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Review: POSITIONS Berlin Art Fair | Buy art in Berlin!

Editors’ Choice

A plea for the Berlin art scene and for discovering and collecting. By Julia Spindelmann.

Berlin has to assert itself time and again as a comparatively young art market location, because considering recent history, there is no traditional art market in the capital. Rather, today’s structures were created primarily in the 1990s and for this relatively short period of time, the creative scene as well as the public interested in art and willing to buy are a clear sign of the potential that the location offers the art market.

Image above: POSITIONS Berlin Art Fair 2018 – Photo Clara Wenzel Theiler

The sixth edition of the POSITIONS Berlin Art Fair has been a pioneer in this development, remaining true to its motto and focusing on what makes it strong: Berlin as a creative melting pot of young talent and a growing generation of collectors.

The capital is internationally renowned for its lively art scene, is an international location for art production and leads the discourse on art and its future. More than 20,000 visitors to the POSITIONS Berlin Art Fair and numerous sales within Berlin show that the motivation of the trade fair format is confirmed and that the concept of its stringent promotion of young talent is bearing fruit. Galleries place their trust in a reliable and well-heeled collection in Berlin and demonstrate this time and again by presenting outstanding artistic positions and by their courage to experiment, not least in the concentrated design of their booths.

The 70 participating international galleries invited by POSITIONS Berlin Art Fair to Hangar 4 at Tempelhof Airport (Columbiadamm 10, 10965 Berlin) from September 12th to 15th as part of Berlin Art Week to present exciting artists with their most important works at the art fair, proved this once again: Trevor Kiernander’s paintings at Art Mûr (Berlin/Montreal) explored spaces and often begin as photographs until they are abstracted by the artist for minimal recognition; the Berlin gallery Exgirlfriend showed “Channeling”, a solo presentation of the Chicago-based artist Christopher Meerdo, whose work deals with the legacy of Osama Bin Laden and artificial intelligence; the Italian gallery antonella cattani contemporary art presented u.a. Works by the German artist Julia Bornefeld, who in her series ‘Morphische Felder 2018-19’ deals with pictorial compositions of micro- and macroscopic structures that offer the viewer a glimpse into a world of amorphous forms; the young Berlin artist Lukas Glinkowski (Galerie Judith Andreae, Bonn) is interested in public spaces and the traces we leave behind in them. On subway platforms and in public toilets, the master student of Katharina Grosse finds the models for his tiled tableaus, on which he reinterprets graffiti, texts, and scribbled messages.

The POSITIONS Berlin Art Fair is increasingly concentrating on what has driven it in the past and what, not least, is the responsibility of a trade fair organiser: The work with young talent and the promotion of young galleries, young artists and prospective collectors who meet at the art fair as a place of exchange and then ideally follow a common path over many years. This triad sustainably strengthens the art market and has a fruitful effect on all actors.

With the Format Academy POSITIONS, 16 young contemporary positions by graduates of German and Polish art academies were shown this year. The exhibition Selected POSITIONS, which was also curated and featured works up to 1,900 euros, enables young and prospective collectors to enter the art market and their own collections.

With Open Air POSITIONS, the roofed tarmac of the airport was once again used for large-format sculptures and installations. In addition, visitors were offered an attractive supporting programme with talks, awards ceremonies, special exhibitions and other events.

The organizer’s next art fair in Berlin is the paper positions 2020 from April 30th to May 3rd, 2020 at the Deutsche Telekom Hauptstadtrepräsentanz, Französische Straße 33 a-c, 10117 Berlin-Mitte.

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