Words: Chris Erik Thomas.
In Berlin, art forms the heart of Germany’s sprawling capital city. Decades after the likes of Keith Haring painted murals onto the Berlin Wall, the reunified city has become home to more than 5,000 artists and hundreds of galleries and museums. Throughout the year, artists of every background, nationality, and style show works in the city, but it is Gallery Weekend Berlin that has held a special place in the cultural conversation since 2005.
This year, 18 of the Berlin-based galleries that attended Art Düsseldorf will have shows on view during the three-day event. Taking place from 29 April through 1 May, Gallery Weekend presents a smorgasbord of contemporary art spread across dozens of the city’s leading galleries – attracting over 1,000 international and national guests. For even the most seasoned art aficionado, it can be difficult to keep track of what’s on view where, or which openings are happening when.
To ease the art overload, we’ve compiled a guide to what’s on view for Gallery Weekend Berlin at the galleries that attended Art Düsseldorf. It’s the Berlin art scene’s biggest weekend of the year, so take note of every gallery you want to see, put on some comfortable shoes, and prepare to journey across the city’s many districts to see what Berlin’s contemporary art scene has to offer.
Gallery Weekend Berlin takes place on the following dates and times: Friday, 29 April from 6 PM to 9 PM; Saturday, 30 April from 11 AM to 7 PM; Sunday, 1 May from 11 AM to 7 PM. Please note that opening hours outside of Gallery Weekend vary depending on the gallery.
In a major moment for the German art community, the father-son duo of Thomas and Alex Levy are joining their galleries for a new gallery space in the Moabit district. For Thomas, whose LEVY gallery has existed in Hamburg for more than 50 years, it is a long-overdue return to Berlin; for Alex, it marks an end to a 10-year stint in Kreuzberg. To celebrate the historic opening of their shared space, Thomas will show a range of works by the artists Meret Oppenheim, Man Ray, and Daniel Spoerri, while Alex will show new works by the Russian-Austrian artist Egor Kraft, which are a reaction to the war in Ukraine.
For more on Thomas and Alex Levy, please read our wide-ranging and generation-spanning discussion on the role of art in their family, the contrasting art scenes in Berlin and Hamburg, and how their new shared gallery space was formed.
“Lies, Half-Truths & Propaganda [The Bad, the Worse, and the Worst]” by Egor Kraft and “Meret Oppenheim, Man Ray, and Daniel Spoerri” are on view from 29 April to 11 June 2022. The gallery is located on Alt Moabit 110, 10559 Berlin. The opening hours are Wednesday through Saturday, from 11 AM to 6 PM.
A visit to see the solo show of German artist Wolfgang Laib is a necessity in the oft-hectic swirl of Gallery Weekend. For his 18th solo show with the gallery (his first beginning in 1987), the focus is on a series of sculptures from his “Rice Houses” series. Miniscule grains of rice sit enclosed within vessels of wood that have been covered in a range of materials – from sealing wax and silver to Burmese lacquer and aluminum. The effect is a powerful and meditative take on Eastern – and particularly Indian – philosophy, aesthetics, and religion.
“Wolfgang Laib” is on view from 29 April through 25 June 2022. The gallery is located on Charlottenstraße 13 10969 Berlin. The opening hours are Tuesday through Saturday, from 11 AM to 6 PM.
Expanding on themes introduced in its booth at Art Düsseldorf, the gallery is presenting a group show centered on the theme of “othering.” By exploring what happens when certain lives, both human and nonhuman, are labeled as alien, the exhibition interrogates the tension between the self and the other. Curated by artist Jonas Wendelin, the group show is accompanied by an essay from Nicholas Korody, “Alterity and Its Other,” and features a range of works by Yalda Afsah, Julian Charrière, Albrecht Dürer, Francisco de Goya, Andreas Greiner, Jenna Sutela, Analisa Teachworth, Jol Thoms, Sung Tieu, and Jonas Wendelin.
“Othering” is on view from 29 April through 25 June 2022. The gallery is located on Linienstrasse 23, 10178 Berlin. The opening hours are Monday through Saturday, from 11 AM to 6 PM.
