COLOGNE.- "With the 52nd edition of ART COLOGNE, we have shown that we are the most important art fair in Germany", summarises Daniel Hug, Director of ART COLOGNE. In fact, ART COLOGNE has once again confirmed its top position as the leading German art fair, leading with an art offering at the highest level of sophistication, both in terms of quality and price. The 55,000 visitors have been inspired in every respect. "This year we have attached even more importance to the quality of our offering and to a balanced mixture of German and international, as well as of established and young galleries. In contrast with previous years, we have now been fortunate to welcome an even larger number of international collectors in Cologne. This is of course very good news", Hug continues. The high degree of internationality is also reflected in the 210 galleries from 33 countries selected by the advisory council, which were all highly praised by the public.
"A wonderful energy prevailed at the opening, and we are highly satisfied with the sales", explained Veronique Ansorge from the David Zwirner gallery (New York, London, Hong Kong). "The trade fair looks very good, the plaza makes it very spacious", according to Ansorge. "We feel good here, which is why we're here for the second time", said Jona Lueddeckens from the Gagosian Gallery(New York, London, Paris, Rome, Beverly Hills, Hong Kong), which presented a large sculpture exhibition, and, among others, found a buyer for Urs Fischer's sculpture "Marsupiale". The Hauser & Wirth gallery (Zurich, London, New York, Los Angeles) also had good sales. "ART COLOGNE is a tasteful trade fair that is fun for everyone", according to gallery director Florian Berktold. The Galerie Sprüth Magers (Berlin, London, Los Angeles) has entered into discussions with institutions and museums involving the large fresh-from-the-studio painting of Thomas Scheibitz. "The opening was very international", shared Andreas Schleicher-Lang, gallery director in Berlin.
"Cologne is the place to be", finds the New York gallery owner Carolina Nitsch, who sold works by Gerhard Richter and Bruce Nauman, "the opening was fantastic, we had collectors from New York and from Belgium at the stand and had some very serious discussions". Especially German collectors made purchases at the stand of the Pearl Lam gallery (Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore). For the Kamel Mennour gallery (Paris, London), its first appearance at ART COLOGNE was a good opportunity to establish contacts with new collectors, as Antoine de la Beraudière reported. The impression of the trade fair is very good, and sales were also satisfactory. The Lisson Gallery (London) sold a work by Lee Ufan. "We were able to establish good contacts here and are highly satisfied", shared Julia Baumhoff Zaouk from the White Cube gallery (London, Hong Kong), which was very successful with works from Georg Baselitz, Antony Gormley, Tracey Emin and Christian Marclay. There was praise from all sides for the generous layout planning around the spacious plaza.
The Galerie Daniel Buchholz (Cologne, Berlin, New York), which also received enquiries from collectors and curators for long term projects was in a positive mood. "Everything looks great, we got a lot of positive feedback from the collectors ", reported Dorothee Sorge from the Galerie Gisela Capitain (Cologne), which was able to welcome museum people from the Netherlands, France and Asia at their stand. At the Berlin-based Galerie Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, works from all of the artists were in demand. "We made a lot of sales to good people", according to Amadeo Tuskany-Zeidler. The mixed media sculptures of Anna Uddenberg will go to a private collection. "ART COLOGNE is better than it has been in years", reported Erika Schlessinger-Költzsch from the Galerie Haas of Berlin, which sold works by A. R. Penck, Martha Jungwirth and Jonathan Watridge to collectors.
Heinz Holtmann (Cologne) was pleased at the great interest in the abstract paintings of Alicia Viebrock, of which he sold several. "The crush on the opening day was so great that we, despite deploying additional staff, were unable to look after the people at our stand like we are used to", reported Klaus Benden (Cologne). "ART COLOGNE is wonderfully positioned and very well attended. As far as I'm concerned, the trade fair could go on for another week yet", the specialist for American Pop Art, who sold a canvas from Tom Wesselmann for a six-figure amount, claimed enthusiastically Also considerable was the enthusiasm at the Galerie Utermann (Dortmund). "Everyone came with a good mood and a readiness to buy; we had important collectors at the stand", said Lukas Minssen.
