Berlin Art Week is a platform and major collaboration between the most important institutions in the Berlin art world. Once a year, we present a diverse programme with over 50 partners ranging from museums to exhibition houses, fairs, private collections, project spaces, and numerous galleries. Our partners open their doors together and invite the public to discover something new and to immerse themselves in ongoing developments in the world of contemporary art. Art experts and art lovers from Berlin, Germany and around the world are invited to exhibitions, performances, screenings and an extensive festival week programme. The 10th edition of Berlin Art Week will take place from 15—19 SEP 2021.
The tenth edition of Berlin Art Week is funded by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe and the Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises. Our thanks also go to GASAG AG for their many years of supporting Berlin Art Week.
A city-wide intervention, open studios, art at Berghain and the digital space
Berlin Art Week 2020 was held despite measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic—citywide, decentralised, outdoors and also digitally. New additions included the ›Playlist‹ platform, a supplement to the festival’s digital programme started in 2020. Berlin Art Week partners joined forces to bring Hans Haacke’s ›Wir (alle) sind das Volk‹, a project first shown at documenta 14 (2017), to outdoor surfaces near and the facades of museums and exhibition venues around the city. Supported by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe, the Boros Collection brought the work of more than 100 Berlin artists to ›Studio Berlin‹, an exhibition in the legendary Berghain nightclub. Werkhof L57 in Berlin’s Moabit district—home to the studios of Katrin Sander, Anri Sala, and Katharina Grosse—featured at Berlin Art Week for the first time, as did the Ivo Wessel Collection. High points included exhibitions by Marc Bauer, Lerato Shadi, Harald Hauswald, Slavs and Tatars, Cao Fei, John Miller, Christian Jankowski, and Vivian Suter. Fairs coinciding with Berlin Art Week 2020 included Positions Berlin Art Fair and paper positions berlin—its offshoot devoted to drawing and works on paper—but also second edition of Messe in St. Agnes, an art fair held in the former nave of St. Agnes Church, now König Galerie.
Art beyond walls and artist-run spaces
Berlin Art Week 2019 celebrated the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. A number of participating exhibition venues explored artistic and social developments in the Federal Republic of Germany after 1989. Artists including Mona Hatoum, Anri Sala, and Jose Dávila probed the consequences of living together in divided societies at Gropius Bau; Bettina Pousttchi explored ›City and Space‹ at Berlinische Galerie. Expanding the diverse programme were exhibitions by artists Metahaven, Tobias Dostal, Iman Issa, Anna Virnich, Thomas Scheibitz, Wu Tsang, Bjørn Melhus, Christopher Kulendrang Thomas, and Annika Kuhlmann. Supported by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe, ›Statista‹ in the vacant Haus der Statistik developed artistic prototypes for an urban society built in the spirit of the Commons—a project of the city’s less well-known, artist-run spaces and collectives. Haus der Statistik also hosted the Berlin Art Week 2019 opening, which featured a number of performances on the grounds.
Photo art and urban interventions
Highlights of Berlin Art Week 2018 included solo presentations by Agnieszka Polska, Julian Charrière, Karin Sander, Laurence Abu Hamdan, Thomas Scheibitz, and Lee Bul. Berlin Art Week 2018 cooperated with the European Month of Photography Berlin to present Opening Days, a programme of photo-focused exhibitions throughout the city. Featured photographers included Cindy Sherman, Nicholas Nixon, and Alina Simmelbauer. Berliner Festspiele debuted its ›The New Infinity‹ programme on Mariannenplatz. The continuing annual series, which explores planetariums as galleries of the future, commissions audiovisual presentations by contemporary artists and projects them on a mobile planetarium dome. Art Berlin and Positions Berlin Art Fair drew nearly 200 galleries to the airport hangars of what was once Tempelhof Airport.
Emerging artists, performances, and a new gallery prize
Performances, happenings, interventions: for three days, the ›Festival of Future Nows‹ cooperated with the Nationalgalerie and the Institut für Raumexperimente at Hamburger Bahnhof—Museum für Gegenwart—Berlin to present works by 100 international artists. Other highlights included solo exhibitions by Monica Bonvicini, Willem de Rooij, Danny Lyon, Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg, Geoffrey Farmer, Daria Martin, Miet Warlop, and many more, along with a Harun Farocki retrospective at Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k), and a dance performance by Boris Charmatz on the airfield of the former Tempelhof Airport. The newly-founded Art Berlin art fair debuted at the Gleisdreieckpark station. This year also saw the launch of the Landesverband Berliner Galerien (lvbg) gallery award, a prize for Berlin’s up-and-coming galleries. The winner is announced every year at Berlin Art Week.
