250110: Gallery week-end during the Berlin winter

For the second time: Parisian program at Berlin-based galleries Gallery week-end during the Berlin winter No, it’s not a typo, it’s French. This is exactly the way the opening weekend of the Berlin-Paris gallery exchange presented itself – as a smaller, French version of the in the meantime well-established Berliner Gallery Weekends. Just like in May (but this time, French) collectors arrived, and like in May an event atmosphere dominated, and everyone tried to visit as many of the simultaneously ongoing gallery-openings as possible. Initiated by the French Embassy, this year’s exchange included 27 galleries (2009: 23), of which 10 already took part last year. Among the newcomers is the Gallery neugerriemschneider, who lent its premises to kamel mennour for three weeks and appeared in a completely different light. kamel mennour presents works by Yona Friedman, in which the roof and the façade of a characteristic example of Berlin factory architecture is covered with chicken wire. “I found it so sad and therefore dressed it up”, said the Hungarian, who lives in Paris, describing the brick chimney, which he covered with aluminium wiring and colourful flags. This transforms the chimney into an example of the improvised, utopian architectural designs by the 86-year-old, represented by photo collages and sketches of downtown Berlin. Interaction with space is also a constant in three positions presented by the Gallery Balice Hertling at the Kreuzberg subsidiary MD72 of the Gallery Neu: three full-size installations fit perfectly into the sugar-coated stucco rooms, which don’t permit an outside view, only the direct interaction with the conceptual-analytic works by Falke Pisano, Luca Frei and Isabelle Cornaro. The art currently presented at the 13 Berlin-based galleries oftentimes modifies local viewing habits: some of the galleries have chosen a French partner whose program is fundamentally different than their own. Johann König displays furniture from the 1950’s designed by Mathieu Matégot for the first time in Berlin. Matégot was introduced to perforated sheet metal as a prisoner in Germany and later made it his trademark: he created chairs, tables and lamps out of the metal, which he named “rigitulle”. Again this year, the Gallery 1900-2000 transformed its rooms, designed by Mehdi Chouakri, into a venue for Modernism and shows Francis Picabia’s oeuvre. Hardly recognizable is the exchange at Gregor Podnar’s gallery, who decided to go for a joint exhibit with schleicher+lange. Under the title “Ellipse/Eclipse Part I” five artists question our limited perception - which could be boosted with certain mechanisms - point to technique and simulation, but nevertheless seem to celebrate these, experiment with perspectives and dimensions and devote themselves to spatial and chronological intervals. Worthwhile seeing is the group exhibit “Black and light” by the Gallery Denise René, founded in 1944, offering a cross-section of the gallery program characterized by constructive, concrete and kinetic art and presenting one of Victor Vasarely’s pieces at the young gallery sommer & kohl. The exhibitions are presented at the participating galleries for one to eight weeks and enable the gallery owners to introduce their artists to a new audience - without having to participate at a fair. While the main idea is to promote French artists, the public-private partnership allows the galleries to choose which artists they want to present to German art connoisseurs. As of January 29, the German galleries will display their works at the venues of their Parisian colleagues. By Conny Becker Opening times and addresses at: www.berlin-paris.fr

Galerija Gregor Podnar Berlin (alte Location)
10969 Berlin, Lindenstrasse 35
Tel: +49 30 259 346 51, Fax: +49 30 259 346 52
Email: berlin@gregorpodnar.com
Öffnungszeiten: Di - Sa 11.00 - 18.00

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