me Collectors Room Berlin is currently displaying My Abstract World until April 2, 2017. The exhibition presents a selection of Thomas Olbricht’s favorite pieces from his collection of over 350 works.
me Collectors Room Berlin opened in May 2010, and houses both a selection of Olbricht’s personal collection, as well as temporary exhibitions. The gallery itself is massive, providing over 1300 square meters of exhibition space in the heart of Mitte. There is an awesome soccer field right next door, as well as the KW Institute for Contemporary Art. At the moment, me is also showing the Wunderkammer and Zwischen Nairobi & Berlin.
My Abstract World brings together a selection of international artists, from established figures like Bernard Frize, Joseph Marioni and Katharina Grosse to representatives of a younger generation, including Ali Banisadr, Paul Fägerskiöld and David Ostrowski.
My initial response to the artwork selected was …well… a bit confused. Most of the pieces were stark contrasts next to each other. Often the color palates didn’t mix well and the large scale of several canvases overwhelmed me. In fact, I had the feeling that it took me several minutes to inspect one piece only to be confronted by a totally different work right next to it. Unlike George Condo’s Confrontation exhibition, which intentionally juxtaposed work, it was all mixed together. The exhibition was all over the place, lacking a unifying factor other than being “abstract”.
Personally, I much prefer solo exhibitions, opposed to group exhibitions. They allow an artist to walk the viewer through their development and creation process. On the flip side, this exhibition might be really great for other people. me is a very family friendly environment, encouraging families to visit with their children and hosting several kids events. That being said, it could be really great to get a feel for how diverse art abstract can be. It just wasn’t right for me.
Another slightly confusing aspect of My Abstract World is that the exhibition has been designed to be “multi-sensorial”. The exhibition has its own app, where you can listen to a compilation of tracks that are meant to accompany each work. A soundtrack to visiting an art museum is a great idea, as well as an app, but again it kind of fell short. For me it was simply sensory overload. I guess I was too busy trying to soak in the artwork in front of me to even begin to listen to music as well. To each his own. In addition to the app and music, the exhibition has places to sit in the middle of the showroom with reading material, and you can even order drinks.
In sum, My Abstract World is based on several cool concepts, but wasn’t my cup of tea. It is definitely perfect for a rainy day or tourists that need a break from sightseeing. Decide for yourself what you think about it.