I AMsterdam YOU BErlin BEYOND 2016 English

Exhibition BEYOND Selected by: Tina Sauerländer

Organized by: I AMsterdam YOU BErlin | Contemporary Art from Amsterdam and Berlin

venue: St. Johannes Evangelist-Kirche, Auguststraße 90, 10117 Berlin open: Friday, April 29th, 12 (noon) – 10pm , Saturday, April 30th, 12 (noon) – 8pm and May 1st 12 (noon) – 7pm opening reception: Thursday, April 28th , 7 – 10pm with a Soundperformance of the Schellackqueen Anouschka participating galleries: AMSTERDAM: Galerie AdK Actuele Kunst, Galerie Bart, Rutger Brandt Gallery, TORCH Gallery, Livingstone Gallery, Wit gallery BERLIN: janinebeangallery, Inga Kondeyne – room for drawings gallery, lorch+seidel contemporary, Petra Rietz Salon gallery, Carsten Seifert gallery, Wichtendahl gallery selected artists: AMSTERDAM: Cian-Yu Bai (Galerie AdK Actuele Kunst), Anne Forest (Galerie Bart), Luca Grimaldi (Rutger Brandt Gallery), Line Gulsett (TORCH Gallery), Raquel Maulwurf (Livingstone Gallery), herman de vries (Wit gallery) BERLIN: Grigori Dor (janinebeangallery), Johannes Regin (Inga Kondeyne – room for drawings gallery), Silvia Levenson (lorch+seidel contemporary), Madeleine Altmann and Eva Schwab (Petra Rietz Salon gallery), Jörg Klaus (Carsten Seifert gallery), Nicole Ahland (Wichtendahl gallery) BEYOND

The German-Dutch Gallery Network I Amsterdam You Berlin presents the group show BEYOND. For the fourth time, a concentrated look is taken into the lively contemporary art scene of two cities with long artistic traditions. For Berlin Gallery Weekend, the galleries from Amsterdam and Berlin are exhibiting together. Out of each participating partner’s program, Berlin-based curator Tina Sauerländer selects one artist whose work will be shown in a comprehensive solo presentation on the topic BEYOND. In the sacred space of St. Johannes-Evangelist-Church in Berlin-Mitte, the exhibition BEYOND presents forms of contemporary artistic discourse with a topic that not only exists in different cultures and religions but are also closely linked to individual existence and personal experience.


The term beyond refers to another world behind a border or threshold—a fantasy land, a new reality or paradise. The meanings and associations are diverse yet a “beyond” is always something absent, that can be imagined or glimpsed from one’s own standpoint in this (mortal) world.

The monumental, black and white charcoal and pastel drawings by artist Raquel Maulwurf (Livingstone gallery, The Hague) reveal views of the sea, a path leading deep into a forest or into the cosmos. These drawings evoke what world might lie beyond the horizon.The light-filled spaces in the photographs of Nicole Ahland (Wichtendahl Gallery, Berlin) show dissolving spatial boundaries and the view into intense light. The glaring emptiness is reminiscent of the threshold of the transition into another world. The starting point of the paintings by Cian-Yu Bai (Gallery AdK Actuele Arts Amsterdam) lies within reality but is transformed into unusual, fairytale-abstract imagery. The painted movements of the young girls in the works by Line Gulsett (Torch Gallery, Amsterdam) let the protagonists appear blurred like ghosts, dissolved and detached from the real world around them. The artwork How long do butterflies live? by Silvia Levenson (lorch + seidel contemporary, Berlin), a wall installation made from glass tiles, refers to the fragility, uncertainty and finitude of our lives.


Representations of vanitas, the nothingness and finitude of existence, are a relevant and constant theme in contemporary art. Artists draw on classical motifs such as flowers, mirrors, masks and candles or dedicate their work to the transience of nature or the everyday. Formally, an abstract centerless all-over pattern that could be infinitely extended, forms an important, disparate reference to the finiteness of existence.

The artist Grigori Dor (janinebeangallery, Berlin) creates still lifes in the style of the old masters. In a black space, flowers, mask-like faces, wings or animal skeletons float into a balanced arrangement and seem to come out of and sink back into the black depth. The exterior of the Lebensschrank by Eva Schwab (Petra Rietz Salon Gallery, Berlin) corresponds to an old wooden armoir with medieval-like Christ and Madonna paintings. The inner contains a spine-like spiral staircase in the mirrored space, which throws the viewer back to himself. The soil rubbings, organized leaves or framed ears by herman de vries ( who uses all lowercase letters as a symbol of his belief in equality) (Wit Gallery, Amsterdam) exude a lightness that takes away the gravity of evanescence and extols the diversity and beauty of life. In his paintings Luca Grimaldi (Rutger Brandt Gallery, Amsterdam) presents human achievements such as ATMs, magazine racks or chillers filled with beer bottles in Berlin Spätis that expose the transience of everyday existence. In her video works Madeleine Altman (Petra Rietz Salon Gallery, Berlin) creates impressions of the natural, seasonal life cycle. In Black Ice her camera glides across the fragile and brittle coat of ice of a deep black river. The all-over patterns of the drawings, engravings or paper punches by Johannes Regin (Inga Kondeyne Gallery, Berlin) show a man-made, ordered structure without a center that serves as counterpart to finitude by pointing towards an infinite continuation beyond the image edge.


As portrait-like images of saints icons served as a means of communication with the divine and thus as a connection to another world. Contemporary artists create reinterpretations of (Christian) icons in their works and translate classic, realistic portraits.

With their naive and clear visual language, the mysterious portraits of people and animals by the artist Anne Forest (Bart Gallery, Amsterdam) emanate an iconic peace. Painted on carpet, the base material determines its haptic surface structure. The often pastel or earth-colored photographic portraits in front of a monochrome background by the artist Jörg Klaus (Carsten Seifert Gallery, Berlin) contain the expression of different human characters that appear disconnected from reality or caught in the very present.

The Gallery Network I AMsterdam YOU BErlin promotes new forms of cooperation between commercial and non-profit groups, intercultural exchange and new ways of presentation and paths of communication in contemporary art. This project and exhibition series during the Berlin Gallery Weekend was initiated by the gallery Bart Amsterdam and is jointly organized by all participating galleries. The project takes place in cooperation with Berlin nonprofit organization Kultur Büro Elisabeth. Admission is free.

Kindly supported by the Kingdom of the Netherlands.


text by Tina Sauerländer