Berlinische Galerie / berlinischegalerie.de / Born in 1975 to celebrate the attachment of the city to modern culture and architecture, the Berlinische is housed today in a 60s manufacturing workshop converted into the gallery-museum by Jorg Fricke in 2004. Divided in two spaces connected by suspended staircases forming an X: the ground floor hosts temporary exhibitions, whereas the permanent collection on the floor above exclusively shows a hundred years of German art history from 1880 to the end of the 20th century. Among the many masterpieces, Portrait of the Poet Iwar von Lucken by Otto Dix (1926) and various works censured by the Nazi regime, like the wartime portraits in times by Jewish painter Gertrude Sandmann. The exterior, super iconic and photographed, instantly strikes with its large work on the pavement by Kuhn Malvezzi, Yellow Field of Letters.
König Galerie / koeniggalerie.com
Johann König was only 21 in 2002, when he started dealing in art; today he is internationally recognised as one of the most important and visionary collectors in the world, also thanks to his intuition to relaunch the splendid church of St. Agnes, magnificent example of Brutalist architecture of the German Democratic Republic signed by Werner Duttman in 1964.
Konig had the intuition to seize the opportunity to relaunch the structure, now deconsecrated, as a suggestive museum. Reopened in 2015 after a transformation curated by Arno Brandlhuber, today it is a wonderful building lit from the top, as rugged and raw on the exterior as it is soft and luminous on the interior: a place of refined beauty to show contemporary art.
Sammlung Boros / sammlung-boros.de
Nothing could represent Berlin better than this private art collection set in a Nazi bunker. In the aftermath of war it was first a storage for fruit and in the 90s a venue for techno fetish nights. Closed by the authorities, in 2008 the magnate and collector Christian Boros revaluates it and installs the most prestigious pieces of his immense private collection in it.
The set-up is divided in 80 rooms which unravel into 3,000 square meters divided in five floors (on the sixth lives Boros himself). Many local emerging artists have passed through, but also big names such as Ai Wei Wei, Olafur Eliasson, Elmgreen & Dragset. Works installed between walls of 140 cm and two metre high ceilings, the bunker could house up to 2,500 people. It is possible to visit it today, but only after booking a guided tour.