It’s the second year Berlin is going through without having a traditional art fair but rather testing an alternative model of presenting, supporting and, yes, in the end also selling art by galleries: the abc – Art Berlin Contemporary. As in last year it’s happening at the spacious The Station at Gleisdreieck and luckily again the organizers around director Maike Cruse apply their strict yet compelling concept of one gallery = one artist.
Which means each of the over 130 invited galleries has to decide which artist to present and can only do so in a simple booth architecture that is predetermined by the organizers – a strategy that makes the exhibition seem very clear instead of overcrowded and thus just so much more enjoyable for the visitor.
Still, there’s loads to see and naturally, not all of it is good or eye-catching, so some things might fall under the radar. Thus this list of things I liked can only be an extract and you might end up liking entirely different things. Which is why you should go and visit abc during the weekend.
abc Art Berlin Contemporary is happening at Station, Luckenwalder Straße 4-6 and will be open till Sunday, 12:00–19:00. Ticket prices can be found here.
The best paintings are usually not photographable, since radiating colors and gleaming layers aren’t easily depicted and that’s an important part of their beauty. Kavi Gupta is presenting five of over fourty paintings of James Krone. All have the same motif but were created consecutively with one square painted a day – they’re all alike, yet different. Additionally they say men from about 60 years on will have an increasingly harder time to actually see these colors and layers. Krone is in his late thirties, which means he still has some time left to create even more.
Another compelling color structure caught my eyes at the end of the last hall and is also reminding me of last years’ memorable topic of furniture-like objects: Eva Berendes’ gymnastic like apparatus.
Alexander Levy‘s contribution with two pieces by Julius von Bismarck is going to be a big hit, if I may post a prediction. Two industrial lamps circulating above the booth are combined with a piece about the erection of an artificial birch tree in the forest of Grunewald documented in video and photo. The tree’s supposed to be still in the woods, though there is no map for those who are willing to hunt it down.
Just next to Levy, Kwadrat placed Timo Klöppel’s giant, almost white cube made of used windows of Berlin. It’s constructed as a double wall with daylight lamps mounted inside so the inner, accessible room is bright and warm. Since the exhibition halls are actually rather cold, this makes a great place to stop and recharge some energy.
Video works sadly almost always suffer from the short attention spans of art fairs, but Annika Kahrs’ made a work you should consider seeing.
Last but certainly not least is DIS, who got rid of the misleading surname “magazine” to present zeitgeisty pieces including a video, photographs and a sculpture.