“fair”

In Rotterdam, Haute Photographie revamps the fair concept

Putting on a museum-quality collective show, Haute Photographie, held in Rotterdam from 8 to 12 February, is renewing the concept of image-related commercial events. A lowdown on the first edition… Haute Photographie is a new fair concept tested out by Dutch gallerist Roy Kahmann during Art Rotterdam Week, from 8 to 12 February. After a pilot initiative last year, Haute Photographie has just welcomed crowds of visitors to its first edition, held over five days. Organisers filled a 1,250 m2 space adjacent to Rotterdam’s FotoMuseum. Some 250 works by around fifty artists were presented by five galleries. This new type of fair was designed to offer a more intimate and convivial version of the big yearly events that punctuate the photography market, of which Paris Photo has become emblematic. “I hate the current system of fairs organised by stands that are limited in size and in which the visitor’s attention gets lost,” explains the Haute Photographie founder. “I wanted image presentation to be closer to that in a museum while offering the possibility of buying works. Here, visitors can discover pieces in a relaxed atmosphere before going off for a meal in the starred restaurant or looking around the bookshop.” Instead of the customary stands, organisers have taken the collective-hanging approach, with each artist being accorded wide picture rails. These were presented in a highly organised space that facilitated circulation and offered armchairs and benches. Particular attention was paid to lighting. Young and vintage talent At the fair’s entrance, visitors were ushered in by a selection of three large prints by Antoine d’Agata, hanging opposite three images of Rotterdam’s parks by Jeroen Hofman.  Polaroid nude shots by Carla van de Puttelaar were on offer at €1,450 while black-and-white portraits of young sailors by Belgian Stephan Vanfleteren were priced at €2,950....

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Zona Maco 2017

“Latin America’s most important contemporary art fair…” At Zona Maco, sales are slowing down but Mexico City’s art scene is thriving. Throughout this week, Zona Maco’s website was unavailable to use half of the time with a message appearing across the screen announcing “Resource Limit Is Reached”. One wondered if the message was an unintentional commentary on the fair’s performance, as much as that on the dysfunctional website. Though the energy fluctuated across the opening days (8-12 February) as well as across the sections, Zona Maco often appeared slightly out of breath, lacking the thrill excitement that typically accompanies the global art world’s most successful “trade shows”. Hopping from one international fair to another with a baggage of art celebrities’ latest multimillion creations is no doubt an exhausting business, which might explain the weariness at some of the booths, particularly those of the top galleries from New York, Paris and London, whose abundance in the exhibitors’ list makes Zona Maco the most international art event in the region. Zona Maco 2017, presenting 120 galleries and 1500 artists, was unequivocally described as the most international edition so far, both when it comes to the geographical spread of participating galleries, and that of collectors in attendance. The sales however were uneven. With many dealers confirming the fair’s sluggishness when speaking in private, and asserting fantastic sales when approached in writing, one can only assume the truth must be somewhere in the middle.  Los Angeles’s Steve Turner confirmed all works from their stand, part of a curated section Zona Maco Sur, were snapped up within the first four hours after the opening. The gallery was showcasing paintings and a video by Yung Jake, a multidisciplinary artist “born on Internet in 2011”, fusing hip-hop, technology, and contemporary art.  Curiously, all the works went...

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Fons Hof: “Art Rotterdam, a very active little fair”

