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The Guggenheim in Berlin is to Close Down

Wednesday 22nd February 2012

 
It was a very sad day when we read that the Deutsche Guggenheim exhibition space in Berlin is scheduled to close at the end of 2012, after 15 years in existence. 
 
The space was opened in partnership with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, and the Deutsche Bank, with the role of developing a scene for contemporary art in Berlin. A decade and half after opening its doors, it can safely be said that the Deutsche Guggenheim resides a city that is now considered to be one of the most vibrant places for contemporary art in the world. 
 
Richard Armstong, the director of the Guggenheim Foundation, said in an interview in the New York Times that, “Since 1997, when Deutsche Guggenheim was established under the leadership of Thomas Krens, its program has played an essential role in the development of contemporary art in Berlin. Berlin today is a very different city from what it was when we began. We feel the time is right now to step back and re-examine our collaboration to see how it might evolve.”
 
2012 will mark the end of the contract in Berlin, which lends itself to the timing of the closure, but we can't help but wonder whether recent economic trends have a hand in the decision making in Berlin. 
 
Over the past 15 years, the Guggenheim has held 57 exhibitions, with 1.8 million visitors having crossed the threshold. It also commissioned 17 artists to create new works which were debuted at the Deutsche Guggenheim, amongst which were works by Anish Kapoor, James Rosenquist, Gerhard Richter and John Baldessari. 
 
Despite the closure of the Deutsche Guggenheim, this doesn't seem to be something that is about to become a Guggeheim trend. The foundation, which has a sizeable international network of museums is hoping to embark on a new project in the Finish capital of Helskinki. An announcement is expected from the Guggenheim once they have gotten the green light from the Helsinki City Council. 

Posted on February 22nd 2012 on 02:33pm

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