abc: First Impressions

Text and pictures by Nathan M.

art berlin contemporary’s sixth edition opens today at Station Berlin! Following the success of last year’s art fair format, galleries across the world were invited to demonstrate their ability as producers for artists at this year’s fair.

With 133 galleries representing around 18 countries, around half of the galleries displaying work are based in Berlin, and one third are from elsewhere in Germany in Europe.

Upon entry, there is an array of exceptionally small stools. I eyed them suspiciously, and hoped that we would not have to sit there for long. Luckily, after a short introductory speech, we were let through the gates and into the fair.

The Station Berlin is a massive space. The industrial history is left open to the eye, evident in both the soaring ceilings and the exposed brick lining the walls. Thankfully, maps of the expanses are distributed to help navigate room after room.

Simple, white walls divide the space, and provide contexts for artists to situate their work. However, many artists and galleries chose to build their own elaborate structures, incorporating architectural and design elements into their display. One gallery styled their wall to look as if it had been set on fire. The gallery representatives wore white jackets that had matching "burn" marks—when I watched them arrive earlier in the day, I couldn't help wondering who would show up to an opening wearing soot-stained clothes.

However, the size and scale of the fair did not work in everyone’s favor. Minimalist pieces were swallowed up. Likewise, I would be interested to see how the few sound-based pieces hold up to larger and louder crowds expected to attend the fair after its official opening.

In one word, my first impression of the sixth edition of abc is excited! The art, the staff, and the patrons were excited, and the energy was positive and lively. See you tonight!

Station Berlin/ Luckenwalder Straße 4-6, 10963 Berlin / U-Bahn Gleisdreieck (U1, U2) / various ticket prices / more information

Berlin Independents Guide is an artist run communications platform. Listings are accepted from project spaces, galleries, art institutes and art related venues in Berlin. For more information and prices have a look here.
or contacts us at info(at) We love to hear from you!