Top Art Shows in Berlin This Week: Kara Walker to Marwan

A host of art events and exhibitions are lined up in the city of Berlin next week, featuring artists such as Kara WalkerPat Steir, Marwan, Stanley Whitney, Heike Steinweg and many others. Blouin Artinfo creates a list of these important art shows for its readers.


“Berlin Treasure Houses” at the Kunstgewerbemuseum

May 19 through September 23, 2018

The exhibition illustrates the 150- year history and development of the Berlin Kunstgewerbemuseum(Museum of Decorative Arts). The museum, with  its collection of applied and decorative arts, was the first of its kind in Germany.Since its founding in 1957, the  museum has changed its home several times, with parts of its collection traveling between East and West Berlin. The exhibition documents the museum’s shifting role over time with seven display boards and a selection of artworks that have been integral to  its history. The show pays special attention to the museum’s historical sites and explores the history of Berlin as well.


Stanley Whitney at Galerie Nordenhake

Through May 26, 2018

Mentored by the legendary Philip Guston, the New York–based artist Stanley Whitney‘s abstractions keep color itself as their central subject matter. The exhibition, his third solo show with the gallery, includes a series of new paintings.“Under the influence of the New York School, he has developed a condensed practice over many decades where two fundamental categories of painting — color and form — are merged together in a in a flexible system of a loose grid where no surface area is left without paint,” the gallery says. “On square canvases he paints blocks of colors partially overlapping each other, with their horizontal bands supporting each other against the pull of gravity.”


Pat Steir at Galerie Thomas Schulte

Through June 16, 2018

The exhibition presents the New York-based painter and printmaker Pat Steir’s third wall drawing at Galerie Thomas Schulte, “Self Portrait”; along with other paintings created since 1987. The artist is known for her specific concept-oriented painting approach that has been compared to that of Jackson Pollock. In her case, she draws on her expertise in Chinese painting traditions. On view are Steir’s large-scale works such as “Dusk,” 2007, and “The Dark,” 2007 — which are examples of her “subtle method-driven practice where she employs the process of paint-dripping to create delicate interwoven curtain-like surface textures,” the gallery says; while works such as “So Long Black, Silver and White,” 2009, and “So Long Black, Red, Yellow and Blue,” 2009, take this approach into her so-called “Split Surface Paintings.” “Self Portrait” is constructed with various facial features taken from Renaissance sample books.

“Margiana: A Kingdom of the Bronze Age in Turkmenistan” at Neues Museum

Through October 7, 2018

Margiana is a historical region in eastern Turkmenistan that was an exceptional example of Bronze Age civilization about 4,000 years ago, but remained largely unknown to the Western world, unlike the civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt. In January 2018, the photographer HerlindeKoelbl was commissioned with the staff of the Museum of Prehistoric Archeology to photograph the archaeological sites, landscapes, people and exhibits in the ancient metropolis of GonurDepe. The findings from these excavations along with Koelbl’s photographs are being presented for the first time outside Turkmenistan.

Kara WalkerKara Walker at SpruethMagers

Through September 8, 2018

The exhibition presents  the New York-based multifaceted artist Kara Walker’s 2011 video work “Fall Frum Grace, Miss Pipi’s Blue Tale.” The artist is known for her silhouetted wall works, drawings, paintings, prints, illustrations and videos that weave through subjects like slavery in the United States, the evolution of historical narratives and cultural beliefs and  contemporary race relations. The  featured video in this exhibition is a 17-minute long tale of the “Southern Belle” Miss Pipi, whose tryst with a black slave leads hisabuse, humiliation and death at  the hands of white men.  The story is presented using the ancient art of shadow puppetry.

“I Never Said Goodbye | Women in Exile” at Museum EuropaischerKulturen

Through July 15, 2018

In this exhibition, the artist Heike Steinweg presents a series of life-size photographs of exiled women who are living in Berlin and are trying to build a new life for themselves. The subjects, who come from from diverse cultural and social backgrounds,includethe author Rasha Abbas and thepolitical activist and artist Kefah Ali Deeb.

Thomas Struth at Galerie Max Hetzler

Through June 2, 2018

The German photographer Thomas Struth showcases two new  series of photographscentered around laboratory environments, a recurring theme in his works. Oneexhibitionfeatures photographs of lifeless animals at the Leibniz Institute for Zoological and Wildlife Research (IZW) in Berlin, which studies evolutionary developments and the adaptions of wildlife to a humanly modified environment. With each animal photographed individually, the exhibition aims to  examine the fragility of life and our own transitory nature. Another series of photographs focuses on industrial and scientific sites, where Struth examines the complexity of technical developments and offers a perspective into usually inaccessible areas. The exhibitions are on view at two locations –Bleibtreustraße 45 and the gallery’s temporary space at Kurfurstendamm 213.

Marwan at Gallery Michael Haas

Through June 16, 2018

This show features a  cross-section of paintings by the German-Syrian artist Marwan, whose work is seen as a bridge between European and Middle Eastern traditions. Marwan, who died in 2016, is especially known for his portraits.  “With coarse brushstrokes and Impasto paint application of red-brown, ochre, grey and black nuances, he created single or double portraits that come across as flickering landscapes,” the gallery says. His practice also  reflectedelements of German Expressionism as well as Sufi mysticism.  On view will be  his “Marionettes” series (around 1980).

Click on the slideshow for a sneak peek at the exhibitions.

Founder Louise Blouin


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