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Winter exhibitions: Six not to miss

December, despite what you think, is pretty hot – for art. From masters to newbies, we've got six art shows for you to check out before they end. Read our picks here.

Image for Winter exhibitions: Six not to miss
Nina Hagen and Ari Up, Malibu 1980. Copyright Anton Corbijn

Winter exhibition blues? Seems like everything’s coming to an end? Well, we’ve got you art lovers covered through the end of the year – and beyond – with some of our favourite museum and gallery exhibitions currently on. From recent grads to conceptual forerunners, emerging abstractionists to textbook masters, Berlin has tons to offer for all manner of visual art predilections. Here are six musts.

Berlin Masters 2015

Do you like work that’s hot off the press? Check out this showcase of some of the most promising master’s students from Universität der Künste (UdK) and the Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weißensee, handpicked by curators Lisa Polten und Tobias Sirtl. Watch as time stands still with the geometrically poetic installation “Chronos uns Äon” by Markus Hoffmann, who studied under Olafur Elaisson, or shut out the world in Mari Matsutoya’s karaoke booth, built for one, titled “Are You Lonesome Tonight”. Head to Potse for the “Rundgang”, Arndt’s third since 2013.

Through Nov 28, Arndt, Potsdamer Str. 96, Kreuzberg, U-Bhf Kurfürstenstr., Tue-Sat 11-18

Terry Fox – Elemental Gestures

Encounter Fox’s profoundly curious means of translating the world into artworks, be they performance-, video- or soundbased, in this archival retrospective. Take Berlino, a complex eight-channel sound sculpture made up of recordings from 1980s Berlin and elsewhere, composed based on the contours of the Berlin Wall. While the artist may be less of a household name than some of his collaborators, like Bill Viola and Joseph Beuys, the closer you look at his life’s work, the more you realise that his interventionist conceptualism planted many seeds for now-thriving branches of today’s contemporary art.

Through Jan 10, Akademie der Künste, Hanseatenweg 10, Tiergarten, S-Bhf Bellevue, Tue-Sun 11-19

From Hockney to Holbein

This massive show is filled with equally big artists: Hockney and Holbein boast the title, but Basquiat, Beckmann, Magritte and Tamayo turn up the intrigue. Spend time here for a dark, labyrinthine art history lesson, through Cranach’s eerie 16thcentury Saint Barbara, Picasso’s disturbing Venus et Amour, and even to Baselitz’s The Great Night of that Time (Remix) where a Hitler-like figure exposes himself. What lingers is art’s power not only as a historical and cultural record, but also as an utterly visceral way to access past human emotions.

Through Jan 10, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Niederkirchnerstraße 7, Kreuzberg, S+U-Bhf Potsdamer Platz, Wed-Mon 10-19

Lucy McKenzie – Inspired by an Atlas of Leprosy

The scale model of a sparsely furnished home, complete with miniature posters on the wall, is a fine piece of craftsmanship. But it does little to prepare you for what you’ll find upstairs on the second floor, when suddenly you’re standing inside that very house. If that’s not disorienting enough, look more closely at the furniture to find that every piece of it is meticulously painted to photo-realistic perfection. McKenzie doesn’t only leave us pondering her trompe-l’œil marble and wood surfaces; each piece builds a narrative about how time is spent there, and which activities are more valuable than others for the imagined occupants.

Through Jan 23, Galerie Buchholz, Fasanenstr. 30, Charlottenburg, U-Bhf Uhlandstr., Tue-Sat 11-18

I Was Once Loneliness

With nine under-45 artists from the world over showing work made in the last two years, this museum-quality group exhibition reaffirms abstraction’s importance today, with bravado. The range of aesthetics is remarkable; from the fragmentation in Asim Waqif’s “Seismo-logic,” to the tiny geometrical forms rendered in eye shadow in Samara Scott’s “Her III,” to the bright landscape of Moshekwa Langa’s “Earlier that Day.” The common thread among all the artists is that they address an age old philosophical dilemma – the distance between the physical and nonphysical – with a post-digital, contemporary spin.

Through Jan 23, Blain|Southern, Potsdamer Str. 77-87, Kreuzberg, U-Bhf Kurfürstenstr., Tue-Sat 11-18

Anton Corbijn – Retrospective

The director and master of portraiture has filled C/O with a massive collection of around 600 photographs covering four decades of work. Thoughtfully composed images of Nick Cave, David Bowie, the Rolling Stones and countless other famous figures from music and pop culture bring us much closer to our icons than we could have ever imagined. Don’t miss the only stop in Germany of the travelling retrospective.

Through Jan 31, C/O Berlin, Hardenbergstraße 22-24, Charlottenberg, Zoologischer Garten S+U-Bhf, Daily 11-20