Kitty Fountain by Tom Sachs
As part of Berlin Art Week, PalaisPopulaire will inaugurate a new temporary outdoor sculpture on its forecourt on September 15, 2021. Tom Sachs’ three-meter-high Kitty Fountain, cast in bronze, was created in 2008 and was originally part of the monumental sculpture ensemble The Codependent Fountain Tableau. This group of fountain sculptures was installed in the Noguchi Gardens of New York’s Lever House in 2008 and shown in the same year in an exhibition on Place du Trocadéro overlooking the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
For the ensemble, Sachs brought together the iconic children’s characters “Hello Kitty” and “My Melody,” both launched by the Japanese company Sanrio in 1974, with “Miffy,” a small rabbit designed by Dutch author and graphic designer Dick Bruna in 1955. All three characters are mass marketed as merchandising products and are characterized by strong graphic stylization, running counter to the idea of a detailed, classical sculpture. Kitty Fountain “was invented purely as a merchandising and licensed character,” Sachs said in 2008. “To then redo that in a ‘fine’ material like bronze, I think is really to the point.”
Courtesy Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, London · Paris · Salzburg · Seoul © Tom Sachs
Berlin Art Week 2021
Berlin Art Week is ten years old—a reason to look forward to the fall. The event will take place from September 15 – 19. A variety of players from the contemporary art scene will present new exhibitions, artist talks, and workshops throughout Berlin. A new feature this year: Gallery Weekend *Discoveries will take place in parallel. The participating galleries will focus on young and unknown artists. The PalaisPopulaire is part of it. It will open its new “Artists of the Year” exhibition, showcasing three artists who deal with human condition and call for radical rethinking.
Abstract art in public spaces – Claudia Wieser’s debut in New York
Berlin-based artist Claudia Wieser’s public art debut with the installation Rehearsal was unveiled on July 29. Featuring five distinct large-scale sculptures clad with hand-painted glazed tiles, panels featuring photographs of New York City and Roman and Greek antiquities, and mirror polished stainless steel, Rehearsal creates an immersive experience for park goers to explore. The cluster of sculptures is located close to the iconic Washington Street, where the Manhattan Bridge frames the Empire State Building. Juxtaposed with the surrounding architecture and natural landscape of Brooklyn Bridge Park, Rehearsal highlights the dynamism of the city and its people.
The artist designed a three-part installation for the rotunda of the PalaisPopulaire this year as well. In the Round consists of two sculptures, a mirror relief, and a photo collage and marks the beginning of a tour through the exhibition Ways of Seeing Abstraction. Works from the Deutsche Bank Collection.
MUSEUM SUNDAY in Berlin
Starting July 4, some 60 Berlin museums invite you to visit them free of charge on the first Sunday of every month and offer a diverse program. The PalaisPopulaire is also taking part. Museum Sunday is an initiative of the Senate Department for Culture and Europe in cooperation with the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media and the State Association of the Museums of Berlin. Thanks to the initiative, all Berliners can visit the museums in their city. The aim is to strengthen cultural participation and open up cultural institutions to all of society.
For more information on the participating museums and the programs, visit www.museumssonntag.berlin.
New tactile model in front of the PalaisPopulaire
On June 21, 2021, a new tactile model was installed in front of the PalaisPopulaire. It enables visitors to experience the historic area around Unter den Linden 5 (the address of PalaisPopulaire) by means of a bronze model. The tactile model offers blind and visually impaired people, as well as sighted guests, the possibility to explore the most important historical buildings in the vicinity of the PalaisPopulaire. The model, created by the artist Egbert Broerken, geographically complements the bronze model on Berlin’s Museum Island. It extends from the Spree River to Charlottenstrasse on the east-west axis, and from Dorotheenstrasse to Hinter der Katholischen Kirche in a north-south orientation. In addition to the PalaisPopulaire, the tactile model contains the outlines of famous buildings, including the State Opera, Humboldt University, and the Neue Wache. In addition, the most important buildings and streets are described in print and Braille.
