Celebrating its 18th year, Gallery Weekend 2022 presents 52 participating galleries across the city, showing emerging and established positions of over 80 artists.
Photo by: Neugerriemschneider, Thomas Bayrle
A spring revival in Berlin also means that around May local galleries open special exhibitions for the Gallery Weekend, welcoming numerous visitors from around the world to the city. Founded in 2005, Gallery Weekend Berlin is a private initiative of Berlin galleries, which by now has established itself as an important event on the international art calendar. Worth noting is that the initiative has been showing support for many young galleries and is aiming to keep the event small, not exceeding the number of participating galleries over 50 or so. Last year, Gallery Weekend for the first time started to run its autumn edition, a so-called Gallery Weekend *Discoveries, presenting artists whose works are less known to the broader public.
So, what’s on our itinerary this weekend?
Photo by: Barbara Wien, Haegue Yang
Our first stop might have to be the neugerriemschneider gallery, which is hosting two solo exhibitions of Thomas Bayrle, at their Linienstrasse and Christinenstrasse spaces. First location is showing portraiture works of the artist, renown for being a pioneer of German pop art, and features paintings and mixed-media prints that continue his life-long investigation of humankind’s relationship to industrialized mass production. At the second location, there are eight monumentally sized canvases, or what appears to be reshaped contours of traditional paintings, as well as his smaller works on paper.
A third surprise from the gallery is their show The Pleasure of Home from Ai Weiwei, which takes place at the artist’s Prenzlauer Berg apartment. The idea behind choosing such personal site reflects on the notions surrounding home and the need for belonging, and is built on the lost objects found by the artist on the island of Lesbos left by the refugees, as well as on personal images of the artist and his family photographed in their own home.
Back in Mitte, we will head out to Eigen + Art to see the works of Martin Groß. The artist continues his exploration of cutouts and excerpts, by covering gallery walls with wallpaper installations. Groß takes prints of abstract drawings as a starting point and, through analogue and digital techniques, turns them into woodblocks. What we see is him digitally collaging the woodcut source material, expanding his art across the surfaces of the gallery.
Around the block, at Sprüth Magers, we will see Sterling Ruby’s monumental QUILTS, wall-based works that connect to artist’s longtime engagement with fabric and assemblage, and his WIDW (short for “window”) works, large turquoise and blue paintings, portraying the movement of water across the canvas. We are also curious about his ceramic FLOWERS and REIF sculptures there.
Another interesting find in Mitte is Sanya Kantarovsky’s works at Capitain Petzel. His paintings deal with the state of impermanence and the shared human need to avoid it. The exhibition coincides with the recent events in Ukraine, Kantarovsky’s country of birth, pushing the work into an uneasy, unintentional alignment with a real-time catastrophic tragedy.
We will also be sure to stop by ChertLüdde gallery in Schöneberg to see Blossoms of Berlin. Among Annette Frick’s analog monochrome images revealing personalities of various Berlin subcultures are the largescale floral sculptures of Halilaj and Urbano, extending from ceilings and the walls, commemorating personal histories connected to one place as it continues to change and blossom.
Finally, we will head to Galerie Barbara Wien on Schöneberger Ufer, which is showing Haegue Yang’s series Mesmerizing Mesh, built on two main elements – paper and sonic sculptures, and is hanji (traditional Korean paper) collages, wall and ceiling installations and sculptures. Hanji is made from the inner bark of the mulberry trees native to Korean mountainsides. The scarce yet distinctive use of paper in some regional shamanistic traditions in Korea inspired the artist to initiate this series.
It would be impossible to mention all the remarkable exhibitions of the weekend. We invite you to explore its full program and choose your favorite artistic journey.