Galerie Barbara Weiss was founded in 1992 by Barbara Weiss with a location in a historic building on Potsdamer Straße in Berlin. Establishing itself with an intellectually rigorous and international program, the gallery’s first years of operation included solo exhibitions by Larry Clark, Maria Eichhorn, Ilya Kabakov, Christine & Irene Hohenbüchler, Heike Baranowsky, Christa Näher, John Miller, Janet Cardiff, Niele Toroni and Raoul De Keyser.

Barbara Weiss came to Berlin in the early 1980s, studying philosophy and art history at Freie Universität Berlin. In the late 1980s she joined gallerist Michael J. Wewerka, co-operating Wewerka Weiss until she set out on her own. As the German art world relocated from Cologne to Berlin after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Galerie Barbara Weiss served as a predecessor with a distinct vision – exhibiting critical, conceptual, forward thinking or unduly overlooked artistic positions, many with a strongly feminist perspective.

About Barbara Weiss

In 2001 the gallery moved to a new location on Zimerstraße near Checkpoint Charlie. In the following years, the gallery program continued to expand with Ayşe Erkmen, Friederike Feldman, Laura Horelli, and Andreas Siekmann, while also incorporating artists from an earlier generation such as Thomas Bayrle and Roman Signer. During these years, the gallery’s artists increasingly took part in international exhibitions, including Documenta, the Venice Biennale, Skulptur Projekte Münster, and institutional survey exhibitions. 

The 2000s also marked the first gallery exhibitions by Monika Baer, Nicole Eisenman, Rebecca Morris, and Mary Heilmann – marking a new development towards feminist informed painting, which used painterly approaches as a tool to interrogate the medium itself and to actively challenge the status quo in conversations around art. This continues to be a focal point of the gallery's program. In these years, Mai-Thu Perret, Jonathan Horowitz, Suse Weber, Berta Fischer, and the pioneering filmmaker Harun Farocki all mounted their first exhibitions with Barbara Weiss.

Galerie Barbara Weiss moved to its current location on Kohlfurter Strasse in Berlin-Kreuzberg in 2011. In 2014, Bärbel Trautwein and Daniel Herleth became directors of the gallery and undertook joint curatorial endeavors with Barbara Weiss, including exhibitions with the ecological artist Peter Fend and painter Amelie von Wulffen. When Barbara Weiss passed away in 2016, Bärbel Trautwein and Daniel Herleth continued the gallery’s work, maintaining a continuity of programming that emerged from their collaboration with Barbara Weiss. Under their directorship, a new generation of artists joined the gallery, including Frieda Toranzo Jaeger, Olga Balema, Cay Bahnmiller, Jannis Marwitz, Sung Tieu, Beaux Mendes, and Puppies Puppies (Jade Guanaro Kuriki-Olivo).

In 2024 Galerie Barbara Weiss was renamed Trautwein Herleth. The gallery continues to operate from its location on Kohlfurter Straße in Berlin-Kreuzberg.

Barbara Weiss has been remembered by those that knew her as exacting and uncompromising in her desire to present artistic positions that made a meaningful contribution to art as well as society. She engaged with her artists in a deeply personal and poetic level. As a woman art dealer in an industry predominately presided over by men, she was a stedfast champion of the presence of women in the arts.

Foto: Holger Talinski