Visitors at Preview Berlin 2013, Photo: Edgard Berendsen
Founded in 2005, the PREVIEW BERLIN has been held in Berlin's former Tempelhof Airport, a historic building with spacious hangars, from 2007 till 2012. For the fifth edition in 2009, the fair moved into the distinctive main hall of the former airport. Here, under the title LESS REGRESS / MORE CONGRESS, it developed a progressive art fair concept in the form of a curated exhibition without classic trade fair booths. The fair was enthusiastically received by the media and the public: 10,000 visitors in three days turned the PREVIEW BERLIN into the “hub of the Berlin’s autumn art fair season.” (Der Tagesspiegel)
In 2010, the PREVIEW BERLIN once again presented an ambitious exhibition concept that reflected the wide-ranging experiences of the previous years: a combination of large-scale white cube booths and open spaces for expansive installations and performative works. A central lounge provided a meeting place for over 12,000 visitors while also serving as a venue for the multifaceted supporting programme, consisting of tours, dinners, receptions and discussions. Another innovation in the 2010 exhibition programme was the focus on galleries and art spaces from Eastern Europe. The auspicious result: a flood of galleries from these nations applied for inclusion in 2011.
Joint projects are realised annually as part of a cooperation with Swab in Barcelona. In 2011, for example, Hanno Millesi and Ralf Schmitt conducted a performative reading on the Placa de Catalunya. A collaborative project between Fresh Paint, Tel Aviv and PREVIEW BERLIN was also inaugurated in 2011, including a trip to Berlin for Israeli curators and collectors, a panel discussion with the respective directors of the partner fairs and the VIDEO ART BOX by Fresh Paint in the art fair’s central exhibition area in Hangar2. The Tel Aviv art fair presented the German premieres of video works by Israeli artists here.
In its eighth edition in 2012, the PREVIEW BERLIN raised its profile even further, giving not only international newcomers but also established galleries the opportunity to show their promising artistic positions. Solo walls were also featured for the first time, enabling a continuing focus on the works of emerging artists. Galleries and project spaces from 14 countries, including Mexico, Colombia, Japan and Australia, attracted 17,000 visitors, a new record. With support from the Sony Center Berlin, selected video works by artists from participating galleries were also presented on a large LED video wall at Potsdamer Platz to an urban audience. For the first time, the PREVIEW BERLIN ART FAIR was held in 2012 as part of the newly established Berlin Art Week, which unites under one umbrella the exhibition format abc – art berlin contemporary as well as the most important institutions of contemporary art in Berlin.
For its ninth edition, the fair has opened the curtain on a previously undiscovered location in the centre of the city: the Berlin Opera Workshops. By holding an art fair here for the first time, the PREVIEW BERLIN followed the artistic and creative tradition of the Opera Workshops in Zinnowitzer Strasse, transforming the building into a vibrant venue for contemporary art.
Besides the popular white cube exhibition stands, there were solo walls, enabling young, emerging artists and galleries to focus on a targeted presentation of the latest trends in art. Once again this year, the exhibition stands of the PREVIEW BERLIN ART FAIR were supplemented by a wide-ranging supporting programme. In addition to numerous tours and a collectors’ seminar, three panel discussions were held on current topics in art and cultural policy together with Artlink Indigenous, the Medienwerkstatt Berlin and the Koalition der Freien Szene (Coalition of the Independent Scene).
In 2013, in collaboration with BERLIN HYP, PREVIEW BERLIN awarded a sponsorship prize to three young artists of the FOCUS ACADEMY. These artists will present their work in the bank’s Budapester Strasse foyer showroom: Johan Schäfer of the Academy of Fine Arts Dresden, along with Karolin Back and Jessica Schäfer of the Offenbach University of Art and Design.
Under the new cooperation with ikono.tv, five further artists were selected to present their works in the format “Carte Blanche”: Jisan Ahn, Frauke Rahr, Ray Malone, Olrik Kohlhoff and Jesper Rasmussen. In collaboration with the Sony Center Berlin, PREVIEW BERLIN brought to life the 28 sq. m large LED video wall at Potsdamer Platz with a curated selection of video works. The videos of Macoto Murayama, Carsten Weitzmann, Adam Lewin, Maik Scheermann, Flaut M. Rauch, Tim Kurth and Frauke Rahr were shown from 17 – 22 September 2013.
With the FOCUS ACADEMY, the PREVIEW BERLIN has been turning to art universities since 2009 in a new format. In 2012, the graduates of eight German art academies participated. The intention is to offer these artists the opportunity to show their work to a large art community at the moment of transition from university studies to artistic independence, allowing them to gain initial experience on the art market. In addition to art universities already known from recent years such as the Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design in Halle, the Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Kiel, the Offenbach University of Art and Design and the Bauhaus University Weimar, in 2013, the Academy of Fine Arts Dresden and the Academy of Fine Arts and Design of the University of Ljubljana were exhibiting the promising work of their young artists in the FOCUS ACADEMY.