Berlin Art Week
Every year for the last six years, Berlin Art Week has highlighted contemporary art in Berlin. Art exhibitions openings, art fairs, award ceremonies, artist films, and other special events are featured on the week-long calendar. These events take place at state museums and private galleries all over the city, including many different styles and media.
I kicked off the art week by going to a Hamburger Bahnhof exhibit. This building used to be an old train station, which has been transformed into an art museum - actually part of the State Museum of Berlin - after the reunification of Germany.
The outside and inside of the Hamburger Bahnhof were outfitted with Dan Flavin neon, which gave this historic building a rather modern twist.
Rudolf Belling: Sculptures & Architectures
This exhibition intrigued me, because while I had heard of Rudolf Belling out of context before, I didn't realize that he was one of the most influential German sculptors of the 20th century, for classical modernism, and for the avant-garde as well.
From the 1920s to the 1970s Belling produced sculptures, drawings, models, films, photographs, and figures. The exhibition included over 80 works that illuminated the many facets of a sculptor who did not limit his work to the medium of sculpture alone. In fact, Belling broke barriers by dabbling in stage design, costume design, architectural and advertising sculpture, portraitist, and also worked with architects to create interiors, architectural sculpture, fountains, and monuments; constructing livable utopias that were lauded as truly visionary designs for the time.
“Whether figurative or abstract, I give myself permission to do anything that seems necessary to form in an organically sensible way.”
- Rudolf Belling, 1922
I felt that this exhibition really stayed true to Belling's philosophies on the interplay between the spatial and sculptural:
The principles of the “Belling System,” as he called it, include a conception of sculpture as seen from many different perspectives and the inclusion of empty space as an elementary compositional element (Source).
Each artwork had room to stand on its own, and to be viewed at or close to 360°, and mirrors were also utilized when space was limited.
Wrap up in the Sarah Wiener Restaurant
After an inspiring trip through Belling's artistic and creative career, a visit to the Sarah Wiener Restaurant in the Hamburger Bahnhof was a MUST. Wiener is a well known culinary figure here in Europe. I can recommend both the food and ambiance here - just look at the interplay between that striking orange wall, the warm light, the reflective mirror, and the greenery! 👌🏾 Truly a great way to end a museum day!