Berlin is today “Land of the Free, Home of the Brave” for thousands of artists from all over the world. It is estimated 20,000 artists are living and working in the city. Why?
Berlin is home to hundreds of galleries and art museums that boast unparalleled collections. For the ambitious artist, this city is overflowing with opportunities for installations and exhibitions that could help put their work on the map. In fact, it is often the case that artists first gained notoriety in Berlin before moving to other cities like LA, New York, or London. They have been attracted to the German capital by cheap rents, masses of studio space and the city’s carefree, freewheeling spirit. There is a conceptual openness as well as a propensity toward the radical, rebellious, and the innovative that is unrivaled elsewhere, even in other cities with established art scenes like Paris. Cultural projects are generously funded and supported by many large and powerful institutions in the city. The ever-so avant-garde contemporary art scene is able to flourish in this environment.
Our first visit to Berlin had been “before the wall.” It was time for a renewed visit. Besides architecture, there was so much to see from the world of art, historical and contemporary, that we had to be very selective in our choices during the span of time available. With the help of our Parisian friends Bernard and Catherine Légé , and the orientation that our Berliner friend, artist Franka Hörnschemeyer, we only touched the tip of the iceberg.
Our visits included the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum, an original railway station from the mid-19th century, turned into an art museum in 1996; the Berlische Galerie and the König Galerie; and the extraordinary end revealing German Historical Museum.
Hamburger Banhof Museum
Duane Hanson: Policeman and Rioter, 1967
Otto Bartning: Star Church, 1922
Anselm Reyle, Hamburger Banhof Museum
Ocean trash – German Cultural Museum
Constantin Brancusi – Flying Bird
World Map, 16th Century – German Cultural Museum
Pietr Bruegel: Peasants Paying the Tax, 1615
With an atmosphere buzzing with creative energy, no serious member of the contemporary art world can stay away from Berlin for long. It’s become an essential stop on the art circuit, acting as a junction between east and west.