Galerie Blain|Southern was based in London, New York and Berlin until the beginning of 2020. We reported on the closure at DEEDS.WORLD. The Berlin branch was located in the former Tagesspiegel print house in the Mercator Höfe on Potsdamer Straße in Berlin-Tiergarten.
Blain|Southern was an established name in the line-up of Berlin’s galleries, impressing not only by the dimensions of its gallery spaces, with an area of 1,300 square meters in the 18-meter high, light-flooded rooms of the former Tagesspiegel printing house on Potsdamer Strasse. But also by the biographies of Graham Southern and Harry Blain, the gallery’s namesakes and founders. Blain founded his first gallery, Blains Fine Art, in 1992 at the age of only 25. Southern had made a name for himself in 1994 at the age of thirty-four as founding director of London’s Christie’s Post-War & Contemporary Art Department. In 2002, Blain and Southern opened the London gallery for contemporary art “Haunch of Venison”, named after their original location, the Haunch of Vanison Yard, which they sold to Christie’s auction house in 2007. Blain is also the founder of “Sedition”, a platform for the sale of digital art, representing Damien Hirst, Yoko Ono and Wim Wenders, among others. According to a survey by the Evening Standard, Harry Blain and Graham Southern were among the most influential people in London in 2010.
In October 2010 the two started their own gallery Blain | Southern in London. And already in May 2011, the doors in Berlin opened in the premises of the former Tagesspiegel printing house, which was developed with architect David Adjaye, with its modern, industrial character shaped by its relatively recent history. While the renovation work was still in progress, the gallery showed “Turning the Seventh Corner”, an extraordinary exhibition of the British artists Tim Noble and Sue Webster. This was followed by solo exhibitions of Jonas Burgert, Lawrence Weiner, Jannis Kounellis, Wim Wenders, Chiharu Shiota and Nasan Tur, among others.
The union of the two and the many years of experience in the international art market have enabled the gallery to carry out a strongly international exhibition program with many solo and group exhibitions of renowned contemporary artists and has meanwhile represented over 30 artists. Due to the characteristics of the Berlin premises, artists were able to realize exhibitions that were both site-specific and unique in terms of their size. Chiharu Shiota 2016, for example, showed Uncertain Journey, a space-consuming installation of interwoven red threads, which was well received not only by the professional audience. During the Gallery Weekend 2017, Galerie ZEITLAICH, an exhibition by Jonas Burgert, presented his largest work to date: a 22-meter long and 6-meter high painting that took up almost the entire gallery. In his exhibition Funktionieren, Nasan Tur transformed the gallery 2016 into a printing workshop, in keeping with the former use of the place.
Another of the gallery’s activities has been to support its artists in loans to public institutions and museums such as the Tate Gallery, the DIA Foundation, the Guggenheim Museum and Palazzo Strozzi, as well as scientific publications in the context of exhibitions and other projects, and major projects such as Bill Viola’s Martyrs at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. For these projects, the artist has created a two-part video installation that will remain in the cathedral on permanent loan.
Blain|Southern represented his artists at major international fairs such as Art Cologne, The Armory Show, Frieze Masters and Zona Maco, and was in 2020 announced for this year’s Armory Show in New York and Art Cologne.
ART@Berlin: Art Gallery in Berlin Blain|Southern