Berlin is known for its expansive artistic community and fiercely independent style. Forever creating and bending the rules, it has earned a reputation as a Mecca for the strange, the contemporary and the non-conformist in its modes of expression. Here’s Culture Trip’s list of Berlin’s best independent art galleries giving a home to its unique creations.
This is Berlin’s trifecta of cool; a gallery, concert room and event space, all housed within 1,700 square meters (18,300 square feet) of an artistic, concrete compound. As the name suggests, Urban Spree is dedicated to showcasing the best in urban cultures through exhibitions, a bookshop, artist residencies and concerts. The gallery itself has a grassroots approach that works closely with street and graffiti artists, urban photographers and contemporary artists. They even have their own beer garden, so there’s no reason to leave.
BC Gallery was founded in 2013 by an independent art lover, collector and sound designer. The work is high-end and professional; part of the owner’s quest to bring collectors high quality work and to sustain the gallery’s existence. The gallery space, located in Friedrichstein, features regular solo and group shows, by both established and up and coming artists in the contemporary art scene.
Circle Culture Gallery has become the go-to space for groundbreaking contemporary art. The focus is on fine art emerging out of the rougher edges of urban movements, such as street art, graffiti and grassroots activism. The gallery came about in 2001 through the joint efforts of Johann Haehling von Lanzenauer and Dirk Staudinger and with the support from international curators. It has become an independent platform where art is used to investigate the key challenges of our time.
Artistania is a unique multi-disciplinary creative space in the heart of Neukölln. The gallery focuses on sculpture, painting and life-size puppets that tell introspective stories of life and the human condition. It’s a non-profit collective and works to promote the diversity of cultures and the dissolution of cultural boundaries. Besides the gallery, they also have a theatre lab and run “each-one-teach-one” workshops.
The KW Institute for Contemporary Art is an essential stop on a tour of Berlin’s contemporary art galleries. It offers art lovers four floors and a courtyard to explore, which can be anything from workshops, talks, and exhibitions, film screenings and performances. Labeling itself as a collaborative creation space rather than a gallery, the KW presents shows by emerging and established artists that are dynamic and inspiring. The Berlin Biennale, launched by KW in 1996, is today one of the most respected contemporary art exhibitions in Europe, adding another achievement to the gallery’s distinguished history.
Galerie Buchholz is the brainchild of Daniel Buchholz who has opened up spaces in Berlin, Cologne, and New York. The gallery specializes in international contemporary art. Significant German painters and sculptors, along with international artists have been represented here since its inception in Cologne in the 1980s.
The Sammlung Boros Collection, or Boros Bunker as it is more commonly known, is one of Berlin’s most exciting private galleries. Its intrigue is derived from the fact that it is housed in an old WWII bunker, and that it only accepts visitors on the weekends and by appointment only. Being built in 1942, its history is long and varied. From being a bomb shelter to a prison, to a storage depot for bananas, it then became a notorious venue for S&M fetish parties, before being transformed by Christian Boros and his family into the high-end gallery it is today.