Art critic to the New York Times Michael Kimmelman likened Berlin to a Potempkin village – a place of perpetual becoming. The city itself is in the process of making itself and remaking it self. Since most of the city was destroyed in during World War II, and the reprocussions of the Fall of the Wall and German reunification, Berlin as a city has a feeling of secret dispersed energy. There is a lot of vast empty space with no structural center – and the art scene is like a permanent art fair.
Berlin also lacks of central Contemporary art institution. There is a temporary Kunstehalle, and the Hamberger Banhoff, but there is no significant institution synonmous with the likes of the MoMA or the Centre Pompidou. The result is an astounding array of adhoc private collections.
Is a private collection of Erika and Rolf Hoffmann. The Hoffmann own an entire building complex which the ground floor is occupied by a delcious resto, 3 levels of art exhibition space, and their private home on the upper levels.
Their personal library is a self enclosed space -reminiscent of a train compartment – room in the middle of the third level gallery. The library is a deep red colour contrasting to the white walls and light installations that surround it. The library is likened to the central thriving brain feeding up and down through the collection.
The exhibition changes once a year, they are currently showing artists like Pipilloti Rist, Josef Kusoth, Meinz Mack, Otto Piene, Francois Morellet, and a stunning full Electric chair series by Andy Warhol.
Polish born collector and advertising entrepreneur Chritian Boros and wife Karen, present their collection as described on the website as “art they don’t understand.” Housed in The Bunker, originally a bunker, converted to a tropical fruit warehouse then later to an underground techno club which held sadomasochism parties. The bunker was shut down by police in 1996, and remained vacant until the Boros bought it and remolded it into their residence / art collection exhibition space. Architectural firm Realarchitektur who did the remodel was awarded the Beton Prize for it in 2008
About Change , Collection Stiftung is a space dedicated to collage and assemblage —both the principle of combining diverse materials, contexts, and contents, and the general history of this technique.
The current show features artist Nora Schultz folded framed paper, Josh Smith collages on canvas, and Bjorn Dahlem’s sculpture of hotdogs in jars.
In the heart of Potsdammer Platz, a futuristic glass complex designed mostly by Renzo Piano, we find the Daimler Contemporary Art Collection. Daimler Benz the car manufacturers have been collecting and commissioning contemporary art.
Noteable commissions by Andy Warhol, Robert Longo, and Sylvie Fleury. Outdoor surroundings are freckled with sculptures from their collection like Jeff Koons and Robert Rauchenberg.
Daimler art mission extends into community outreach and education. They have a manufacturing plant in South Africa, and therefore sponsor creative awards in South Africa. Current show features this years Fashion Award competition. Winner was BlackCoffee, and honorable mention to Craig Native and his street wear collection.