Chiharu Shiota, Inside/Outside, 2008. 300 windows and chair, detail of installation at Goff+Rosenthal, Berlin.

Berlin: Sculpture in a Resurrected City

As glossy travel stories and trend-spotters have amply reported, Berlin is the current cool city, alert with youthful vim and optimism and self-defined as “poor but sexy.” Like Paris in the 1950s, New York in the 1980s, London in the 1990s, and Brooklyn last week, Berlin is arguably today’s key creative city. But unlike previous hipster hubs, Berlin disdains the cocky, cynical swagger that defined Cool Britannia or post-grunge Williamsburg. Berlin’s cool “kids” might be in their 20s or 40s, but across the city and especially throughout the art scene, there is a compelling sense of maturity, as Berlin’s home-grown and ex-pat artists create an aesthetic conscientiously concerned about the future, yet deeply rooted in a thoughtful relationship with the city’s recent past.