I have lived in a lot of neighborhoods since I moved to Berlin last year. I’ve felt posh as I slept in my one bedroom loft in Mitte, and I’ve felt like a true struggling artist in my shared flat in Pankow. My favorite area that I’ve called home, however, has been in Kreuzberg. Although most art enthusiasts would encourage you to head towards Rosa Luxembourg Platz to check out the best galleries in the city, after living for a few months on Skalitzer I can assure you that there are plenty of diamonds in the rough. Here is a guide to some of my favorite galleries on Skalitzer Straße.
Our first stop is off of Kreuzberg’s main entry point: the Kottbusser Tor station. Located underneath the U1 track is Skalitzer Straße – one of the most lively streets in all of Berlin. At the entrance to this street you’ll find Gitte Bohr, a gallery dedicated to art and political dialogues. Started in 2010, their main focus has been to go where more commercial galleries refuse. On the right day you may walk in not only on an exhibition, but perhaps a lecture, solo presentations, video screening and much more. Make sure you visit their website before you go, so you can plan your visit accordingly.
The ominous garage entrance to Exile. Photo: Chris Phillips
Walk a little further and on your right you’ll enter a large Hinterhof to find another gallery that refuses to conform. Exile is a quaint space that has been a host to an impressive roster of international artists. While still a commercial gallery, Exile promises to “act beyond artmarket compliancy towards solid curatorial statements of strong artistic practice relevant to today’s social, cultural and aesthetic realities”. If you’re interested in what some of their artists are like, check out our review on their latest exhibition featuring work by American artist Artie Vierkant.
The historic WYE building. Photo: Chris Phillips
Further down you will find The WYE, a hub for artists and creative thinkers in Berlin. While not a permanent exhibition space, the WYE has multiple studios for artists, musicians, designers, and more. Most of these artists are willing and excited to have studio visits with passionate art lovers, so email their offices before visiting the WYE’s home in the historic Skalitzer Post building to set up a date with an up and coming creative. Furthermore, if you’re on the market for a new studio here in the city, this may be the best place to start looking!
A hidden hallway entrance to Silberkuppe. Photo: Chris Phillips.
A few blocks up and across the street is Silberkuppe. A great example of a gallery that is not limited despite it’s charming size, it’s always a space that I make sure to visit whenever they have an opening. Ran by Dominic Eichler and Michel Ziegler, the gallery is dedicated to not only international artists but also some local favorites like Gerry Bibby. Currently, they have temporarily switched roles into a “shoppe” featuring a collection by interior designer Sean McNanney. See our review of that show here.
Chert’s entrance in the shared Hinterhof with Motto Book Shop. Photo: Chris Phillips.
Silberkuppe shares a Hinterhof with one of Berlin’s favorite art bookshops Motto, which is also home to the gallery Chert. Currently housing works by David Horvitz, this gallery has also made its name for itself by exhibiting work since 2008. Definitely one of the hidden art gems of Berlin, this space has never escaped the wandering eye of many an art viewer. After you’re done with the gallery, don’t forget to wander around Motto book shop for a special treat because you’ve earned it after a wonderful art trip on the Skalitzer.
Article by James Shaeffer