Ex­cited to learn more about Ber­lin art and ar­chi­tec­ture, Solveig Stein­hardt vows not to miss the re­open­ing of the Ber­lin­is­che Ga­lerie.

Where Berlin - - CONTENTS -

Ber­lin­is­che Ga­lerie reopens with an ex­plo­ration of the city's ar­chi­tec­tural and ur­ban devel­op­ment.

Abit less than a year ago, I rushed to the Ber­lin­is­che Ga­lerie mu­seum (p. 43) to see the last ex­hi­bi­tion be­fore it closed for ren­o­va­tions. The industrial build­ing that has been hous­ing this small art mu­seum since 2004 needed a good makeover, and now that its walls have been re­painted and new fire sprin­klers have been fit­ted, all is ready for its re­open­ing on 28 May.

The Ga­lerie, which is lo­cated just around the cor­ner from the Jewish Mu­seum in Kreuzberg, was cre­ated to house mod­ern and con­tem­po­rary art by Ber­lin-based artists or works about the Ger­man cap­i­tal. Its per­ma­nent col­lec­tion fea­tures mas­ter­pieces by such Ger­man ex­pres­sion­ists as Ge­orge Grosz, Otto Dix, and Ge­org Baselitz, as well as ar­chi­tec­tural mod­els and sketches of the city.

For its re­open­ing, the mu­seum will present Rad­i­cal­lyModern, the firstever com­pre­hen­sive ex­hi­bi­tion on Ber­lin’s ar­chi­tec­tural her­itage and ur­ban devel­op­ment.

Cities, just like peo­ple, grow and change over time, build­ing their per­son­al­i­ties around their ex­pe­ri­ences and hap­pen­ings. When a city’s his­tory also in­cludes heavy bomb­ings, the de­struc­tion of en­tire neigh­bor­hoods, and 28 years of in­sur­mount­able di­vi­sion, the sub­se­quent re­con­struc­tion sets the base for a strong per­son­al­ity. Ev­ery struc­ture, even cold and life­less blocks of ce­ment or the repet­i­tive de­sign of East Ber­lin’s pre­fab­ri­cated build­ings, be­comes a living el­e­ment of the city’s in­ner beauty.

In the ‘60s, each of Ber­lin’s two halves in­de­pen­dently drew big plans for what they should re­spec­tively look like in the fu­ture: Based on their di­verg­ing so­cial and po­lit­i­cal views, as well as on their dif­fer­ent tech­ni­cal ap­proaches, East and West Ber­lin were turned into ex­per­i­ment­ing grounds for ar­chi­tects from all over the world, who turned the city into the eclec­tic mix of styles it is to­day. About 300 works by some 30 ar­chi­tects, pho­tog­ra­phers, and artists ex­plore the his­tory and the devel­op­ment of such ar­eas as Stali­nallee, Alexan­der­platz, Bre­itschei­d­platz, and the Märkisches Vier­tel. The ex­hi­bi­tion runs un­til 26 Oc­to­ber.

“Cities, just like peo­ple, grow and change

over time.”

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