The Berlin art scene is thriving. You only need to look at the art-covered walls of Hotel De Rome or gaze out of the window at the city’s brightly coloured street art to see the industry’s influence. Berlin is a collector’s playground and its myriad commercial galleries offer plenty of opportunities to pick up exclusive, one-of-a-kind works. While contemporary has remained the bedrock of the city’s art scene since Germany’s reunification, a broad spectrum of artistic platforms can be discovered, from sculpture and fine art to photography and conceptual installations. With so much art in Berlin, The Notebook selects some of the best and most unique commercial galleries to inspire some artistic purchases, or perhaps just a little window-shopping.
CFA Contemporary Fine Arts
Located in the heart of Berlin’s trendy Mitte district, CFA Contemporary Fine Arts is one of the city’s best-known contemporary art spaces. Collections are selected for their thought-provoking qualities, rather than by genre or type, so visitors can expect an eclectic range of immersive artworks by established artists and rising stars from Germany and beyond.
Circle Culture is one of the country’s most important galleries for urban art. From its base in Mitte, the gallery showcases the work of artists with subcultural backgrounds, who expertly blur the lines between urban and visual art. Themes vary vastly from design and music to architecture and street art, but each is eye-catching and distinctive. Some key previous exhibitors include American contemporary street artist Shepard Fairey, anonymous photographer and artist JR, and Raymond Pettibon, famed for his comic-like drawings.
Galerie Thomas Schulte
As one of the first galleries to open post-reunification, Galerie Thomas Schulte is considered one of the frontrunners of Berlin’s reawakened art scene. The gallery specialises in conceptual contemporary art by international artists. Visit before the end of February 2016 to see Chilean artist Alfredo Jaar’s installation ‘(Kindness) of (Strangers)’, which aims to illustrate the immigration movement of people from southern Europe to the north through a large-scale arrangement of neon arrows.
Captain Petzel is a hub of unusual contemporary art in Berlin, housed within a dramatic Soviet-era building in former East Berlin. A trip to the space is an experience in itself, especially for those with a penchant for architecture, while art collectors are spoilt for choice with a variety of exhibitions over three floors. Visit in January and February to discover the work of contemporary artist Dirk Skreber, who presents his anticipated collection ‘The Long Hello’.
Located in the intriguing structure of St. Agnes, a former church from the Brutalist era, Johann König reflects the ideals of its anti-traditionalist founder of the same name. The gallery presents thought-provoking installations, artworks and screenings with the aim of encouraging debate and challenging its visitors. Some prior highlights include solo shows by local artist Alicja Kwade and German artist Johannes Wohnseifer. Visit in January to catch the end of Amalia Pica’s show in the chapel and Nathan Hylden’s exhibit ‘Goes On’.
Owned by the famous German artist Max Hetzler, this gallery presents large-format contemporary artworks and installations by young emerging artists and well-known talent. During the first quarter of 2016, the gallery will present solo shows by Karel Malich and Robert Holyhead, as well as a multi-talent contemporary exhibit featuring pieces by the likes of Jérémy Demester and Jeremy Deprez.
With so much art to discover across the city, Hotel De Rome is situated in a perfect location to explore Berlin’s best galleries.