“Art Cologne”

Art Cologne, promoting the art market’s avantgarde

From 19 to 22 April, the 52nd edition of Art Cologne will be on. This year, the doyen of Germany’s fairs is presenting 200 galleries from 31 countries, divided into four major sections. Around 50,000 visitors are awaited at this great rendezvous in modern and contemporary art.   Set up in 1967 by gallerists Hein Stünke and Rudolf Zwirner, Art Cologne is now one of Europe’s oldest art fairs. For over half a century, the event has been supporting the renown of players on the international market. All along, one watchword has remained its driving force: revealing, discovering and buying art. And steered by Daniel Hug since 2008, Art Cologne looks like it’s on its way up again these days. Following a brief low patch in the 2000s, the organisers, in the last few editions, have reverted to a policy that makes sense. By favouring quality over quantity, they have chosen a strategy that seems to be bearing fruit. The number of exhibitors has been cut from 300 to 200. The fair’s layout has also been revamped, and now occupies a smaller space. By offering a new vision, Daniel Hug has succeeded in bringing prestige back to an event that had lost some of its shine – a case of less is more, one might say. This 52nd edition of Art Cologne only confirms the merits of the chosen direction, both for professionals and the public. Just one small setback: its slot in the yearly calendar. In 2017, the organisers scheduled the fair at the same time as the Gallery Weekend in Berlin. A decision that caused a turmoil right up to the banks of the Spree. This year, Daniel Hug decided to go back to the fair’s traditional dates in order to allow collectors to attend both events....

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Art Cologne refuses to respect German law

The organisers of Art Cologne and Cologne Fine Art denounce the amendment to the bill on German cultural protection aiming to regulate the export of national works and to facilitate the repatriation of illicitly acquired foreign cultural objects. Indeed, the bill’s effect would be catastrophic for the German art market, according to Gerald Böse, CEO of Koelnmesse. The problem comes from the proposal to ban the export of works classified as “national heritage”, which would deeply jeopardise the German art market. This dissatisfaction seems to be shared by the whole of the art sector, from artists to galleries, via museums and collectors. In its current state, the law provides that all works over 70 years old and worth more than €300,000 are to be examined by the ministry before being exported to another European country. Koelnmesse, currently preparing the 50th edition of Art Cologne in April, diplomatically declares that it “welcomes the intention to prevent the illegal trade in cultural property” but warns the culture minister Monika Grütters to “carefully examine the bill and its implications for German art fairs and the cultural destination of...

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Hans Mayer wins 2015 Art Cologne prize

It has been announced that Dusseldorf-based art dealer Hans Mayer has been awarded the 2015 Art Cologne prize, which honours “exceptional performance in the communication of art”. The prize is awarded annually by the German association of galleries and art dealers (BVDG) and the Koelnmesse convention centre in Cologne, Germany, with past recipients including such notable figures in the art world as: Harald Szeemann (1989), Annely Juda (1993), Rudolf Springer (1995), Ingvild Goetz (2001), Nicholas Serota (2004), Rudolf Zwirner (2006), Harald Falckenberg (2009), family Grässlin (2010), Michael Werner (2011), Fred Jahn (2013), and Rosemarie Schwarzwälder (2014). Mayer, who is celebrating his gallery’s 50-year anniversary, is known for showing minimal, Zero, kinetic, and new-media artists such as: Heinz Mack, Günter Uecker, Victor Vasarely, Tony Oursler, and Nam June Paik. In addition to his work as a gallerist, Mayer was also involved with founding Kunstmarkt Köln, one of the earliest art fairs and the predecessor of the Art Cologne...

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Participating galleries at Art Cologne announced

The 49th edition of Art Cologne is to take place from 16 to 19 April 2015. The fair, which includes Modern, post-war and contemporary art, has announced the names of around 200 galleries which are to take part in this edition. Alongside halls showing art from the Modern to the contemporary periods, Art Cologne will also feature the New Contemporaries section, which showcases galleries less than ten years old, and Collaborations, organised in conjunction with the New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) and featuring collaborative projects. Exhibitors from 23 countries will be presenting, including: Marlborough Contemporary (London/New York/Madrid), David Zwirner (New York/London), Anhava (Helsinki), EIGEN + ART(Berlin/Leipzig), Akira Ikeda (Berlin/Tokyo), Johannes Faber (Vienna), Heinz Holtmann (Cologne), Moderne (Silkeborg, Denmark), Tonelli (Milan), Hezi Cohen (Tel Aviv), Greene Exhibitions (Los Angeles), tegenboschvanvreden (Amsterdam), ACB (Budapest), + V1 (Copenhagen), Eleni Koroneou (Athens) and CLAGES...

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Mixed results at the close of Art Cologne

Cologne, 24 April 2014, Art Media Agency (AMA). The 48th edition of Art Cologne fair closed on Sunday 13 April, after five days of very mixed success: a strong attendance at the event’s initial vernissage was followed by a dive in visitors on Thursday and Friday — followed by a more dynamic weekend. Almost 55,000 visitors entered Koelnmesse’s Hall 1, where a number of stands were international in standard. Amongst them, and returning from Cologne 2013, were David Zwirner, Thaddaeus Ropac, Hauser & Wirth, Karsten Greve, Michael Werner and — new for this year — Victoria Miro.  Commenting on the event, Marcus Roth of Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac stated: “Art Cologne has improved over three years, and is once again attracting major German collectors. The number of the collectors at these stands has also become significantly higher”. Present amongst the fair’s collectors were Americans Don and Mera Rubell, along with Nancy and Bob Mollers, Susan and Michael Hort, Fernando Lopez and Marshall Coburn, and Belgians Mimi Dusselier and Bernard Soens. Despite the presence of foreign galleries, however, the event remained less international than FIAC or Art Basel, with 60% of galleries present being German or Austrian (133 out of a total 225). New York’s Carolina Nitsch Galerie commented: “Art Cologne has the chance to establish itself as one of Europe’s premier fairs: there’s a good selection of high-quality works.” A significant emphasis had been placed on the US, with 16 galleries present — in comparison to 8 from Paris, 7 from Belgium, 8 from London, and 9 from the Netherlands. No doubt contributing to this figure is the fact that Daniel Hug, Director of the fair since 2008, spent a number of years as a gallerist in Los Angeles, and has regularly collaborated with NADA (the New Art Dealers Alliance). This year, a partnership with...

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