So many times people ask me where the best galleries in Berlin are, yet I feel I can never give them a fulfilling answer. If I were in New York I’d say Chelsea, however there are lots of interesting spots on the Bowery or Bushwick these days. But in Berlin there’s Kreuzberg, Mitte, Neukölln and the star of this article: Schöneberg. Located in West Berlin and conveniently located off of the U1 train, I’d like to take you on a tour of Kurfürstenstraße, home to four of the best contemporary galleries in Berlin.
A Journey Down Kurfürstenstraße
Schöneberg was the home to Bowie, Iggy Pop and others back before the wall came down, so it seems only natural that there would be a group of great galleries that line its main street, Kurfürstenstraße. Cut in half by the busy Potsdamerstraße where you can find cheap eats, a movie theater, shopping and some more great galleries like Plan B, Kurfürstenstraße is steadily becoming home to some of the sharpest and cutting edge exhibition spaces Berlin has to offer. The area is rich, so don’t feel that our list of galleries here is the end to your journey along this road. Make sure you take some time to visit the surrounding area, which will not disappoint. Nonetheless, let’s instigate our excursion.
A work by Argentine artist Santiago Taccetti currently on view at Club Midnight. Photo: Chris Phillips
First let’s start with a smaller space that can be a bit hard to find but is certainly worth the venture. Club Midnight has a pleasant spot in a Hinterhof near the Kurfürstenstraße stop where it exhibits many of the best up and coming artists from Berlin and beyond. Run by Elda Oreto and Lars-Enik Wyren, the gallery has showcased work ranging from new media/Internet pieces to classic paintings and sculptures. We’ve mentioned them a few times in the past, so isn’t it time you paid them a visit? Currently they have work by artist Santiago Taccetti, whom we interviewed a few weeks ago, so give the article a quick look before you head on over to the Club.
Going further down the road on your right you’ll find the doors to Tanya Leighton. Currently exhibiting the works of British video artist John Smith, this space has taken the art world by storm since it opened its doors in 2008. The space is dedicated to curating exhibitions that stretch what it means to put on a show by asking artists, art historians, curators, filmmakers, and more to fill up their space. The openings are often filled with the who’s who in the Berlin art world, plus the artists shown are some of the more interesting around, hence my attendance when a new exhibit opens.
Kara Uzelman’s collection of tools seen at Sommor & Kohl earlier this winter. Photo: Chris Phillips
As you venture on this quiet street take a left into a Hinterhof that also is host to video artist Douglas Gordon’s personal library. Here we can find two galleries that are at the top of our list of must-see spaces in the city. First up is Sommor & Kohl, whose large space makes it an important competitor in the Berlin art scene. For a short time they have work by Canadian artist Kara Uzelman, but keep your ear to the ground on what’s happening here because the gallery is prone to show some interesting work.
Gallerist Gabriela Acha of Altes Finanzamt chills out in Natalie Häusler’s installation at Supportico Lopez. Photo: Chris Phillips
Lastly a short distance away and up a few steps you can enter Supportico Lopez. The Italian run space was started in Naples in 2003 but has been calling Berlin home since 2008. We praised their last exhibition of Natalie Häusler’s paintings last month, which unfortunately closes this week – so like Sommer & Kohl keep your attention focused on what’s happening here next.
Article by James Shaeffer