Exploring Frame, Art Basel’s newest satellite fair

Art Basel is the behemoth of the art world, with 290 galleries exhibiting 4,000 artists. Can satellite fairs benefit from the influx of collectors, channelling a different value proposition? Of the seven 2018 satellite events, some specialize in a topic (books, photography) and other seek to offer a whole new experience for collectors: such is the ambition of newcomer Frame. Defined as a collective art space, the fair relies on the collaboration of thirteen international galleries, pooling resources and expertise to offer an event catering to their business needs – and for the benefit of curious collectors. “We are currently witnessing the end of an era” advocates Bertrand Scholler, French gallerist and co-founder of Frame. “Big fairs spend most of their resources selling ever more expensive space to galleries instead of focusing on content and quality. At the same time, fairs are like drugs to galleries: they need them, even though they are destroying them. Satellite fairs are barely scrapping by, and often inconsistent.” Frame is looking to reverse the trend, one city at a time. Instead of addressing all sectors, it focuses on young galleries showing emerging artists. Frame is hardly alone in this segment however, as at least three satellite salons (Liste, Volta and Scope) make similar claims. Frame bets on several strategic choices to stand out. The 800 m2 of the fair are located in Basel Art Center, where all exhibitors will occupy similar booths, giving collectors breathing space. This “less is more” philosophy is translated in the VIP events program and solo shows offered by the organizers. Will this complementary experience attract visitors and locals? This first edition will...

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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 Brussels, the dashing fifty-year-old

Art Brussels is holding its 50th edition from 19 to 22 April! Set up in 1968, this most contemporary of Belgian fairs is celebrating half a century of success at the heart of Brussels. 30,000 visitors are expected to pass through the warehouses of Tour & Taxis to discover the 147 selected galleries. We’re almost inclined to forget it – and yet: Art Brussels is one of Europe’s oldest art fairs. The event, created in 1968, was born two years before Art Basel (1970) and long before the FIAC (1974) or London’s Frieze (2003). In 2018, Art Brussels is celebrating 50 years of success, and over a few days in April, it will become Europe’s artistic capital. It was in 1968 that a few dealers belonging to the Association des Galeries d’Art Actuel de Belgique teamed up to launch the first edition of “Art Actuel”. In the interests of renewing the artistic offer extended to the public, they invited overseas peers to come and show work in the Belgian capital. Quickly, the fair’s reputation spread and grew from year to year, until it became a key rendezvous for the art market. A decidedly modern initiative for the era, the event launched a new approach to fairs in Belgium. Half a century later, in 2018, the event preserves the pioneering spirit that has characterised it since its debut. A number of evolutions have punctuated its path: Art Actuel would become Art Brussels, and over the years, the fair has moved to different sites. There was the Casino in Knokke, the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, or more recently, the Heysel… Since 2016, Art Brussels has spread out its booths in the warehouses of Tour & Taxis, one of the most striking examples of the city’s industrial heritage. This year, the...

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PhotoMonaco: “Experiencing photographic moments”

A brand new spot with a French Riviera flourish is springing up for spring, and will shortly be bringing its buzz to Monaco… From 5 to 8 April, PhotoMonaco, an international fair on artistic photography and collection, will be launching its first edition in the Principality. An interview with Renaud Siegmann, the event’s director.   He’s known for his commitment to images, and appreciated for his inspired take on contemporary creation for nearly 30 years now. After curating the Marrakech Art Fair in 2010 and 2011, and steering the Monaco Art Fair as its executive director in 2016, Renaud Siegmann is taking on the 8th art… The aim being to revisit the photographic medium in depth. As an active commentator on emerging scenes in places ranging from China to Brazil via Bahrain and Russia, this rigorous curator, formerly a cultural engineer for the Scottish Executive in Edinburgh, is delighted to be launching a new platform: an international fair on artistic photography and collection in Monaco. An event soaked in typically “Grimaldi” elegance, placed under the high patronage of Prince Albert II of Monaco. Its aim? To enlighten gazes, to play with light… In short, to trigger original encounters with images that will captivate the public. For this first edition, Renaud Siegmann is backing the notion of “experiencing photographic moments”. Intimate moments, characterised by fleeting beauty and literary nostalgia, that will make your pupils dilate… The theme is “Le Temps du Regard” (The Time of Vision), soon coming to Monaco!   In a cultural landscape filled with fairs and biennales where photography is already well represented, what’s special about PhotoMonaco? PhotoMonaco is special because it offers experience of the photographic moment. This is not yet another fair focusing solely on the commercial aspect. The cultural aspect is dear to me,...

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Christo, the intimate and the monumental

Whilst the urban projects of Christo and Jeanne-Claude are on display at the ING Art Center in Brussels, BRAFA is displaying a piece from the mid-1960s, Three Store Fronts. We look back on the history of this installation and look forward to the birth of the Mastaba project coming soon to Abu Dhabi which will become the largest sculpture in the world.   Born in 1935 in Bulgaria, Christo Vladimiroff Javacheff, known as Christo, worked with his wife and collaborator Jeanne-Claude Guillebon Denat, from the end of the 1950s until her death in 2009. Together, they have created many large-scale, on-site installations such as the packaging of the Pont-Neuf in Paris and the Reichstag in Berlin, or more recently the installation of over 7,000 panels of saffron-coloured cloth in Central Park, New York and a floating bridge on Italy’s Lake Iseo. Supporting themselves financially through the sale of preparatory drawings, over the years their achievements led to obtaining permission to execute projects in various cities or regions, with an engineering team making them possible. Within a few years, Abu Dhabi is expected to host the largest sculpture ever orchestrated in the world. In the meantime, this year, BRAFA exhibits a historic piece from Christo, never seen before in Belgium.   At BRAFA you are exhibiting a piece of your work from the 1960s called Three Store Fronts from the series Show Windows and Show Cases. Why did you choose this piece for the fair? To look at its broader historical context, it’s a piece of work from the work I did in Paris. From 1962, I worked on the Show Windows and Show Cases series, which were display cases or old medicine cabinets- and then designed Three Store Fronts for my first personal exhibition, which took place in 1966...

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