Chalk it up to the Germans’ noted reputation for being efficient. The fourth annual Gallery Weekend is Berlin’s version of a power punch for denizens of the art world: 40 galleries and 40 openings over the course of three days. But beyond the obvious marquee names such as Damien Hirst at Haunch of Venison and Olafur Eliasson at Martin Gropius Bau, knowing where to go can be the paradox of choice. Here’s a shortlist of artists that stand out from the bunch.
Andreas Gursky is a visual artist of Goliath proportions. Taking Google Earth-esque images and rendering them into huge, powerful photographs, his new series “Ocean I-VI” is a jaw-dropping panoramic interpretation of water, land and the mysterious subaquatic depths that ripple in between. “Ocean I-IV,” Sprüth Magers Gallery, Oranienburgerstr. 18, Berlin. Opening: 30 April 2010, 4-9 pm; exhibition until 9 June 2010.
New work from the Jerusalem-born artist Ariel Schlesinger—a talented arsonist whose sly tricks with fire spit up in the least likely of places—promises to make you look twice. "Reverse Engineering," Galerija Gregor Podnar, Lindenstr. 35, Berlin. Opening: 30 April 2010, 10 am-3 pm; exhibition until 5 June 2010.
American painter Elizabeth Peyton's bold, highly stylized portraits of cultural icons such as Kurt Cobain, Jarvis Cocker and Matthew Barney have always commanded a loyal following and demonstrated her relevance, beginning with her first solo exhibition at New York's hip Chelsea Hotel. "New Paintings and Drawings," Neugerriemschneider, Wallstr. 85, Berlin. Opening: 30 April 2010, 10 am-3 pm; exhibition until 2 July 2010.
"The Eskimos have two hundred ways to say snow. I have three million ways to say no," Norwegian artist and writer Matias Faldbakken has publicly opined, and this stubborn streak surges through his work of prints, installations and moving images that crackle with political overtones. "Matias Faldbakken," Galerie Giti Nourbakhsch, Kurfürstenstr. 12, Berlin. Opening: 30 April 2010, 10 am-3 pm; exhibition until 4 June 2010.
Who better than German photographer Tobias Zielony—known for his stark, stripped-down photographs of teenage delinquents—to tackle the story of "Le Vele di Scampia," a '70s urban housing project in Naples that proved to be one of the biggest failures in recent history? His 2009 film splices together over 2,000 photographs shot at dark at the complex, producing a nine-minute animation that starts, stutters and suspends erratically through time to jarring effect. "Film and Photographic Series," Koch Oberhuber Wolff, Brunnenstr. 9, Berlin. Opening: 30 April 2010, 10 am-3 pm; exhibition until 3 June 2010.
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