Comprehensive guide to Berlin Germany with information on Mitte.

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When the wall came down artists came from all over the world and began to colonise the area in Mitte around Auguststrasse. The crumbling little houses and sidestreets came alive with illegal bars, impromptu experimental exhibition spaces and clubs. Times change, the property developers moved in and the pioneers are either smartening up or leaving. But there is still a opportunity to experience a very vibrant mix of some of the best of what makes Berlin such an exciting place for the visual arts. Most galleries here are within walking distance from each other and the best way to get a taste of them is with the 'Rundgang' which is held every couple of months when all the galleries are open together and you can wander from one to the next drinking a glass or two of wine along the way and hob-nob with the art crowd.

Arndt & Partner
Auguststrasse 35, 10119 Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 280 81 23, Fax: 283 37 38 | U8 Rosenthalerplatz | Price: Free | Times: Tue-Sun 12:00-18:00 and by appointment
This seven-year old gallery represents international artists like Sophie Calle, Fabrice Hybert, Hiroshi Sugito and Susan Turcot, all of whom made their Berlin debuts in solo shows at Arndt & Partner, but it is also very earnest about developing an identity within the city's cultural scene - precisely by considering itself a pioneer in changing Berlin's role on the international art market after the 'opening' of the city. The huge and glossy photographs by the Italian Massimo Vitali in 'All Too Human' imply, as the title suggests, the undiscriminating eye of the vacation snapshot and take its cluttered composition while maintaining painterly qualities such as the majestic scope of European landscape painting and a deliberate use of light, colour and frame. (20.01.01-24.02.01).
The gallery also presents a video installation by Bernadette Mittrup (22.01.01 - 24.02.01) and will have a booth at the prestigious Armory Show in New York next month.

Asian Fine Arts Factory
Sophienstr. 18, 10178 Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 283 91 387, Fax: 283 91 388 | S-Bahn Hackescher Markt, U8 Weinmeisterstr. | Price: Free | Times: Tue-Fri 14:00-19:00, Sat 11:00-17:00
Jaana Prüss and Alexander Ochs may have founded this gallery to bring work from the Far East to a contemporary art scene that many fear rarely looks beyond the Western hemisphere, but their artists - a roster that includes Fang Lijun, Chiharu Shiota and Yuan Shun - have held their own here just fine. Not only have the shows in recent years been widely heralded by the tough audience of Berlin art critics, but the gallery has participated in international art exhibitions from New York's MoMa and P.S.1 to the Venice Bienniale. Up now is "New Paintings & Woodprints" by Fang Lijun, a young Chinese artist of the generation rising to prominence after Tianmen with cynical social portraiture. Although he is one of the few contemporary Chinese artists taken seriously outside his homeland, Lijun has stayed in China, where he lives with his German wife. His trademark bald-headed peasant subjects, menacing in their mob formations and ironic in their smiles, are dignified and grotesque at once.
(20.01.01 - 10.03.01)

Galerie Barbara Thumm
Dircksenstraße 41, 10178 Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 28 39 03 47, Fax: 283 90 457 | S-Bahn Hackescher Markt | Price: Free |Times: Tue-Fri 13:00-18.30, Sat 12:00-18:00
Open since 1997, the emphasis of this gallery has been on British artists, most notably Julian Opie and Bridget Smith, though Thumm also represents several artists working out of Berlin and Stockholm. The huge city portraits now hanging in the gallery look eerily like Berlin, but are actually Chicago. Although one might recall Mark Twain's comment that Berlin is the "German Chicago", the Berlin-based Heidi Specker could have taken her microscopic and macroscopic views from any city to address the relationship between modernity and technological progress (13.01.01 - 23.02.01). Upcoming shows include Alex Katz (03.03.01 - 14.04.01) and Fiona Banner (24.04.01 - 02.05.01).

Galerie Gebauer
Torstraße 220, 10115 Berlin - Mitte | U6 Oranienburger Tor | Times: 12:00-18:00 Tue-Sat.
In this gallery, on the first floor in an old apartment, you can find works by Fred Thomaselli, Jan van Imschoot, Thomas Schütte and Luc Tymans.

Galerie Kai Hilgemann
Linienstraße 160, 10115 Berlin - Mitte | U6 Oranienburger Tor | Times: 14:00-19:00 Tue-Fri, 13:00-17:00 Sat.
Here is an ambitious and interesting collection of work by international artists, including ´russian pop art´ works by Dubosarskij and Vinogradov.

Galerie Leo.Coppi
Rosenthaler Strasse 40/41, 10178 Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 283 53 31, Fax: 283 53 41 | U8 Weinmeisterstrasse | Price: Free | Times: Tue-Fri 13:00-18:30, Sat 12:00-18:00
Opened in 1991 by Doris Leo and Helle Coppi to showcase artists from Berlin and Dresdan, this gallery specializes in paintings, sculptures and prints of the human figure, but it is hard to get excited about the conventional art on display here, especially when galleries in nearby Auguststrasse and Linienstrasse continue to capture attention worldwide. Even with its emphasis on German artists though, the gallery is a player at fairs with international scope, such as Art Frankfurt and Art Cologne. Philip Schack is featured next in a solo exhibition of oil paintings that seem to reference tribal masks in their colours and lines (08.02.01 - 07.0501).

