Public art aplenty in the Potsdamer Platz

Henry Moore sculpture with Mies van der Rohe gallery in background, Berlin

Whatever you may feel about the merits - or otherwise - of Berlin's Potsdamer Platz, the famously recreated city quarter certainly provides a showcase for some of the biggest names in contemporary architecture.

Less evident, however, is the fact that it's also home to a surprising quantity of free-to-view contemporary art - although you'll have to make some effort to find it.

Mark di Suvero sculpture, Daimler Collection, Berlin
Keith Haring sculpture, Berlin

Much is provided courtesy of the Daimler Art Collection, which has positioned several sculptural works in the environs of Potsdamer Platz itself.

Tracking them down makes for an intriguing art-hunting exercise, but highlights to discover include a signature work by street-art pioneer Keith Haring, a semi-concealed, neon extravaganza by Nam June Paik and an imposing sculpture by Mark di Suvero (which also happens to overlook a secluded poolside cafe).

While on the Daimler art trail, it's also worth checking out the nearby Richard Serra sculpture 'Berlin Junction' which, although not part of the automobile giant's collection, certainly provides it with illustrious company.

Richard Serra, Berlin Junction sculpture
Sculpture Garden, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin

You'll find yet another work by Serra (in addition to pieces by other famous names such as Eduardo Chillida, Henry Moore and Alexander Calder) in the sculpture court surrounding the Neue Nationalgalerie.

The building itself - designed by Mies van der Rohe - is a magnet for architecture aficionados, and although you'll need to pay for any its exhibitions, the public terrace is free to visit. 

It's a stunning, surprisingly tranquil space, and from one end you can also gaze down into the gallery's hidden sculpture garden, containing yet more works by various modern masters.

And finally, for those times when outdoor viewing just doesn't seem appealing, further works from the Daimler Collection are exhibited, free of charge, in the historic Haus Huth (which, as the only surviving pre-war building on Potsdamer Platz, is something of an attraction in itself).

Haus Huth, Berlin home to the Daimler Collection of contemporary art

See also:
Contemporary art treasures in the Reichstag
Antony Gormley's hidden installation
A phoenix in Berlin
An urban art 'diary'


Further facts

A work now absent from the Daimler Collection's public art offering (although still visible on Google maps in its former position on Marlene-Dietrich-Platz, below) is the Balloon Flower (Blue) by master of contemporary kitsch, Jeff Koons.

On view for a decade, the outdoor display of this signature work became something of a liability as Koons' prices began to soar. Removed and restored, the Balloon Flower was sold at auction in 2010 for a staggering $16,882,500.

Jeff Koons, Balloon Flower (Blue), in its former position in Berlin's Postdamer Platz

Potsdamer Platz art: list and location of works
Daimler Contemporary exhibition space: Haus Huth, Alte Potsdamer Straße 5, 10785 Berlin
Serra sculpture 'Berlin Junction': Herbert-von-Karajan-Straße, 10785 Berlin (outside Philharmonie)
Neue Nationalgalerie: Potsdamerstraße 50, Berlin 10785

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