George Condo's show "Paintings & Sculpture" at Sprüth Magers was an absolutely delight, proving that painting neither needs to be superficial, nor too serious. The American artist, famous for his clownesque "fake old masters", shows a series of portrait sculptures and pastel coloured comic-paintings that are inhabited by dozens of strange characters and references to cubism and modernism. However, opinions are divided over this specific painter: you love it or you hate it. The gallery's first floor plays it a little safer and displays works by Joseph Kosuth. 26 neon-sentences,  addressing the birth of advertise and popular culture, refer to famous concepts and key-words used by Freud, Beckett or Wittgenstein.

Not far away from Sprüth Magers, in a backyard on Linienstrasse 57, the relatively new art space SMAC presents three objects by the Belgian artist Steve Schepens, who re-contextualises everyday objects, often splashes them with thick layers of acrystal and adds a humorous element to the collage. Galerie Thomas Schulte, which is located on Charlottenstrasse, currently shows a double exhibition with sculptures, kinetic objects, prints and paintings by Franke Hörnschemeyer and Alice Aycock. Both artists spend time on the development of large shapes and movement, even though Hörnschemeyers moving installation "Im Innern der Figur" at the gallery's window space is the most impressive and spectacular aspect of the show.

One of Gallery Weekend's hot spots is located at Rudi-Dutschke-Strasse 26, right next to Checkpoint Charly. The few galleries, who haven't moved to the area around Potsdamerstrasse yet, still attract enough people to create an event-like atmosphere. The supposedly experimental space VeneKlasen/Werner by gallery-giant Michael Werner and Gordon Veneklasen shows paintings and prints by Peter Saul, which was less of an experiment, rather than a disappointment. Galerie Crone, in the building's first floor tried to get a lot of attention by having Jerszy Seymour covering the complete gallery floor by a moon-landscape of sand and seemingly random objects. 

The sand of his installation "The Universe Wants to Play”, however, neither impressed the collector's wives, who had to take off their Chanel ballerinas, nor did it amuse Alexander Levy, who had half of the sand transported into his gallery space, still gluing under the visitor's shoes and legs. Levy presents works by the up-and-coming artist Julius von Bismark, who had other ideas to build tripping hazards for the audience: "Unfall am Mittelpunkt Deutschlands"includes the placement of a pile of objects and several fake birch tree barks spread over the gallery space. Amended by photos, von Bismark's exhibition stages the mysterious accident that happened when a car crashed into a tree that is planted exactly in the middle of Germany. Playing with society's idea of nature, the German artist questions our relation to nature and what we feel to be natural.

As for most of the art-pilgrims, the Friday gallery-parcours ended at St.Agnes Church in Kreuzberg, where acclaimed artist Alicja Kwade showed the work "Nach Osten". Referring to Léon Foucault's proof of the earth's rotation, Kwade used a simple light-bulb that hangs from the high ceiling and swings back and forth in middle of the church. A sound installation follows the movement of the bulb.  As if it was a shrine, visitors gathered around the light-pendular, admired the brilliance and observed their own shadows growing and shrinking on the walls. Introducing Johann König's new gallery space, Kwade's work does not only fulfill to be the promised highlight of gallery weekend, but it also creates an oddly meditative and self-reflective atmosphere that allows a distance to the art-hype and similarly delivers a spectacular show.


Gallery Weekend 2013 _ photo by artfridge.de
Peter Saul at VeneKlasen/Werner
Gallery Weekend 2013 _ photo by artfridge.de
Jerszy Seymour at Galerie Crone

Gallery Weekend 2013 _ photo by artfridge.de
Backyard Rudi-Dutschke-Strasse 26
Gallery Weekend 2013 _ photo by artfridge.de
Jerszy Seymour at Galerie Crone
Gallery Weekend 2013 _ photo by artfridge.de
Jerszy Seymour at Galerie Crone
Gallery Weekend 2013 _ photo by artfridge.de
Julius von Bismarck at alexander levy
Gallery Weekend 2013 _ photo by artfridge.de
Julius von Bismarck at alexander levy
Gallery Weekend 2013 _ photo by artfridge.de
Alicja Kwade "Nach Osten" at St. Agnes Church
Gallery Weekend 2013 _ photo by artfridge.de
Alicja Kwade "Nach Osten" at St. Agnes Church
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