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Closing down the Guggenheim

Bid farewell to Berlin's Deutsche Guggenheim, leaving us on Feb 17. The final exhibition currently on is a spectacular panorama of works by 20th-century art legends.

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Photo courtesy of the Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin

On view at the Deutsche Guggenheim until February 17 is Visions of Modernity, an exhibition showcasing a rather unabridged panorama of works by 20th-century art legends from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Collection. The show is exquisite, but makes a surprisingly quiet exit for the space, which is closing this month.

Almost two decades ago, Deutsche Bank and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation opened the doors of their collaboration space on Unter den Linden, which went on to host a unique showcase of pieces from their two special collections, while working as a laboratory to feature additional commissions from young and contemporary artists.

The location, close to the Museum Island, proved key in attracting visitors. Deutsche Bank, with its presence in many countries and its extensive contemporary art collection, enhanced the pre-existing collection of the Guggenheim, further internationalising the foundation’s foothold in the art world through additional commissioning of artwork from places such as Japan, Singapore and Africa. The place soon became a social hot point, with the openings fully packed and the events being some of the most talked-about in Berlin, always receiving buzz and critiques – both positive and negative.

The Deutsche Guggenheim followed developments in contemporary art closely. It perfectly matched the feeling of renewal in late-1990s Berlin and grew up with the emerging city, leaving a major fingerprint on the city’s rebirth as a capital and its transformation into an international art metropole.

It was an unusual partnership that took place outside the natural territory of the museum itself. They addressed the international art scene’s initial scepticism about mixing commerce and art by doing the exact opposite of what was expected, creating more of an experimental project lab and giving young artists the opportunity to take risks, hone their oeuvre, and make things that they typically wouldn’t have the means to make.

VISIONS OF MODERNITY Through Feb 17 | Deutsche Guggenheim, Unter den Linden 13-15, Mitte, U-Bhf Französische Str, daily 10-20