In its fourth solo exhibition of works by Jürgen Klauke, the gallery will present a mix of photography and drawings. In “Bodysounds”, four massive C-prints anchor the show and depict an eerie, Cronenbergesque scene of a man dressed in black partly concealed by an alien sculptural form made of nylon tights stretched across balloons. With “Kreuz&Queer”, his drawings of bodies and body parts of different sexes meld together to create an abstract scene connected by tubes, strings, and thread. Together, these contrasting parts form a must-see show that pokes at and questions the bodily form.
“Bodysounds / Kreuz&Queer” is on view from 29 April to 11 June 2022. The gallery is located on Pohlstraße 67, 10785 Berlin. The opening hours are Tuesday through Saturday, from 11 AM to 6 PM.
For decades, the artist Horst Antes has developed a reputation for his paintings of dark, minimalist houses. Devoid of people in reaction to the Falklands War between Argentina and the United Kingdom in 1982, these foreboding, monumental houses urge viewers into reflection. For the new solo exhibition of his work that is curated by the artist himself, seven of these massive paintings will be on view – including recently executed pieces that will be shown for the first time.
“7 Houses” is on view from 29 April to 11 June 2022. The gallery is located on Meierottostraße 1, 10719 Berlin. The opening hours are Monday through Saturday, from 11 AM to 6 PM.
Painting, sculpture, and furniture crash into one another for an intriguing solo show from artist Anton Henning. In an exhibition that has been specifically tailored to the rooms of the gallery, the modernist artist presents a layered, sensory experience that builds on autopoietic systems – systems that reproduce themselves within themselves like plants – that he has been developing since the early 1990s.
“Future and Grace, No. 1” is on view from 29 April to 25 June 2022. The gallery is located on Niebuhrstr. 5, 10629 Berlin. The opening hours are Monday through Friday, from 9 AM to 6 PM, and Saturday from 12 to 6 PM.
For Gallery Weekend Berlin, the gallery is presenting two collections. The first is a series of early paintings by the acclaimed American artist Allan McCollum from his Constructed Paintings and Bleach Paintings series, which began in 1969. In addition, Matt Mullican presents continuation of his collaborative project with McCollum. The project, called “YOUR FATE,” began in 2004 and is a fortune-telling dice game that can be played by visitors at the gallery.
“Works 1970-1973” and “YOUR FATE” are on view from 23 April through 4 June 2022. The gallery is located on Charlottenstraße 24, 10117 Berlin. The opening hours are Tuesday through Saturday, from 12 to 6 PM.
Split into two equally arresting solo shows, the gallery dedicates the massive upper floor of its space to a solo presentation by Austrian painter Xenia Hausner. Twelve massive paintings explore themes of beauty and dread, which takes inspiration from a famed quote from Rilke’s Duino Elegies: “Every angel is terrifying. For beauty is nothing but the start of terror, that we are still able to bear, and we revere it so, because it calmly disdains to destroy us.”
Meanwhile, on the lower floor of the gallery, a politically powerful show from Ukrainian artist Zhanna Kadyrova is on view. After fleeing her home of Kyiv for the western part of Ukraine in the midst of the Russian invasion, the artist began work on what has become her new project, “PALIANYTSIA”, which is co-authored by Denis Ruban. Named after a Ukrainian round wheat bread that has become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance, the show offers a mix of stone sculptures and drawings imbued with political resonance, as well as a short film documenting her work in Transcarpathia during the ongoing war.
“Unintended Beauty” by Xenia Hausner is on view from 29 April to 19 June 2022. “PALIANYTSIA” by Zhanna Kadyrova is on view from 29 April to 20 May 2022. The gallery is located on Alexandrinenstraße 118-121, 10969 Berlin. The opening hours are Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 AM to 6 PM, and Sunday from 12 to 6 PM.
