The best contemporary art galleries in Berlin

Where to see contemporary art in Berlin - our picks of the best galleries and museums in Germany's art capital.
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1. Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art

One of Berlin’s largest and undoubtedly most important artistic ventures was the construction of the KW Institute. Labelling itself as more collaborative creation space than a gallery, the exhibitions are dynamic, fascinating, and at the forefront of artistic movements.

It was here that Berlin’s most important artistic event, the Berlin Biennale, got its start in 1996, and to this day, the KW Institute continues to promote and advance contemporary art and culture in the city.

2. Contemporary Fine Arts Gallery

Created by Bruno Brunnet, Philipp Haverkampf, and Nicle Hackert and now occupying a distinctively impressive site near Museum Island, CFA has carved out an exciting niche for itself.

Showcasing the most dynamic and diverse up-and-comers, mostly from in or around Berlin but also from around the world, a visit here is a chance to get a first look at those who will be changing the art scene in a year or two.

3. Grimmuseum

For a unique taste of Berlin’s true eclectic heart, the Grimmuseum is essential. Completely not-for-profit and run by the artists themselves, this is Berlin’s most open exhibition space, incorporating artist residencies, touring exhibitions, and interdisciplinary performances from Berlin’s most offbeat and exciting young artists.

Though only opened in 2009, in the few years since, the Grimmuseum has quickly become the shining star or Berlin’s underground art scene.

4. Carlier Gebauer Gallery

When it comes to independent art galleries, there’s little doubt that the Carlier Gebauer Gallery is the most significant. Founded in 1991 and set in Berlin’s gallery district, Carlier Gebauer stands well above the rest in the high quality of its expositions.

An ideal balance between emerging and established interdisciplinary artists are displayed in the three plain white exposition rooms and cinemathek, keeping the focus on the art.

5. Berlinische Galerie

Proclaimed as the favourite of the artists themselves, the Berlinische Galerie’s deceptively simple design allows for one of the best gallery experiences in town.

Offering a dynamic list of expositions by new local artists, first-rate retrospectives, and an extensive permanent collection that presents Berlin’s art history since 1870, this is the perfect place to get a feel for Berlin’s ever-changing artistic environment.

6. Sammlung Boros Collection

Among Berlin’s most closely guarded—and consequently most exciting—secrets is the Sammlung Boros Collection. Once a WWII bomb shelter, the imposing space conceals an extraordinary collection of over 150 works by world-leaders of contemporary art.

Tours run only on weekends and must be booked in advance, but that’s all part of what makes the charm of this unique gallery.

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  • Culture
    • carlier | gebauer

      Innovative art gallery in the Mitte district

    • Berlinische Galerie

      Museum of modern art, photography and architecture in Kreuzberg

    • Sammlung Boros

      The private collection of Christian Boros housed in a converted bunker.

    • Contemporary Fine Arts - CFA Berlin

      Contemporary gallery for German and international fine art in the Mitte district.

    • Kunst-Werke Berlin

      Institute for Contemporary Arts in the Mitte district.

    • Grimmuseum

      Independent, artist-run, non-profit space for audio-visual exhibitions and art performances

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