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Berlin's Top 10 Unmissable Art Exhibitions in 2015

Berlin's Top 10 Unmissable Art Exhibitions in 2015

Picture of Varia Fedko-Blake
Updated: 14 October 2016
Berlin continues to be a major influence on the European art scene, and 2015’s exhibitions are set to attract art-buffs from around the world. A fantastic selection of local and international artists will descend upon the German capital, showcasing a wide range of mediums and exposing a variety of fascinating themes. Here is our pick of what to watch out for.
Mariana Castillo Deball: Parergon | © Thomas Bruns
Mariana Castillo Deball: Parergon | © Thomas Bruns

Mariana Castillo Deball

20 September 2014 – 1 March

Mariana Castillo Deball is a Mexico City-born artist, working and living in Berlin. Her work greatly focuses on installation, sculpture, photography and drawing, and her current solo exhibition ‘Parergon’ has been the highlight of the Hamburger Bahnhof’s historic hall since it opened in September. The project displays a selection of objects, with a particular focus on museum collections, and explores the way they are examined and organized. Ultimately, Deball highlights the ways in which institutions affect the status of objects and the viewers who observe them. In doing so, she brings attention to our own understanding of identity and history. This is fascinating exhibition that casts an alternative approach to the way in which contemporary art is considered.

Hamburger Bahnhof, Invalidenstraße 50-51, Berlin, Germany, +49 30 39783411

Max Beckmann and Berlin

20 November – 15 February

A particular highlight that will accompany Berlin’s Museum of Modern Art’s fortieth anniversary is the exhibition ‘Max Beckmann and Berlin.’ Born in Leipzig in 1884, the artist was a German painter, printmaker and sculptor that is commonly associated with the New Objectivity movement of the 1920s – emphasizing practical objectivity over emotionality in art, signaling a break from Expressionism. Having intermittently lived in Berlin over his lifetime, the exhibition appropriately focuses on the significance of the city’s role in his work so for those visiting Germany’s capital. Alongside showcasing artwork that was created in Berlin, there will also be a selection of self-portraits on display from various periods.

Berlinische Galerie, Alte Jakobstraße, Berlin, Germany, +49 30 78902600

 

Courtesy of Tropicana 404
Courtesy of Tropicana 404

Tropicana 404

15 January – 14 February

SomoS is an international open platform for innovative arts in the centre of Berlin, and this January and February – deep in the winter – is presenting a show that transforms stereotypical perceptions of tropical-island tranquillity. Artists pierce through the common components associated with leisure and holidays and instead, explore the melancholy sensibility and dark cynicism of paradise. Ultimately, Tropicana 404 is an absurd, dream-like take on the sublime that exposes the eerie reality and illusion behind the travel brochures we are all so familiar with. Participating artists include Luiza Schiavo, Tata Christiane and Betty Böhm.

SomoS – Berlin Art House, Kottbusser Damm 95, Berlin, Germany, +49 172 3118431

 

Close Up by C/O Berlin and International Filmfestival Berlin | © Milena von Bruchhausen
Close Up by C/O Berlin and International Filmfestival Berlin | © Milena von Bruchhausen

Close Up!

15 February – 19 February

As the 65th Berlin International Film Festival descends upon us, C/O Berlin presents project ‘Close Up!’ in which a selection of young photographers present their personal view of the glamorous festival, with its red carpet, dazzling starts and behind-the-scenes chaos. The exhibition takes an active role in the promotion of photojournalism amongst young talent and the images are to be displayed at the conclusion of the festival, providing an insight into the secretive world of celebrities and the reality of show business.

C/O Berlin, Hardenbergstraße 22, Berlin, Germany, +49 30 28444160

 

Southern right whales | © Sebastião Salgado / Amazonas images
Southern right whales | © Sebastião Salgado / Amazonas images

Sebastião Salgado

18 April – 16 August

Another noteworthy event held at the Amerika Haus this year is Sebastião Salgado’s photography exhibition ‘Genesis.’ Born in Brazil in 1944, the artist is a social documentary photographer and photojournalist, who has traveled all over the globe honing his deep appreciation and respect for nature. Arguably one of the most important photographers of the early 21st century, Salgado’s work comes to Berlin to showcase his collection of images that highlight the breath-taking beauty of our world: from the Galapagos Islands and the Sahara Desert to the communities of West Papua, volcanoes of Central Africa and perilous rivers of the Amazon, ‘Genesis’ is an epic tribute to the ferocity and wonder of planet Earth.