Galerie neugerriemschneider
Linienstr. 155, 10115 Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 3087 2810, Fax: no fax | Transport: U8 Weinmeisterstr. | Times: Tues - Sat 11am -6pm
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Started off in Charlottenberg and moved to Mitte to be with its fellows. Very hip. Artists include Sharon Lockhart, Tobias Rehberger.

Galerie Rainer Borgmeister, Galerie Inga Kondeyne
Rosenthaler Strasse 40/41, 10178 Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 281 3113, Fax: no fax | U8 Weinmeisterstrasse | Price: Free | Times: Tue-Fri 14:00-19:00
These two gallery owners do not actually co-curate the collection in this prominent storefront in the heart of the Hackesche Höfe but rather simply share exhibition space - of the eight show a year, each organise four. Borgemeister, who also co-owns The Drawing Room in Mitte with a New York art dealer and works with several American artists, features 14 drawings by New Yorker Eve Ascheim and 8 drawings by Kazimir Malevich in his next show (09.02.01 - 10.03.01).

Galerie Wohnmaschine
Tucholskystraße 35, 10117 Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 30 87 20 15, Fax: no fax | S1, S2 Oranienburger Straße | Price: free. | Times: 14:00-17:00 Tue-Fri, 12:00-17:00 Sat.
Named after Le Corbusier´s machine à habiter (ie. living with art and in art), this significant gallery was set up by Friedrich Loock in 1988 in his apartment in Auguststraße, the street where he was born. It has since moved over the road into the premises of his old local butcher´s shop.

Kuckei Kuckei
Linienstrasse 158, 10115 Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 88 34 54, Fax: no fax | U8 Weinmeisterstrasse | Price: free. | Times: 11:00-17:00.
Now situated behind the Kunst-Werke in a renovated Hof in Mitte, this is the former Wilmersdorfer ´galerie vierte etage´ of Ben and Hannes Kuckei, showing ´young art from the 90s´ only. Artists include Ingmar Alge, Hlynur Hallsson, Michael Laube and Gerhard Winkler.

Kunststiftung Poll
Gipsstrasse 3, 10119 Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 284 962 50, Fax: no fax | U8 Weinmeisterstrasse | Price: Free | Times: Tue-Fri 15:00-18:00, Sat 12:00-18:00
A branch of the gallery established in 1968 by Eva Poll for the more 'political' artists who emerged in the former West Germany - and particularly in West Berlin - during the 1960s. The work of the artists she represents, including Maxim Cantor, Ralk Kerbach and Sabine Grzimek, continues to be somewhat politicized - or at least more critical - than the work of many of the artists shown in the Mitte galleries. The current exhibition by Esther Shalev-Gerz, "Inseparable Angels" (Unzertrennliche Engel), uses the poor resolution of enlarged digital photography and superimposed images to examine the double vision or overlapping understandings that have arisen in the use of the Buchenwald concentration camp near the city of Weimar (27.01.01 - 03.03.01).

Rosenthaler Strasse 39, 10178 Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 30 87 25 80, Fax: no fax | S-Bahn Hackescher Markt | Price: free. | Times: 14:00-19:00 Tue-Sat.
Artists from all parts of the globe are represented here, including Heidi Stern, Lorcan O´Byrne, Daniel Ben-Hur and Emma Rushton. Don´t let the walk through the yards and up the stairs put you off: the gallery space is light and roomy. British gallerist Helen Adkins also organises a professional training programme for curators, with qualification in contemporary curation.

Radio Berlin
Veteranenstrasse 22, 10119 Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 0173 407 76 66, Fax: no fax | U8 Rosenthalerplatz | Price: free. | Times: 16:00-22:00 Thu-Sat.
This is a friendly, colourful, creative place, completely non-corporate, where someone with even the most meagre budget can afford to buy a piece. Works are underground/ comic/ club/ post-pop art and artists include Jim Avignon, DAG, Lisa Brown, Dump Art Ginelli and Ulli Lust.

Völcker und Freunde
Oranienburger Strasse 2, 10117 Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 28 09 61 15, Fax: no fax | S-Bahn Hackescher Markt | Price: Free | Times: 13:00-19:00 Tue-Fri, 11:00-19:00 Sat.
This gallery makes its art very accessible - not only does it rent and lease out work for corporate spaces, encouraging a partnership between art and business, but the large number of pieces exhibited at once is refreshing compared to the bare walls of many of the upmarket Mitte galleries - the staff also seem more than willing to pull works for the average gallery browser. Artists represented include Stefanie Bürkle, Manfred Fuchs, Felix Müller, Julieth Mars Toussaint, Cameron Rudd and Rosemarie Trockel. The current "Aqua-Lounge" features several bold perspectives of the bourgeois aquarium scene by Thomas Tuchel, who was first featured two years ago in a solo exhibition for the gallery's opening (15.01.01 - 24.02.01).

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