A city with a positively unique history, Berlin has been a home to artists for years, luring them with a distinctive mix of street art, globally renowned museums, and innovative galleries as well as (relatively). Absolut Art dispatched a most dynamic duo to provide an overview of this thriving city’s artistic culture: in-demand curator, editor and writer Francesca Gavin, who lives a short jaunt away, in London, along with the celebrated curator and art historian Nadim Samman, who’s on the ground in Berlin.
You name it, Berlin has it. There are preeminent collectors like Christian and Karen Boros and Julia Stoschek. It’s got rousing citywide events, when galleries like Esther Schipper, Barbara Wien, and Max Hetzler throw open their doors to the public with statement exhibitions. These dealers join world-class museums such as KW Institute for Contemporary Art; the Pergamonmuseum, with a wealth of art and archaeology exhibits; and the Neues Museum, with rich collections from the ancient world. Artists’ studios? Check. There you will find critical darling Matthias Bitzer, prize winner Stef Heidhues, Venice Biennale alum Lothar Hempel, and Sinta Werner, who is one of the city’s more prominent practitioners.
Gavin has penned a half-dozen books on art as well as articles for Newsweek and the Financial Times. Her curatorial projects have been presented at major festivals like Manifesta and top-notch venues like Paris’s Palais de Tokyo. Samman, for his part, has curated globally recognized exhibitions the Marrakech Biennale and the Antarctic Biennale as well as shows at venues like Vienna’s Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection since earning a PhD at the renowned Courtauld Institute, in London.