Berliner Salon: First steps in Kraków + Mike Kelley and Raymond Pettibon at auction

Mike Kelly, “Kandors,” Installation view, 2007. Copyright Fredrick Nilsen. Courtesy Mike Kelly and Jablonk Galerie, Cologne/Berlin.

Yesterday witnessed the inauguration of an exhibition at the National Museum in Kraków, Poland that is being heralded as the “first step towards a collection of Western contemporary art.” In fact, that’s the exhibition’s title. Rafael Jablonka, the owner of two eponymous galleries in Cologne and Berlin, has lent 50 major works from his private collection to the museum for 18 months (with the noted intention of eventually lending them permanently) by Nobuyoshi Araki, Miquel Barceló, Francesco Clemente, Eric Fischl, Mike Kelley (Season 3), David LaChapelle, Sherri Levine, Andreas Slominski, Philip Taaffe and Andy Warhol. The resulting exhibition should be accredited with providing a solid contemporary base for the museum’s infant post-modern collection, with represented mediums ranging from Levine’s conceptual minimal sculpture and LaChapelle’s sensationally staged photography to Taaffe’s large-scale organic abstraction and Kelley’s technicolor videos inspired by pop culture comics.

The opening, which I was fortunate to attend, was packed and the after-dinner/buffet was upbeat, classy, yet relatively laid-back, considering the event’s scale and historical significance. This can probably be attributed to Jablonka’s personality, a refreshing combination of no-frills practicality, compassionate generosity and, let it be said, the party stamina of someone half his age (aka my age). When I left the after-after-party around 2 am, held at the local art bar whose name I frankly can’t remember, Jablonka and Co. were still holding court on the dance floor, getting down to the funk/soul DJ set and putting me and my brethren of 20-somethings to shame. Dear Rafael Jablonka, R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

On the Berlin beat, there will be an auction this weekend at the restaurant/club Rodeo, located above C/O Berlin in the historic former post-office’s beautiful cupola, which will include works by artists such as urban vandal collective Faile, Mike Kelley, Raymond Pettibon (Season 2)and Terry Richardson. Due to limited seating, reservations are required and can be made at this address: fly@art-advise.com. The auction begins at 5pm on Sunday. For more information about available works, estimates and the auction itself, click here. Schoenes Wochenende.


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