For the gallery, it was only fitting to return to the works of Bruce Nauman for Gallery Weekend Berlin. Since presenting his first solo exhibition in Europe in 1968, “Six Sound Problems for Konrad Fischer,” the gallery has played host to 18 solo shows of the famed artist’s work. With the new video installation, the New Mexico-based artist’s hands become the art in a meditative interrogation of the repetition of training. Accompanying the video is a range of pieces that explore his forays into printmaking, which he has spent decades honing his skills with.
“Practice” is on view from 29 April through 27 August 2022. The gallery is located on Neue Grünstraße 12, 10179 Berlin. The opening hours are Tuesday through Saturday, from 11 AM to 6 PM.
Anna Boghiguian takes over the main exhibition space for a must-see solo show. Taking inspiration from her studies of political science and sociology in Cairo, plus art and music in Montreal, the Egyptian artist’s two sprawling installations were inspired by tin mines in the English town of Cornwall, as well the silk road that connected Japan and Egypt – focusing especially on the invisible labor of the girls and women who toiled in the garment factories.
Meanwhile, in the showroom, the exhibition on view offers a melding of the minds of Boghiguian and German theorist Alice Creischer. At the heart of this contrasting show are two major works by each artist. First is a 2015 poem by Creischer, “His Master’s Voice”, which responded to German President Joachim Gauck’s speech at the 2014 Munich Security Conference calling for an expansion of Germany’s military actions abroad. Meanwhile, a series of drawings by Boghiguian depicts two groups of people being watched by an oppressive military in a sinister and dystopic tableau.
“Anna Boghiguian / Alice Creischer” is on view from 29 April to 25 June 2022. The gallery is located on Lindenstr. 35, 10969 Berlin. The opening hours are Tuesday through Saturday, from 12 to 6 PM.
In the third exhibition by Brazilian artist Marilia Furman, the government of her country becomes the focal point for a striking query into themes of social disintegration, cultural destruction, technological domination, and overproduction. Visitors to this must-see exhibition will step into the “womb of a beast”, exploring a visually fractured space filled with repetitive GIFs in an infinite loop, power extensions pumping out energy, mirrored pyramids, and metal plaques inscribed with ominous messages.
“Monstrous” is on view from 28 April to 25 June 2022. The gallery is located on Schöneberger Ufer 61, 10785 Berlin. The opening hours are Tuesday through Saturday, from 12 to 6 PM, and by appointment.
With an expansive list of references (from Jean-Paul Sartre to Jean Tinguely) packed into their sculptures, this solo exhibition of works by Rachel Youn is a must-see. Freed of the pressures of utility and authenticity, the St. Louis, MO-based artist’s mesmerizing works combine plants, speakers, and other objects to create forces of kinetic energy that move, shake, and stand bathed in kaleidoscopic color.
“Revival” is on view from 29 April through 25 June 2022. The gallery is located on Prinzessinnenstr. 29, 10969 Berlin-Kreuzberg. The opening hours are Wednesday through Saturday, from 12 to 6 PM, and by appointment.
In its first solo exhibition of the German artist Conny Maier, a series of hallucinogenic paintings question everything from dominance and control to ecology and human nature. Taking cues from Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing’s concept of the “ambivalence of salvage,” the works show that even the most damaged worlds – and the people in them – can contain elements of life, beauty, and resilience.
“Feels Like Rabies” is on view from 30 April to 4 June 2022. The gallery is located on Wielandstraße 26, 10707 Berlin. The opening hours are Monday through Saturday, from 10 AM to 6 PM.
A decade-long journey to embrace and deepen his relationship with natural materials and spaces forms the basis of artist Olaf Holzapfel’s solo show. Finding inspiration in both the rural and urban landscapes he’s come in his travels, the works on view take care to incorporate such materials as cactus fibers made by northern Argentinian weavers, straw from Brandenburg, and hay in Lusatia. It is an ode to the natural world filtered through his artistic lens; a celebration of the coexistence of both social and ecological factors found around the world.
“In Vielem und Einem” is on view from 27 April to 18 June 2022. The gallery is located on Marienstraße 10, D–10117 Berlin. The opening hours are Thursday through Friday, from 11 AM to 6 PM, and Saturday from 12 to 6 PM.
