The 8 Best Independent Art Galleries To See While Visiting Berlin

August 31, 2015

Berlin is best known for its artistic community, institutions, and culture – including record stores and restaurants. There are lots of museums and established galleries which can be easily found in a regular city guide, but usually they don’t give any information about private galleries. Here’s our list with the best independent art galleries to see while visiting Berlin.

1. Isabella Bortolozzi
Nora Schultz, "Hebezeug." Installation view at Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin.

Nora Schultz, “Hebezeug.” Installation view at Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin.
Having started in 2006, Isabella Bortolozzi managed to develop a unique program with an exceptional international artist list — Ed Atkins, Seth Price, Nora Schultz and Carol Rama, just to name a few, are frequently shown not only in the gallery, but also at major art fairs. While her new gallery space is located at Schöneberger Ufer, her project space Eden-Eden, where she also shows artists of her own program, is only a 15 min walk away.

2. Croy Nielsen
Mitchell Syrop at Croy Nielsen

Mitchell Syrop at Croy Nielsen
Henrikke Nielsen and Oliver Croy from CroyNielsen are well known for their programme consisting of young pioneering artists that all somehow use the same language, often connected to new media and digital age. Artists like Andy Boot, Marlie Mul or Nina Beier have been around from the beginning. Constant additions to the artist list such as Olga Balema or Mitchell Syrop extend the already visionary program of one of the most exciting young galleries to see while visiting Berlin.

3. Lars Friedrich
Park McArthur at Lars Friedrich

Park McArthur at Lars Friedrich
Having started in his own apartment, Lars Friedrich just recently moved his gallery to Charlottenburg’s Kantstraße, where he opened a solo show with Canadian artist Mathieu Malouf, with whom he has been working with from the very beginning in 2011. His conceptual shows in all kinds of media developed a surrounding of intellectual artists, curators and writers.

4. KOW
An installation at Koch Oberhuber Wolff Gallery.

An installation at Koch Oberhuber Wolff Gallery.
Originally founded in 2009 by Alexander Koch, Nikolaus Oberhuber and Jocelyn Wolff, KOW (Acronym for the three founding members’ last name) is located in Berlin-Mitte in an impressive building by Arno Brandlhuber, who is also part of the programme (In his 2012 solo show at the gallery, he floated the whole basement with water). The gallery focusses on socially oriented art and adresses a broad international public. In 2015 two artists of the gallery, Hito Steyerl and Tobias Zielony represent the German Pavillion at the 56th Venice Biennale.

5. Tanya Leighton
Aleksandra Domanović's “The Future Was at Her Fingertips” at Tanya Leighton Gallery.

Aleksandra Domanović’s “The Future Was at Her Fingertips” at Tanya Leighton Gallery.
Established in 2008, Tanya Leighton Gallery is dedicated to developing a cross-disciplinary, transgenerational gallery program with off-site projects. In the beginning of 2015 the gallery inaugurated a newly renovated 130m2 space opposite the existing gallery with a solo show by Dan Rees. While Leighton works with established positions such as John Smith, she discovered artists such as Aleksandra Domanovic and Oliver Laric. The gallery also organizes off-site projects, screenings, talks and collaborations. Since 2013 Tanya Leighton is part of the Art Basel Miami Beach committee.

6. Galerie NEU
“20 Years Galerie NEU” exhibition at Galerie NEU

“20 Years Galerie NEU” exhibition at Galerie NEU
Alexander Schröder and Thilo Wermke from Galerie Neu are not only famous for their progressive program including an interesting generation of German artists and international avantgarde artists. Having ran clubs in the 1990s such as the ‘Pelham’ or the ‘Ibiza’, Schröder and Wermke always also counted on cultural creation outside of the gallery space. Since 2007 Alexander Schröder’s old apartment functions as ‘Mehringdamm 72’, another exhibition space, where they show artists from the gallery program and friends from their surrounding.

7. Galerie Buchholz
Nairy Baghramian's installation at Galerie Buchholz

Nairy Baghramian’s installation at Galerie Buchholz
Daniel Buchholz started his gallery in Cologne in the 80ies by taking over Rudolf Zwirner’s storage. More and more he developed an own language together with his partner Christoph Müller where he showed artists first in Cologne in a gallery space, then in Berlin, where he opened a dependence. Important German painters and sculptors as well as international artists have been represented by the gallery for many years – Isa Genzken, Jutta Koether, Michael Krebber, Mark Leckey or Wolfgang Tillmans are only a few famous names. In 2015 he opened a new branch in New York with a show of Raymond Roussel’s first edition publications.

8. Esther Schipper
Angela Bulloch's installation at Esther Schipper gallery

Angela Bulloch’s installation at Esther Schipper gallery
Originally starting in Cologne in 1989 with a gallery and a multiple bookshop with Daniel Buchholz in 1990, Esther Schipper, one of the most influential gallerists with positions in the committee of Frieze New York, has moved her gallery to Berlin in the area of Schöneberger Ufer. With a highly conceptual program with artists such as Liam Gillick, Philippe Parreno, Ceal Floyer or Dominique Gonzales-Foerster, Schipper has a certain signature with every show and art fair presentation that is very unique and recognisable. In early 2015 she announced to take over the famous Galerie Johnen and to fusion it with her own gallery.

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This article was written by Furqat Palvanzade.

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