Saturday, 14 February 2015

Postcard from Berlin, 4. (Galleries in, and around, Potsdamer Strasse)

Trabant in Berlin
Day 4 in Berlin was spent exploring some of the many art galleries that have clustered around Potsdamer Strasse. As Kimberly Bradley notes in Art Review many of these are not conventional white cube spaces but occupy former apartments, occasionally with grand, if faded, elegance; some are tucked away in courtyards completely invisible from the street.
Entrance hallway to Kunstsaele
Below is a selection of the exhibitions I found of most interest.
Knut Henrik Henriksen: adorsTW A eNw celprStuu. (At Sommer & Kohl, Kurfürstenstrasse 13/14)

"For the exhibition at Sommer & Kohl I wanted to formulate new sculptures that would define the potential of the space rather sketchily, “poeticising space”. I wanted to cast a glance into the future, with suggestions for new sculptures and sketches for new projects. So I sat in my studio over the floor plan of the gallery, drew my lines and a fabulous chaos emerged again, as usual..."
Knut Henrik Henriksen, installation view

Knut Henrik Henriksen, Bird in Space (Erling Viksø), 2014
Knut Henrik Henriksen, Cumulus, 2015
Knut Henrik Henriksen, Dead Centre, 2015
In the 'office' space there was also an impressive painting by another of the gallery's artist, Andreas Eriksson.
Andreas Eriksson, Untitled, 2013

Dieter Krieg: In der Leere ist Nichts. (At Kunstsaele Berlin, Bülowstrasse 90)
Dieter Krieg - o. T. (Fischkopf), 1984
Dieter Krieg, installation view

Axel Loytved. (At Helga Maria Klosterfelde Edition,  Potsdamer Strasse 97)
Axel Loytved, th Ab, 2014 (Found paper, black mdf, screws)

Mathilde ter Hejine, Unknown Women (At Krome Gallery, Potsdamer Strasse 98)
"Reproductions of original cabinet card portraits of unknown women taken at the turn of the 19th century. The photographs show women from different geographical locations including Austria, Bulgaria, China, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Italy, Korea, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Thailand, Turkey and the USA."

Majla Zeneli, Portrait to some extent. (At Jarmuschek + Partner, Potsdamer Strasse 81b)
Majla Zeneli, Untitled, 2014 (Collage of mezzotint)
Majla Zeneli, Under the Glass, 2010 (Mezzotint)
Majla Zeneli, Television, 2011 (Mezzotint)

Oliver Krebs, Colours we Breathe. (At Loris, Potsdamer Strasse 65)

KyraTabea Balderer, Falk Messerschmidt, Claus Georg Stabe"Tableaux HGB" photography / collage / object. (At maerzgalerie, Potsdamer Strasse 77-87)
Falk Messerschmidt, Panel II, 2014
Kyra Tabea Balderer, Untitled, 2013
Claus Georg Stabe, Monstrance, 2014
And finally, the best two shows of all:

UlrichWüst, Übergänge (Transitions). (At Loock, Potsdamer Strasse 63)
"Ulrich Wüst was one of the most important photographers of the GDR. But beyond that, his work should be seen in a larger historical and international context of photographers like Albert Renger-Patzsch, August Sander, Bernd und Hilla Becher in Germany as well as Walker Evans and Stephen Shore in the US…
"A cool observer of his time with a contentious relationship to social and political contradictions, Wüst shoots his photographs in Berlin, Magdeburg, and Cologne – three cities heavily marked by the destruction of the Second World War. His analytic, purist photographs of urban space, city structures, and architecture narrate and comment upon a significant chapter of German history in the throes of massive change."

Ciprian Muresan. (At galeria plan B, Potsdamer Strasse 77-87)
"Bucharest city model (fragment), 1 to 330 in scale, is a cardboard architectural model. Its placement at the entrance of the exhibition space forces visitors to step on it in order to access the other exhibited works. The level of destruction of the model is left up to the public, who are forced to choose their position of either brutally damaging, or gently passing over this “obstacle”. The decision to select Bucharest as a model does not only relate to the burden of demolition that affected the city in communist times, but also to its present reality, which is marked by urban chaos, recent random urban development, the destruction of architectural heritage, and a tendency of its inhabitants to create their own paths and micro-structures in their everyday life throughout the city." 
Ciprian Muresan, 'Suicide Series', 2014, Arshile Gorky - The Artist and his Mother 1926-42. (Coloured pencils on paper)
Ciprian Muresan, 'Suicide Series', 2014, Mark Rothko - No.12, 1951. (Coloured pencils on paper)
Ciprian Muresan, 'Suicide Series', 2014, Diane Arbus - The King and Queen of a Senior Citizens' Dance, NYC, 1970. (Coloured pencils on paper)
"The Suicide Series comprises a number of drawings executed in coloured pencil, based on reproductions of works by artists who committed suicide. In the artist’s words, the study relates to: “The danger of delving too deeply into other people’s biographies, the tendency to want to speculate on the motives of this final act, or the feeling of a certain kind of admiration for the courage or recklessness of the action; perhaps equivalent to a fascination for the morbid. [...] Here […] a tension is being created, in which you can be wrongly tempted to read the works from the perspective of suicide as opposed to considering their formal and aesthetic concerns. As the initial idea to borrow original works by the cited artists can prove rather difficult these days, I chose instead to continue my endeavours via art reproduction. The method that inspired me is the colour printing technique that splits images into four colour channels – CMYK. In order to copy the works as accurately as possible, I reproduced the printing process and drew each colour channel successively, in pencil.” 

A second visit to the Gemäldegalerie completed the day. (See Postcard 3, below)
See also Postcards 1 and 2. 

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