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Berlin Gallery Weekend

BERLIN, GERMANY-- Berlin has a reputation of being an art capital. It is virtually impossible not to know at least twenty artists. They give the city a specific flair, a very particular feeling of always having art in the air. The air, as well as the streets, were especially full of art on the weekend of April 27 - 29, 2012, when the 8th edition of the Berlin Gallery Weekend started. The spring has sprung and took all the locals out of their houses and to their bicycles for an open house tour of galleries over the city (as seen in Photos 1 and 2). With 51 officially listed galleries and almost 90 artists opening their exhibitions the very same evening, it was impossible to see all one’s picks in only one evening. The streets were crowded with people strolling from one opening to another, pavement parties on the galleries doorsteps made it easier to bump into one’s beloved artist, champagne and wine was everywhere but most of all, the atmosphere of a festival and collective appreciation for art.

Among all the galleries participating in the event there were also some younger galleries like Circus, Chert and Supportico Lopez. Exhibiting the young upcoming artists together with the top-of-the-market ones made this Gallery Weekend a unique platform representing the contemporary art world as a whole, giving the upcoming ones a chance to shine.

It is obvious though that the program of the Berlin Gallery Weekend was built around the big names from abroad. Among the many imports were Richard Long at Konrad Fischer, Francois Morellet at Kunsthandel Wolfgang Werner, Jenny Holtzer and Anthony McCall at Spruth Magers, Matt Mullican at Klosterfelde, Lari Pittman at Gerhardsen Gerner, and Julian Schnabel at Contemporary Fine Arts. Kollwitz Prize-winner Douglas Gordon is at Niels Borch Jensen, Turner Prize-winner Martin Boyce is at Johnen, Rirkrit Tiravanija is at Neugerriemschneider, and Paul Graham at Carlier Gebauer, Diane Arbus, Andy Warhol....

One can think that seeing 51 exhibitions in one weekend is an undoable task. But what if there is even more? On the occasion of the Berlin Gallery Weekend that naturally attracts many art aficionados from all over the world, there were many other events planned, like the 7th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art that opened the very same evening! Or high fashion events:  Comme des Garçons Black got a head start Thursday, with Mark Borthwick’s Polaroid work “Fountains of Ardor” in its new back-store projection space. COS feted a luminous collaboration with multimedia artist Carsten Nicolai, while The Corner simply celebrated the art of fashion itself with a still-life presentation of 20 recent Alexander McQueen creations and a reception hosted by the brand’s creative director Sarah Burton.

There is not enough space to talk about who showed what and where that weekend. Suffice to say that the whole city celebrated art and that it was one of the most inspirational events Berlin offers.

Photos courtesy of Jenny Fulton