Let the madness begin! This week sees the opening of Berlins annual arts fairs. And this year there are actually 5 art fairs running concurrently.
Starting with the Berliner Kunstsalon which opens this evening, Tuesday 5th October at 5pm. Now in it's seventh year it has found a new home on Landsberger Allee in the east of the city and also a new director. It runs for 5 days finishing on Sunday the 10th October and running daily from 2pm to 10pm except on Sunday when it will finish at the earlier time of 8pm. 7 years ago this was the most exciting art fair in the city, it present the youngest, rawest, most cutting edge art of all the art fairs. New galleries, artist run project spaces and collectives presented the best and the worst that Berlin could offer. Over the years it has lost much of its initial freshness and has felt like a record stuck on the same track. This year perhaps it's new location, the a-station, Landsberger Allee may bring new life back to the beast.
Then there is the Berliner Liste opening on Wednesday 6th October at 6pm. Also in its 7th year it presents the work of artists represented by small and mid sized galleries and also a number of project spaces and individual artists. Located at the former rooms of the Staatliche Münze, Molkenmarkt 2. The Liste has seemed to be struggling a little over the past few years to fill all the slots in the fair as the expansion to allow individual artists and projects to apply for spaces would suggest. It is far more commercial than the Kunstsalon and has always felt like the little brother of the Preview but these dynamics seem to be shifting at each outing so who knows what this year will bring.
The Preview is located for the 4th year at the grand address of the Tempelhof airport and opens on Thursday 7th October. Last year it filled the main entrance hallway of the airport and ended up feeling like an uncurated group exhibition due to the lack of dividing walls between the galleries so this year thankfully it is returning to the setting of hanger 2. This is the 6th year of the art fair which for most of those 6 years has been the number two on the list in terms of importance. It is smaller in the number of galleries that it presents than the Liste and tends to feel more international. This year it has a focus on Eastern European art.
The ABC art Berlin contemporary is in its 3rd year and is opening on Wednesday, 6 October. It is split between 2 locations Marshall-Haus, Berlin Exhibition Grounds and HAU2 (Hebbel am Ufer), Hallesches Ufer 32. This year is has the title "lights camera action" and has a focus on film in art, presenting screenings at the HAU2 location and a short film program at the Marshall-Haus location. Although the newest fair on the block this year it has strong ties with the main attraction the Art Forum and would seem to have a less commercial than the other fairs.
The Art Forum Berlin is in its 15th year and has risen to become one of the most important, if not the most important, art fair in Germany. It presents an array of the most established international galleries and also an exhibition section showing work from younger or mid-level galleries. This year it is all going to be mixed together rather than separating the big fish from the minnows which may make it a more interesting spectacle.
Find out more here: http://www1.messe-berlin.de/vip8_1/website/Internet/Internet/www.art-forum-berlin/englisch/index.html
This year there is also the Stroke Art fair which is focused on Streetart, Graffiti, Low-Brow, Illustration and Skateboard Art see more here: http://www.stroke-artfair.com
The one fact that everyone agrees on is that there is too much to see. Do remember that the opening day or night is generally free but for the bigger art fairs these are by invitation only. Also remember never go to an art fair when you are hungry.
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