Berlin’s Gallery Scene Private Tour

Berlin’s Gallery Scene Private Tour

berlin gallery 5 (1)Since the fall of the Wall in 1989 Berlin has become the artistic magnet of Europe. Not only did affordable rents initially attract artists to this city, but also a semi-liberal artistic climate in combination with endless open space contributed to rise of Berlin as hotspot for the arts. Walking through the city, it seems as if art is literally unfolding itself like a colorful kaleidoscope on every corner. In recent years, a vivid and sophisticated gallery scene has emerged contributing vitality and diversity to the art world. Berlin’s unique gallery landscape spans from small private initiatives hidden in obscure courtyards and basements, to larger, more established ventures, and everything in between. In spite of the fact that Berlin hardly has an international buying clientele, cultural richness seems continuously to flourish nonetheless, and a global clientele is flown in twice a year during two important art fairs: The Gallery Weekend in the beginning of May and the Berlin Art Week in September—the former, a joint program of simultaneous openings across town clustering about fifty of the city’s galleries and the latter, a mixture of an art fair and a small biennale.

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Like most things in Berlin the gallery scene is fragmented and diverse. This exclusive tour brings you to the most important gallery hubs of Berlin, so we reserve the right to alter the course of the tour depending on the strength of current shows and on the major art events of the season.  For example, your art historian guide may decide to start your journey in Mitte, in the Auguststraße, where we will uncover a wealth of galleries and institutions. From Kunst Werke, a contemporary art institution founded in the early 1990s showing a wide range of art from mixed media retrospectives to giant installations and sound performances, allowing innovation and curatorial creativity running across five floors, we can move on to several smaller and more intimate galleries in the vicinity of this institution in both the Auguststraße and Linienstraße such as Eigen+Art and ifa Galerie. The tour route might also include festivals (such as the Berlin Biennale when its in town or the Berlin Art Week).

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Another potential focus of the tour (again at the discretion of your expert art historian guide) is Potsdamer Straße. Over the past five years this strip has gained increasing momentum caused by an enormous wave of gallerists which moved from Mitte to the area South of the Neue Nationalgalerie. Today, a true gallery mile includes about thirty galleries and project spaces scattered around an unpolished neighborhood. We may visit (again, depending on the exhibitions) renowned galleries such as Esther Schipper, Isabella Bortolozzi, Gitti Nourbakhsch, Guido Baudach, Arndt, Plan B, Tanya Leighton and Klosterfelde. Through your dialogue with an art historian familiar with the Berlin’s art world, this walk aims to give you insight into contemporary art practices within Berlin’s expanding art scene.

f4Fabiola Bierhoff is an art historian and PhD Candidate in the History and Cultural Studies program at the Free University of Berlin. She received her Bachelor in Art History at Radboud University Nijmegen in 2006 and holds a Masters in Museum Curatorship summa cum laude from the Free University of Amsterdam. Her Master Thesis on the alternative East German art scene was awarded the Annual Master Thesis Award 2010. Since 2009 she has been an art writer for the bimonthly magazine De Witte Raaf. Fabiola is currently conducting research for her dissertation, which is provisionally entitled “The Role of Autonomous Art Criticism for Performance Art in the Last Decade of the German Democratic Republic”. Her research is funded by a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and a research grant from the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds.
Jean UlrickJean-Ulrick Désert is a conceptual and visual-artist. He received his degrees at Cooper Union and Columbia University (New York) and has lectured or been a critic at Princeton, Yale, Columbia, Humboldt University and l’école supérieur des beaux arts. Désert's artworks vary in forms such as billboards, actions, paintings, site-specific sculptures, video and objects and emerge from a tradition of conceptual-work engaged with social/cultural practices. He has exhibited widely at such venues as The Brooklyn Museum, Cité Internationale des Arts, The NGBK in galleries and public venues in Munich, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Ghent, Brussels. He is the recipient of awards, public commissions, private philanthropy, including Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (USA), Villa Waldberta/Muenchen - Kulturreferat , Kulturstiftung der Länder (Germany) and Cité des Arts (France). Désert established his Berlin studio in 2002.
twins 1Maria and Natalia Petschatnikov are identical twins. As visual artists they work collaboratively in the border region between painting and installation. Originally from St. Petersburg, they received their art education in the United States (BFA – Rhode Island College, MFA – Hunter College of The City University of New York) and in France (École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris). They moved to Germany in 1999 and have travelled half of Europe thanks to numerous fellowships and residency programs. The Petschatnikovs have exhibited widely throughout Europe as well and are represented by Wagner+Partner Gallery in Berlin. In addition, the sisters both teach studio art and art history at a number of schools and institutes in Berlin and Hamburg. Since 2000 they have been invited to give regular workshops and tours at the Kunsthalle Museum in Hamburg. One of the major strategies of their art production as well as their teaching lies in juxtaposing classical and contemporary art.
Laureline van den HeuvelLaureline van den Heuvel (born in 1978) is an art historian and writer. She has a teachers degree in art (BA) and studied art history (MA) at the Free University in Amsterdam. Between 2007-2009 she worked as an independent art professional , doing research and writing texts for galleries and art fairs like Art Amsterdam. She is a published writer since 2005 for several on- and offline art magazines, like Metropolis M and 8weekly in the Netherlands and Freistutz Magazine in Berlin. At the Amsterdam Academy for the Arts she thought multiple courses like Contemporary Art, Art and Culture and was a guest lecturer for the Art Criticism course. After visiting Berlin for the first time in 2000, she got hooked and after many more visits, finally decided to make the move in march 2014. At the moment she works as a guide in the Jewish Museum and gives tours through Berlin’s lively gallery scene. The Berlin art circuit art makes her heart beat faster. Looking for galleries in Berlin feels like an Indiana Jones adventure, where a treasure can be just around the corner. You can read all about the treasure hunt in her blog Gallery Quest and come find out for yourself on a tour.


Additional Costs:

KW Institute for Contemporary Art Tickets


Individual: €6, students & seniors €4
(groups over 10)
Individual €5, students & seniors €3

Your guide will help you to purchase tickets at KW Kunst-Werke Berlin.

KW is closed on Tuesdays, so gallery walks on that day do not include it.


If the tour occurs during the Berlin Biennale or Berlin Art Week and includes these festivals, your guide will help you to purchase tickets, which can range from a just few euros up to 16 euros for the Biennale.


Additional Information:

our Art Historian guides have the right to alter the course of the tour according to the strength of current art shows and on the major Berlin art events of the season.


Meeting Point:

(we will inform you which meeting point your tour starts from)


KW Institute for Contemporary Art

Auguststraße 69, 10117 Berlin


Esther Schipper Gallery

Schöneberger Ufer 65, 10785 Berlin



Groups of over 10 should contact us at [email protected] in order to get a special rate for their party.

Cancellation and Tipping