From overcoming borders to art films
Crowd pullers of the festival’s fifth edition included a kick-off, 13-hour art and avant-garde film programme at Kino International, an event organised by the haubrok foundation in conjunction with Berlin galleries. Further high points included exhibitions by Gordon Parks at C/O Berlin, an extensive special programme of the berlin biennial, and Anne Imhof’s imposing »opera« at Hamburger Bahnhof—Museum für Gegenwart—Berlin, for which an entire hall of the historic rail station was immersed in fog for the duration of Berlin Art Week 2016. Exhibitions and performances by Jérôme Bel, Alexandra Pirici, Jacob Appelbaum, Edmund Kuppel, Gordon Parks, Yvonne Roeb, Halil Altındere, Ian Cheng, Andreas Greiner, and others thrilled audiences. The Julia Stoschek Collection opened its Berlin branch with a group exhibition with works by artists including Jon Rafman, Wu Tsang, Hannah Black, and Hito Steyerl.
How do we want to live together in the future?
A consortium of four major exhibition venues—Berlinische Galerie, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, DB Kunsthalle, and Neue Nationalgalerie—explored questions about the city and society from various artistic perspectives with ›City/Image‹ as its topical umbrella. The Nationalgalerie commissioned artists Agnieszka Polska, Assaf Gruber, Alexandra Pirici, and others to reinvent Allan Kaprow’s Fluids series of happenings as part of the project. Other buzzed-about high points included solo exhibitions by Alicja Kwade, Paul McCarthy, René Block, and Cindy Sherman. As a partner of Berlin Art Week 2015, the international format ›Talking Galleries‹ initiated podium talks by such art market experts as Chris Dercon, Chus Martínez, and Angela Choon.
Construction and deconstruction of reality
The opening of Berlin Art Week 2014 featured numerous concerts, performances, and the exhibition ›Vertigo of Reality‹ in and around the AdK on Hanseatenweg. Artists such as Marina Abramovic, Ólafur Eliasson, Harun Farocki, Hamish Fulton, Bjørn Melhus, Bruce Nauman, Nam June Paik, Michelangelo Pistoletto, and Tino Sehgal contributed to numerous presentations. Preview Berlin Art Fair is becoming Positions Berlin Art Fair. Other programme highlights included a Gallery Night on Friday with a number of Berlin galleries from abc art berlin contemporary and the social sculpture ›Kitchen Monument‹ in front of Berlinische Galerie, a coproduction of the artists’ cooperatives raumlabor and Plastique Fantastique. Berlin Art Week 2014 addressed current debates on art production and the art market in the form of an international conference (ARTfi).
Central open-air festival and contemporary painting
Berlin Art Week 2013 opened with a large street party on Auguststraße in Berlin’s Mitte district. In its second year, joining programme partners from 2012 were ten other art institutions and project spaces selected by a jury consisting of Kasper König, Monica Bonvicini, and Claudia Wahjudi, and these became part of the programme in 2013, as well as the big art fairs and many galleries from Berlin and around the world. The Senate Department for Culture and Europe awarded its first prize honouring artist-run project spaces and initiatives as part of the Berlin Art Week in 2012, a tradition that continues annually to this day. A number of exhibitions in the cross-institutional cooperation ›Painting Forever!‹ explored contemporary painting; featured artists included Franz Ackermann, Martin Eder, Michael Kunze, Anselm Reyle, Antje Majewski, Katrin Plavčak, and Giovanna Sarti.
A city all about art—the first Berlin Art Week
The first edition of Berlin Art Week 2012 was a gamble, an experiment. Eleven initiating partners including the art fairs abc art berlin contemporary and Preview Berlin, as well as Akademie der Künste, Berlinische Galerie, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Nationalgalerie—Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Hamburger Bahnhof—Museum für Gegenwart—Berlin and Neuer Berliner Kunstverein teamed up to celebrate a week of contemporary art the year after Art Forum was canceled. Exhibitions featured artists including Alfredo Jaar, Paul McCarthy, Douglas Gordon, Jörg Sasse, Agathe Fleury, Michael Sailstorfer, Yasam Sasmazer, Guy Ben-Ner, and Cy Twombly. Berlin Art Week pooled Berlin’s rich art programme; new services and an all-venues ticket created the first-ever, joint platform for the city’s most important art players.