C/O Berlin, Hardenbergstraße 22, Berlin, Germany, +49 30 28444160

 

Willy Maywald: Nico, in 1960 | © Association Willy Maywald - ADAGP
Willy Maywald: Nico, in 1960 | © Association Willy Maywald – ADAGP

Willy Maywald. Fotograf und Kosmopolit.

21 March – 2 August

One of the most important contemporary German photographers of the 20th century, Willy Maywald’s work is an exceptional example of the avant-garde form. Predominantly working in Paris during his youth, his images are greatly influenced by the local bohemian scene of Parisian glamour. In 2015, a large collection of his images will be displayed at Berlin’s Museum of Photography, which will encompass a wide range of genres, from portrait photography of greats such as Picasso and Jean Cocteau, to Dior and Lanvin fashion images. For the first time, the exhibition will present the entire works of Maywald in all its multi-faceted splendour. For photography buffs, this is a must-see.

Museum of Photography, Jebensstraße 2, Berlin, Germany, +49 30 266424242

Tel Aviv Museum of Art visits Berlin

27 March – 21 June

To mark the fiftieth anniversary of German-Israeli relations, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art is sending a fascinating selection of 70 artworks to Berlin. Showcasing a collection of contemporary art from Israel, the exhibition will highlight the essential trends of the 20th century through a wide range of forms – including paintings, sculptures and media art. Among the artists featured, visitors to the Martin-Gropius-Bau will find the opportunity to feast their eyes on the works of Erich Heckel, Wassily Kandinsky, Marc Rothko and Pablo Picasso, amongst others. The exhibition will explore the important movements in modern art, whilst establishing a further dialogue between classical modernity and contemporary Israeli art forms.

Martin-Gropius Bau, Niederkirchnerstraße 7, Berlin, Germany, +49 30 254860

 

ZERO

31 March – 6 August

In 2015, the renowned Martin-Gropius-Bau will showcase the ‘ZERO’ movement of the 1950s and 1960s, a revolutionary idea that encompassed the newly-found freedom of the post-WWII era in which artists explored the boundaries of art and its conventional forms. Of the 40 artists featured, 11 originate from Germany: participants include the movement’s founding fathers Heinz Mack, Otto Piene and Günther Uecker, as well as international figures such as Yves Klein and Lucio Fontana. For those looking for an eye-opening glimpse into an artistic movement that sent shockwaves through the art scene, ‘ZERO’ is a comprehensive introduction to the history of the movement.

Martin-Gropius Bau, Niederkirchnerstraße 7, Berlin, Germany, +49 30 254860

Michael Beutler

17 April – 6 September

From mid-April right through to September, the Hamburger Bahnhof Hall will be transformed into a showcase of Michael Buetler’s work. Born in 1976, the artist lives in Berlin, working predominantly with installations that manipulate spaces, opening up new methods of artistic perception and strategy. In particular, the exhibition utilizes concepts of industrial production with the use of processed materials such as paper, metal, wood and plastic. Exuding an experimental vibe, Beutler ultimately transforms the space into a ‘museum workshop,’ casting a spotlight on the meaning of grand-scale production and the creative processes associated with it.

Hamburger Bahnhof, Invalidenstraße 50-51, Berlin, Germany, +49 30 39783411

 

Art In Berlin 1880 to 1980

29 May – further notice

From May onwards, the Museum of Modern Art will exhibit a multi-faceted selection of art from 1880 to 1980. Ranging from Kaiser-era paintings, right through Expressionism and avante-garde forms to post-war architecture and experimental works from the 1970s, exhibition ‘Art in Berlin’ will showcase the diversity of art on the European scene. Some of the artists selected include Max Liebermann, Benno Berneis, Oskar Kokoschka and Georg Basetitz. Alongside the greats, the show will also focus on new departures in art, proving yet again why Berlin is still considered one of the centers of artistic innovation in the world.

Berlinische Galerie, Alte Jakobstraße, Berlin, Germany, +49 30 78902600