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steve shane

Rachel Harrison PICNIC, wood, styrafoam, acrylic, hankies, photograph

steve shane—email from art forum •berlin, germany

Berlin, Germany 7:50 PM
Hi everyone:

Really enjoying my hotel—Hotel Grande Esplanade Berlin—The pool is very sweet. There’s art all over the hotel. Today I discovered several Markus Lupertz sculptures scattered throughout the lobby.

The galleries and museums are closed today so I did normal, non-art things.

Went to the dept store, Ka De We, the Harrod’s of Berlin, and ate lunch at this food court. David recommended this. It’s amazing how grand it is. Delicious.

I bought a metro-bus pass and took rides on scenic bus routes. Roamed around the old “East Berlin.” I got an eerie feeling being probably the only gay jew walking around E. Berlin !!!!!!!! Expecting to be hauled away by the SS and executed on the spot. But I made it back to my PC alive!!! Saw the city hall. Saw Goebbels’ office. Walked around a lovely area called the Nikolais. Had a drink (water) under the huge Berlin TV tower. Ready to see lots of art tomorrow. Email me with your news.

Berlin, Germany 1:10 AM

Hi one and all. This is a great, vibrant city. I’m really in ecstacy. The women dress so incredibly well here. There’s so much building—great positive energy. And the art world has infiltrated. One problem is most restaurants only take Visa charge card, not Master Card. Some take American Express, but I left home without it!!!!!!!! But the ATMs work fine.

The art dealer, Bob Van Orsouw, took me and a small group out to dinner to an Italian restaurant. In the group was Katerina Gregos from Greece. She is the curator of Deste Foundation and the private collection of the Greek collector, Dakis Joannou. She is lovely and very passionate about art. Also in the group was a Greek collector who was fun. It was a great evening.

The art fair, Berlin Art Forum, is excellent. It is quite manageable. Only Contemporary art, virtually no Modern. Several young dealers were invited to show in half-size booths. One example is Carol Greene.

The following will be about the art fair mentioning specific artists, so my non-art world email friends might only want to skim through the following: Saw some great Arnulf Rainers and Imi Knoebels. Jeremy Dickinson is doing something a little different. The photographer, Walter Niedermayer, is fantastic. These are the snowscapes. Shows at Robert Miller. Julian Opies is really growing on me. It’s always a treat to see the French painter, Bernard Frieze. He doesn’t show in NY. A great discovery is Rachel (not Rochelle) Feinstein who is the wife of John Currin and works at Boesky Gallery. It’s Jessica Stockholder meets Franz West. She will have a White Columns White Room. I saw her work at Robert Prime of London. Franz Achermann intrigues me. There was a great Franz West sculpture and several Helmut Dohners. A fantastic new, colorful painting by Artschwager at Lehmann Maupin. Marian Goodman had a fantastic, classic Baldessari.

My friend, Ulrich Gebauer, had the best Fred Tomaselli I’ve ever seen and sold it to a fantastic collector from LA. Nicky Hoberman looks great at Entwistle. She had some photos which were very intriguing. She will be showing at Feigen soon. Saw a very touching Sophie Calle at Chantal Crousel of Paris. Great artist. Some great Lucas Samaras polaroid transformations and Warhol piss paintings at Daniel Blau of Munich. The best was Glenn Brown, the British painter, who is in “Sensation”. I first saw his work seven years ago at Barbara Gladstone and was mesmerized. He paints from photos in books of famous Expressionist paints like Auerback, Jorn, Appel, DeKooning. They are amazing. Patrick Painter had two of them. I proudly possess one of them now. A remarkable acquisition. Tomorrow the “Berlin Biennale” and museums.

Talk to you soon.


Hi everyone:

This is my last email about Berlin.

Like I said, the fair was superb. Next fair will be Arco in Feb. in Madrid. Hopefully Mom and Dad will join me.

It was great to see the Philip Ackerman self-portraits in oil on panel at Bob Von Orsouw Gallery. They are so psychologically poignant. They are done in the Dutch tradition of self-portraiture.

Went to the new National Gallery of Berlin. Saw the permanent collection. Excellent Kirchner, Munch, Grosz, Morris Louis, etc.

It’s near Potsdamerplatz and there must be 25 buildings under construction. Today is the ninth anniversary of the unification of Germany. Walking around Potsdamerplatz was amazing, thrilling, exciting. As you know, the capital is moving from Bonn to Berlin. If only they spoke French here!!!!! I like the way French sounds. Went back to the Mitte (the old East Berlin) to go to the Berlin Biennale and more galleries. I ran into two Israeli medical students and walked around with them. This was the old Jewish ghetto. Saw a memorial where the first Jewish old age home was and where a destroyed Jewish cemetery was. This old age home became a processing center for the arrested Jews. The writer Mendelson was buried here. It was on Hamburger Str. near Oranienburger Str.

Saw a project Christian Boltanski did called missing home in an empty lot where a home used to be. It tells who lived there, when and what they did for a living. Very haunting. Went to a fantastic Indian restaurant called Goa. Enchanting ambiance. Delicious food. One eats well in Berlin, and I swam everyday.

The “Berlin Biennale” was a little disappointing, but maybe I was a little visually overloaded by the time I went. Standouts at the “Berlin Biennale” were: Pipilotti Rist, Gruntuch/Ernst & Gabriel Orosco.

All in all, I highly recommend Berlin for its art, culture, and energy.

Ran into Devon Dikeou at a cafe. Talked about art and her magazine, zing.

Well that’s all for now.

Steve Shane
Berlin, Germany