After the weekend: what now?
The crowds have thinned, the fleet of BMW shuttle cars are no longer cruising Berlin's gallery strips. The "weekend" part of Gallery Weekend Berlin is over. But let's not forget that the shows featured in the annual event are still on view for the next few weeks. Beyond the big names (like Kosuth, Condo, Nicolai or Rondinone) are a few gems worth investigating.
One is an intriguing show featuring the late Austrian artist Curt Stenvert, on view at Aurel Scheibler. The gallery is working with the artist's son on the estate – an oeuvre that can be divided into medium-based "chapters," starting with avant-garde film in the 1950s, assemblages in the 1960s, and finally painting (what he'd been originally trained in, in Vienna) in the 1970s and later. The show at Scheibler—now located on the ground floor of a 1911 building that once housed a women's artist's club and, later, high-end art dealers in the 1920s and early 1930s—primarily focuses on the three-dimensional collages that the artist produced in the 1960s. Each is presented in a glass vitrine, the outside of which is marked with a text and an "opus" number. The assemblages are Surrealist, socially critical, and amazingly still relevant today. A friend and I recently discussed that we strangely never see Dada-influenced art in Berlin, and boom, here it is.
Over at Circus, a gallery that will soon have to move from its current location in a courtyard otherwise filled with auto-body shops, Özlem Altin exhibits subtle works in a variety of media in a show called “Cathartic Ballet,” which is exactly how the viewer feels when in the space (see installation view).
And at Supportico Lopez, Berliners finally get a glimpse of the 146-page Henri Chopin manuscript, La Crevette Amoureuse, which MoMA viewers were treated to last year. It’s a show to spend some serious time in, with the pages displayed in a beautiful vitrine wrapping most of the exhibition space, designed by architects Kuhn-Mazzetti.
Other shows not to miss include Aleksandra Domanovic at Tanya Leighton, Eva Kotátková at Meyer Riegger, Anna K.E. at Barbara Thumm, Valie Export at Zak|Branicka, Hans-Peter Feldmann's wildly varying range at the three galleries Wien Lukatsch, Mehdi Chouakri and Johnen, and Michael E. Smith at KOW. The last is so minimal and visceral that it’s apparently been quite polarizing, but it’s one of my favorites for exactly that reason.