Destination the Netherlands for the 18th edition of Art Rotterdam, from 9 to 12 February. An international vision, a European perspective… A meeting with Fons Hof, the fair’s director. Dedicated to the emerging scene and young contemporary-art talents, Art Rotterdam is welcoming around one hundred Dutch and European galleries. The fair is being held at the Van Nelle factory, a huge modernist-style industrial building, built between 1925 and 1931, today on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The director of Art Rotterdam, Fons Hof, tells Art Media Agency about the specificities of the fair and what’s new for the 2017 edition. Can you give us the lowdown on Art Rotterdam? For this 18th edition, we are expecting around one hundred galleries spread between the main section and the New Art section. Art Rotterdam defends the new and emerging contemporary-art scene. While remaining on the European scale, its outlook is international. The selection committee chooses galleries on the basis of their programming and their international approach. These are mainly established in the Netherlands, with foreign participants making up 40 % of the main section, and 20 % of the New Art section. Selection for the New Art section, reserved to galleries which have existed for under seven years, is in the hands of Natasha Hoare, a curator at the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam. In the workshops of the Van Nelle factory, the Intersection section is welcoming, for the third year, installations and performances by artists or non-commercial structures. For the fifth year, the Mondrian Fund will be presenting the “Prospects & Concepts” exhibition, featuring the work of 66 young artists who received grants from the fund in 2015. The curator is Stijn Huijts, director of the Bonnefanten Museum in Maastricht. Finally, the selection for the video...

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The search for the Belgian collector

They’re said to be demanding, eclectic, international… and above all, very numerous. Who are the Belgian collectors? A foretaste and a scan before meeting them face to face in the alleys of the BRAFA. As a small bilingual country at the heart of Europe, Belgium is often presented as “the country with the highest number of collectors per square metre”. In the absence of any global study on the matter, it’s impossible to confirm this, but what is certain is that Belgium is well and truly a “land of collectors,” declares Axel Gryspeerdt, president of Collectiana, a foundation aimed at studying and developing art and culture collections. But things get trickier when it’s a matter of defining “the” Belgian collector. “There’s no typical profile for the Belgian collector, and if ever Belgians present specific features, they result from a blend of factors such as internationalisation, networking, the multitude of exhibitions being held,” adds Axel Gryspeerdt. No identikit emerges, therefore, but we can single out the characteristics of these key players in the art world. Collectors that weren’t born yesterday “The collecting tradition dates back to Flanders in the 15th century when many orders of portraits and triptychs were placed,” comments Tanguy Eeckhout, curator at the Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens in Laethem-Saint-Martin. “The 16th and 17th centuries carried on this enthusiasm with the creation of curiosity cabinets, before a slowdown in the economy – and collections – until the end of the 19th century. Following World War II, there emerged a new generation of collectors who turned towards American art and conceptual art,” he adds. When the Sixties and Seventies shook things up, collectors showed support for Daniel Buren, Marcel Broodthaers, Niele Toroni and many others, years before these artists gained institutional recognition. This no doubt sparked the reputation of boldness among...

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Julio Le Parc, a tireless creator

The Brussels fair is paying homage to a founding member of the Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel (GRAV) by welcoming four of Julio Le Parc’s monumental works. An opportunity to look over the career of this indomitable artist.   Julio Le Parc had to wait a long time before institutions began to recognise him in the way that he deserves. Today, the Argentinian artist is finally being given his dues, now acknowledged as “a living legend” in the art world, as the Galerie Perrotin hastens to describe him. Having decided to represent him since November 2016, this gallery has kicked off its collaboration with the artist with a solo exhibition in its space in New York – a city where Julio Le Parc has not been shown since 1973. “It was time to rectify this error,” notes the Parisian gallery. Offering an interesting bridge towards the retrospective prepared by Pérez Art Museum in Miami (visible until 19 March 2017), the Perrotin exhibition presented both recent works and iconic pieces, already seen in major monographic shows such as the one at the Palais de Tokyo in 2013. It was the latter event that truly marked Julio Le Parc’s return to favour. The institution, having undergone a makeover, reopened with this retrospective organised by Jean de Loisy: 2,000 m2 devoted to the artist and gathering historic works including Continuel Mobile from 1963, today visible at BRAFA. Drawing 180,000 visitors, the Palais de Tokyo show met with success amongst critics and the general public alike. It followed up “Le Parc Lumière”, organised by the Daros Latinamerica Collection in Zurich in 2005, and the Centre Pompidou Metz exhibition in 2011-2012 titled “Erre”, a collective show which devoted an entire room to Julio Le Parc’s works… after 20 years in purgatory. Julio Le Parc...

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