The 8 Best Booths at Art Berlin Contemporary
The ninth edition of Art Berlin Contemporary (abc) is in full swing at Station Berlin, bringing collectors to a city that buzzes with artists year-round. The fair, known for its high-quality solo presentations of brand new work, is notably smaller than in its previous iterations, with only 65 exhibitors—compared to some 100 last year—from a total of 12 countries. Director Maike Cruse described the fair’s decision to “reduce participants to raise the quality,” concluding that: “I’m happy with the development.” We sought out the eight best booths amidst the smaller but decisive group.
WITH WORKS BY FABIAN KNECHT
German performance artist
WITH WORKS BY MONIKA SOSNOWSKA
From the ongoing series “Market” (2013), Warsaw-based artist
WITH WORKS BY TOMASZ MRÓZ
Mróz was a founding member of the renowned Penerstwo group (comprised of some of the hottest young Polish artists), many of whom studied under the pivotal teachings of pedagogical artist Leszek Knaflewski. At Piktogram’s booth, Mróz’s kinetic sculptures take on surreal and even disturbing Kafkaesque qualities. In Mother (2016; €6,500) a worm-like form is bedded down in a manger of hay, occasionally wriggling at both ends. The booth’s larger work (priced at €9,500) sees a half-eaten loaf of bread being circled by a clattering silver spoon, while a pink phallic form wriggles to escape off the edge of a table. This showing precedes his upcoming, equally surreal exhibition at Zachęta National Gallery of Art in Poland, where, gallery director Michał Woliński said, “banknotes are being printed and destroyed; some also levitate.”
WITH WORKS BY KIRSTEN JUSTESEN
Having trained in classical sculpture at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts,
Pivotal in the ’60s to the development of time as an aspect of sculpture,
WITH WORKS BY SEAN SNYDER
At Galerie Neu’s booth, works by Snyder, and even the way they’re hung, explore the notion of the mathematical “Golden Ratio,” which historically was believed to produce the most beautiful shapes and forms. The divine number is rounded up to 1.618033987, after which the exhibition is partially titled. “People believed that everything in nature was in the Golden Ratio, but it was later proved invalid by science,” said the gallery’s Marie-Christine Molitor of show’s concept, which also looks into 21st-century screen ratios. A light-box work, Storage (29.977 Latitude, 31.132 Longitude) (2016; €19,000), depicts the outside of a bonded warehouse in Geneva, its title reproducing the exact global positioning of the storage unit. “He’s interested in data, storing; myths about where all of the paintings and gold in the world is being stored; where does it come from, who does it belong to, nobody knows,” Molitor added.
Recent Slade School of Art grad