The Mitte-based gallery currently has a solo exhibition of works by the Berlin-based artist Noi Fuhrer on view. Born in Tel Aviv, the artist has developed a reputation for her charcoal on paper sketches. The large-scale drawings have a haunting quality that stays with viewers long after they leave the gallery, particularly because of the tension and oddity bubbling beneath the surface of the paper.
“A Flash at Midday” is on view from 23 April through 4 June 2022. The gallery is located on Mulackstr. 14, 10119 Berlin. The opening hours are Thursday through Saturday, from 12 to 6 PM, and by appointment.
With two spaces at its disposal, it’s fitting that the gallery opted for a solo show in each of its spaces. First, at Lindenstraße 34, the Finnish artist Milja Laurila will present a selection of works from her “Untitled Women” series. Using translucent paper to obscure all but the eyes of found photographs of women, the artist flips the male gaze through her own searing feminist lens.
Next door, at Lindenstraße 35, is a solo show of previously unseen color photographs by Grey Crawford dating from 1978 to 1984, which capture the energy and spirit of the Southern California art scene during that era. For seven years, the artist created over 200 works that play with the tension of nature and geometry through precise darkroom alterations. Alongside his works will be a book release of Grey Crawford: Chroma, 1978–85, Vol 1, 2022, which includes a book signing on Saturday, 30 April, at 3 PM.
“Untitled Women” by Milja Laurila is on view at Lindenstr 34, 10969 Berlin. “Chroma Figura 1978-84” by Grey Crawford is on view at Lindenstr 35, 10969 Berlin. Both exhibitions are on view from 28 April to 25 June 2022. The opening hours are Tuesday through Saturday, from 11 AM to 6 PM.
Gregor Gleiwitz is a world builder. Inside each painting, the artist has utilized an array of colors to create snapshots of both his inner world and the larger environment around him. Often created in a single sitting, the selection of works on view during his solo show feels somehow alive, imbued with an organic texture. United by the exhibition’s name, “Xyleten,” a made-up word, the entire show is at once both alien and familiar, like bits of nature thrown through a blender and thrust onto massive canvases.
“Xyleten” is on view from 29 April to 18 June 2022. The gallery is located on Schöneberger Ufer 71, 10785 Berlin. The opening hours are Monday through Friday, from 10 AM to 6 PM, and Saturday from 11 AM to 6 PM.
We’ve come a long way from the beginnings of Cubism when Pablo Picasso produced over 800 sketches that would form the foundation of the famed art movement. A century later, the question of what cubism is today must be answered by looking at our rapidly shifting technological age. Cubism forms the foundation for the gallery’s unforgettable group show curated by Philipp Bollman, which features works by Armin Boehm, Johannes Daniel, Zohar Fraiman, Anton Henning, Pieter Schoolwerth, and Kristina Schuldt.
“SHATTERED – transformations of cubism” is on view from 27 April through 25 June 2022. The gallery is located on Streustraße 90, 13086 Berlin. The opening hours are Wednesday through Friday, from 12 to 6 PM; Saturday, from 1 to 5 PM; or by appointment.
It all begins in 1839 with the first known photograph taken on the African continent. This is the starting point that guides the entirety of Heba Y. Amin’s new solo show, which is curated by Anthony Downey. As a continuation of the pair’s 2020 exhibition at London’s Mosaic Rooms, the new show presents a range of works that explore the politics of colonialist technologies through a research-based lens. Individually, the works touch on everything from the territorialization of space and the subjugation of North African women by France to the French nuclear experiments, and their horrific radioactive fallout, in Algeria.
“When I see the future, I close my eyes: Chapter II” is on view from 1 May to 30 July 2022. The gallery is located on Goethestraße 82, 10623 Berlin. The opening hours are Tuesday through Saturday, from 11 AM to 6 PM.
Chris Erik Thomas is the Digital Editor of Art Düsseldorf. They work as a freelance writer and editor in Berlin and focus primarily on culture, art, and media. Their work can also be seen in Highsnobiety, The Face Magazine, and other publications.