Goodbye Tempelhof! Hello Mitte!

Causing “a little explosion in the Berlin art scene when it first started” in 2005, Rüdiger Lange, one of the three directors of Preview Berlin, tells me that this year promises similar effects for the upcoming PREVIEW BERLIN ART FAIR in September. His prediction doesn’t come without merit: this is a big year for this popular fair, as it will emerge from a brand new location in the city. Held at the former Tempelhof Airport since 2007, it makes its way back to the place where it all once began: Mitte, Berlin's central district – the historical core of the city.


Call it a homecoming or a combo-breaker: this year – on its 9th edition – PREVIEW BERLIN ART FAIR departs from the airport runway and lands in Mitte’s Opernwerkstätten!

A Sneak Peek

Last year, the four-day fair broke its past attendance records by attracting 17,000 visitors. The attraction: 57 galleries, 11 project spaces, and 8 art universities from a total of 14 countries. Emerging as a side show from the now-defunct international art fair Art Forum Berlin (1996-2010), PREVIEW BERLIN ART FAIR has already established its presence as a notable platform where both established and emerging art players convene to fortify Berlin as an important art market. 

Uppermost floor of the Opernwerkstätten where Preview Berlin Art Fair will take place in 2013. Photo: Chris Phillips

Situated in Mitte, the Opernwerkstätten “is loaded with creative energy,” Lange tells me, referring to the history of the space. Built in 1939-1941, the building until recently had been the setting where locksmiths, carpenters, sculptors and painters would create large backdrop panels for Opera houses. “I’m surprised that we can still find a space like this in Mitte,” he says as we make our way to the uppermost floor of the building where the main part of the fair will take place. 

For the past six years, PREVIEW BERLIN ART FAIR has had to live up to the reputation of its previous editions, having to show up at the same location, Tempelhof Airport. Fortunately, there’ll be none of that this year. Lange tells me that due to circumstances in terms of production—permissions for construction and amounting expenses due to safety regulations—Tempelhof no longer became a suitable place for this event. And perhaps for the better: now that the game field has changed, the spirit of the directors could not be higher. They are ready to inject Mitte with the creative force of emerging talent that has characterized this fair.​ For us, the days of September 19th thought the 22nd cannot come soon enough.

Article by Jovanny Varela-Ferreyra