Terrace Talks: Stiftung Buchkunst and the PalaisPopulaire launch an open-air reading series
Books are a sensory experience. And not only the text, but also the design, the feel, the paper, and the processing. Since 1966, Stiftung Buchkunst), based in Frankfurt am Main and Leipzig, has closely followed German book production. The foundation awards prizes each year for the 25 most beautiful books, in five categories, from literature and children’s books to scientific publications and art catalogues. Now book art is coming to Berlin. Three “Terrace Talks,” which will be held on the last Sunday of June, July, and August, combine readings and introductions to book design.
The collaboration kicks off with an event featuring author Daniel Boente, who will read from Karen Köhler’s novel “Miroloi” on June 27. The book received an award from the Stiftung Buchkunst in 2020. The two subsequent events in July and August will include readings from two freshly selected award-winning books, as well as talks with jurors and prize-winning designers. During the events, ShopPopulaire in the PalaisPopulaire invites visitors to browse around and immerse themselves in the theme of book design with a selection of the “Most Beautiful German Books.”
Photo: © SCHMOTT für Stiftung Buchkunst
New York Frieze Launched in New Format
Since the end of March 2020, everything has been put on hold due to the Corona crisis. Now Frieze, supported by Deutsche Bank as Global Lead Partner, is venturing a cautious return from May 5 to 9 with a new concept. From its previous, more remote location on Randall’s Island, the fair is moving to The Shed, in Manhattan. Slimmed down to 60 high-profile, mostly local galleries, the fair’s format is both digital and real, flanked by extensive digital offers. Among them are the Art:LIVE broadcast, initiated by Deutsche Bank and Frieze, which enables exclusive, digital encounters with artists, curators, collectors, and creatives. One highlight is sure to be a talk with performance artist Marina Abramović in her New York loft. As a virtual exhibition, Deutsche Bank is showing a digital version of Ways of Seeing Abstraction at the Frieze. The show, encompassing 168 abstract works by 47 artists from the bank’s corporate collection, can be experienced live at the PalaisPopulaire until early 2022. Read all about special exhibitions, talks, performances, and art awards in ArtMag.
Joseph Beuys – Early Works Deutsche Bank Collection
To commemorate the 100th birthday of Joseph Beuys (1921–1986), the PalaisPopulaire is showing prints related to works from the 1950s. The beginnings of the Deutsche Bank Collection are closely tied to Joseph Beuys. During this period, the artist was in a lively exchange with the bank through personal contacts, exhibitions, and purchases. In the early works on display, the artist’s preoccupation with landscape, nature, and the human body is already clearly evident. The presentation in the Forum also recalls Beuys’ time as a teacher at the Düsseldorf Art Academy from 1961 to 1978 with an edition featuring his student Blinky Palermo (1943–1977). Finally, a selection of multiples shown in cooperation with ShopPopulaire shows Beuys’ concern with the democratization of art.
Joseph Beuys, Elch, 1975
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021
Ways of Seeing Abstraction Karla Knight, Spaceship Note (The Fantastic Universe), 2020
Even when she was a child, the supernatural was omnipresent for Karla Knight. Her father wrote books on "extrasensory perception," investigating topics such as the occult and UFOs. But there is another family influence that has had an impact on the American artist's enigmatic images: she observed that her little son invented his own letters and words during his first attempts at writing. And so Karla Knight began to create a distinctive artistic cosmos, which in its consistency approaches "Outsider Art." She combines references to abstract modernism, Dadaists like Max Ernst, and the visionary designs of architect Buckminster Fuller with science fiction, pseudo-scientific diagrams, and imaginary scripts suggesting hieroglyphs from ancient Egypt. "It’s about living with the unknown." And this is perhaps the best way to grasp her work intuitively—asl into an archaic-futuristicallel universe.
Karla Knight, Spaceship Note (The Fantastic Universe), 2020 © Courtesy of Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York