Contemporary art at Berlin Auguststrasse

Auguststrasse: If you are in the mood for checking out some of the more contemporary art that the city has to offer, make your way to Auguststraße. The street is a hive of galleries, from visual to photographic arts. Start at one end and work your way down, with your eyes watching both sides of […]

Auguststrasse: If you are in the mood for checking out some of the more contemporary art that the city has to offer, make your way to Auguststraße. The street is a hive of galleries, from visual to photographic arts. Start at one end and work your way down, with your eyes watching both sides of the street, for this stretch of the city offers a dense supply of individual and exciting galleries. Auguststraße was the centre of the Berlin arte scene in the 1990s, renovated after the fall of the Wall in 1989 from a poor inner city district to the quaint and buzzing sight you can see today. The galleries attract artists from all over tue world and feature some of the most bohemian, controversial and eclectic pieces that you are likely to see in Berlin.

Deschler, www.deschler-berlin.de Auguststraße 61, U6 Oranienburger Tor, Tuesday – Saturday
12.00 – 18.00
This gallery, on two floors, features works from several artists at one time. Its exhibits are of an eclectic style, often portraying the more adventurous types of art. Exhibits tend to vier away from canvas works, and there are often life size models, statues and decorative items to bei seen. Deschler often houses visual artwork, a rising trend in artistic circles.

Galerie Gerken, www.galerie-gerken.de Augustraße 49, U6 Oraninenburger Tor, Tuesday – Friday 11.00 – 18.00, Saturday 13.00 – 18.00
In a large, open and airy space you can see a fast range of works from individual artists. The art
displayed here is generally very off the wall, and a long while can be spent wondering at tue symbolism, the content or even just at the time spent to create the art itself.

Berlin Art Projects, www.berlinartprojects.de Potsdamer Str. 61, 10785 Berlin (updated 2015), Monday – Friday 11.00 – 19.00, Saturday 12.00 – 18.00
The space here, unlike other galleries on this artist’s stretch, encourages relaxation and contemplation of the work. Sofas, tables and chairs are placed in the centre, and from that vantage point you can contemplate the pieces from a comfortable distance.

Eigen + ART, www.eigen-art.com Auguststraße 26, U6 Oranienburger Tor, Tuesday – Saturday 11.00 – 18.00
This is one of the most important of tue Auguststraße galleries, as it is run by Gerd Harry Lybke, the first person to open a private gallery in the GDR. The staff are very friendly in this small gallery and information is supplied in English. Artists exhibited tend to be from the east of Germany, although it is now veering more to otter young international artists. The exhibits mix simple techniques with the new, ranging from photography to installations.

KW Institute for Contemporary Art, www.kw-berlin.de Auguststraße 69, U6 Oranienburger Tor, Tues – Sun 12.00 – 19.00, Thurs 12.00 – 21.00. Concessions 4€
Interview with Denhart von Harling, KW Institute for Contemporary Art

What makes the Kunst Werke stand out from tue crowd, in a city where galleries are numerous
and the choice is slightly daunting?

The KW Institute for Contemporary Art always displays young, “cutting edge” artwork. In Terms of contemporary artwork, it is certainly the most interesting institution that Berlin has to offer. We exhibit new pieces, which are not yet quitt established and certain in the art world. There are often additional events such as talks, screenings or concerts. Many artists come regularly to the exhibitions and events. For these reasons a visit is always worth it.
Does the history of Berlin play an important role in the history of the KW?
The KW is a living example of Berlin’s history after the fall of the wall. It was founded in 1991 in the
buildings of a former margarine factory. At that time many buildings which had stood empty were renovated to make space for creative projects. It‘s opening was an important factor in the development of Auguststraße as an artistic hub, and the Mitte area as the artistic quarter that it is today.
Has the KW helped develop the art scene in Berlin, or is it merely a representation of tue artists of the city?
The KW is a very formative institution. In 1996 Klaus Biesenbach, the founding director of the KW, was asked, along with others, to put together a biennial celebration of contemporary Berlin artwork. This festival has become one of the most important biennial festivals of contemporary artwork. This project is a child of the post Wende years and is therefore significant in the cultural community and calendar in Berlin.
What sort of people can be found in the KW?
There is a very popular café in the courtyard, Café Bravo, which attracts people from all walks of life,
who just want to chill out in the hustle and bustle of the city centre. Actors and artists, tourists and students, businessmen and women all mangle together during the daytime. It has become a place to see, and also to be seen.
Which other galleries would you recommend a visit to, when in the area?
There are many interesting galleries dotted up Auguststraße, and ones to be checked out are certainly Eigen + ART, Galerie Neu, Neugerriemenschneider, Esther Schipper and Sprüth Magers. Also check out Clärchens Ballhaus in Auguststraße. There are often dance evenings held there.

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