Art is huge in Berlin, Germany. Not only is every other person you see on the street very likely to be an aspiring artist, but galleries and art museums abound, making it easy to fill days, if not weeks with art experiences. The fact that ”everyone” does art is a combination of the low living costs, which have caused a pilgrimage of artists within basically every field to Berlin, but also it is due to an unusually allowing and creative atmosphere. As a result, the quality of the work exhibited can be more or less questionable, but there are a number of reliable art institutions that usually won’t disappoint.
Photo by michael.berlin
KW stands for Kunst-Werke, Berlin’s Institute for Contemporary Art, located in a narrow building squeezed into a back yard in gallery-scattered Mitte district. Though it has no collection of its own, KW calls itself a ”laboratory for communicating and advancing contemporary cultural developments in Germany and abroad”, and hosts exhibitions, workshops and resident artists’ studios, as well commissioning works by artists. Every year, Kunst-Werke hosts the Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, which takes place for the seventh time in 2011.
As the name suggests, Hamburger Bahnhof used to be a train station, but after a lengthy reconstruction by architect Josef Paul Kleihues the new Museum for Contemporary Art finally opened in 1996. In 2004, the museum was expanded by an additional 6,000 m2, and now has a total exhibition surface of incredible 13,000 m2. The focus is on art from 1960 onwards, and currently Hamburger Bahnhof exhibits the Friedrich Christian Flick Collection with over 2,000 superlative works of contemporary European and North American art, which will be on loan for at least the next seven years.
The Berlin Guggenheim is a lot less well-known than its older siblings. A small space on famous parade street Unter den Linden, it is one of the few places which charge no entrance fee. This little art museum is usually wonderfully well curated and should not be missed.
If you want to make it to Temporäre Kunsthalle, better hurry up! This temporary art space closes for good on August 31st, after a mere two years. Situated on Schlossplatz in front of the now demolished former Palast der Republik, it was created with the purpose of focusing on contemporary art from Berlin. A novel idea was to use the 1,680 m2 of the building’s exterior surface as an addition to the indoor exhibition. The first exterior project was a digitized cloudscape carried out by Austrian artist Gerwald Rockenschaub.
ART Hotel Charlottenburger Hof
Average Price: € 50
Average Rating: 8.3
Hotel Aldea Novum Berlin Centrum
Average Price: € 32
Average Rating: 8.0
Hotel Berolina an der Gedächtniskirche
Average Price: € 39
Average Rating: 8.1