Current Issue #488

Berlin Calling

Berlin Calling

In 2014, when Greenaway Art Gallery changed its name to GAGPROJECTS and moved the entrance of the gallery down the side lane of the building, it might have been seen as downscaling but that is definitely not the case.

In fact Paul Greenaway is just about to launch his latest project, Phasmid Studios, in Berlin, which will be his legacy to the art world. “It is important to change with the times,” Greenaway says.

“We will still use Greenaway Art Gallery and its history as a proud background, but continue to bring in change if needed. It keeps me young.”

While New York and London are often seen as the centres of contemporary art, Berlin has been giving the major cities a run for their money over the last 10 to 15 years. Greenaway started his association with the city in 2008 when he opened a small exhibiting space in the Mitte district of Berlin.

He says: “My trips back and forth to Germany made me realise just how many people have already benefited from periods spent in Berlin and I thought maybe Phasmid could offer a slightly different option to the existing spaces.” Phasmid Studios vary in size offering a large working area as well as a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen.

The building is situated in the old East German part of Berlin and sits on 3000 square metres of land. As well as offering international artists three-or six-month residencies, there will be opportunities for the artists to connect with individuals in their particular discipline. “I totally believe artists need to be aware of other places and practices,” he says.

“They need to see some great shows first-hand and Berlin is central to most European cities. Artists from nearly every country on the planet are working here at any one time. That kind of melting pot of backgrounds and ideas can only be good for our local artists to experience.”

While Greenaway is focusing on developing Phasmid Studios, it doesn’t mean attention has swayed from his Kent Town gallery. “Our program at GAGPROJECTS in Adelaide will remain as vibrant as I believe we have always been,” he says. 2016 will see exhibitions by Patricia Piccinini, Peter Hennessey, David Griggs, Juz Kitson and Mathew Bradley to name a few.

Greenaway is showing no signs of slowing down and will continue to exhibit local and interstate artists at art fairs around the world while also developing their profile locally. “My small staff and I, and the many artists I show, are all excited about the future.

We will take artists to art fairs around the world starting in April with the Dubai Art Fair and finishing the year with the Melbourne Art Fair,” says Greenaway.

“We will continue to contribute to the local and national scene and hopefully go on for a while longer.”

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