At the Galerie Thomas (Munich), for example, the sponsored cubicle with reliefs from Martin Spengler was already sold out on the evening of the opening. The Galerie Valentien (Stuttgart) was successful with graphic works from Max Ernst in the price range up to 4,000 Euro. "We sensed a great deal of enthusiasm, because even collectors with a smaller budget found something with us", according to the Stuttgart gallery owner. A museum was interested in the "Largo" painting of the German-American artist Hilla von Rebay. Also extraordinarily content was the Galerie Schlichtenmaier (Stuttgart), which was already able to sell numerous works at the opening, including a sculpture from Winfried Gaul, which was purchased by an American collector. "The trade fair is eminently well done and of exceptional quality", was the judgment of Johann Döbele of the Galerie Döbele (Mannheim, Dresden), which sold works of the photographer Robert Häusser to new customers, also from abroad.
A mood of satisfaction also prevailed at the pavilion of the Galerie Dierking Galerie am Paradeplatz (Zurich) and Thomas Salis (Salzburg): "In the case of our contemporary artists, including Otto Boll and the first presentation of works of the Swede Per Kesselmar, we were able to place 9 works in important collections in the Rhineland and Berlin. In the classic program we had several sales in the lower six-figure range, and thus another successful ART COLOGNE", says Dierk Dierking. "We had very good discussions", according to Ute Eggeling from the Galerie Beck & Eggeling (Düsseldorf). "People were enthusuastic about the juxtaposition of works of Alfred Hrdlicka and Joannis Avramidis, Michael Kaufmann from the Galerie Ernst Hilger (Vienna) was pleased to announce, "we are highly satisfied with the response we met with in Cologne". Alexandra Henze-Triebold had intensive conversations at the stand of the Galerie Henze & Ketterer (Wichtrach/Bern), which usually makes the big sales after the trade fair. Interest was directed not only at established positions, but also at works from young artists.
Curators and representatives of institutions also strolled through the "NEUMARKT" section, where young galleries presented themselves. Successful right off the bat was Johannes Sperling (Munich), who contested his trade fair debut with a solo show of the painter and ceramic artist Veronika Hilger. His stand was already nearly sold out at half time of the trade fair; customers included the Sammlung zeitgenössischer Kunst der Bundesrepiblik Deutschland (Collection of contemporary art of the Federal Republic of Germany) and the Kunsthalle Bielefeld. "I had many qualified people at the stand, but never thought that the spark would catch", the young Munich gallery owner was pleased to announce. "I love the Cologne trade fair", raved Heike Tosun from the Galerie Soy Capitain (Berlin), which received an excellent reception for the three artists at its stand. It was successful with paintings from Grace Weaver, which were alreay sold half way through the trade fair.
The Galerie Ruttkowski;68 (Cologne) had already sold the installation of its artist Philipp Emde with Steiff animals to New York at the opening, as well as three small works from Emde. "We had many curators and museum people at the stand; Philipp Emde has now arrived for a broad public", Benedikt Neugebauer was pleased to report. The same applies for the Galerie Clement (Bonn), which received a great deal of attention for the installation of Max Frisinger and sold individual objects. Marietta Clages of the Galerie Clages (Cologne), which was able to acquire new customers and achieve sales successes with Claus Richter and Christian Theis, revelled in superlatives. "I had a great start at ART COLOGNE", reported Petra Martinetz of the Galerie Martinetz (Cologne), which already sold embroideries from Mary Audrey Ramirez at prices between 1,000 and 4,000 in the first few hours.
Reports of success also came from the COLLABORATIONS section. The BolteLang
(Zurich) and Sommer Contemporary Art (Tel Aviv) galleries were both highly satisfied, having sold paintings by Benjamin Senior. "We met new collectors and curators", according to Caroline Lommaert from the Galerie BolteLang. The cooperation of the galleries Guido W. Baudach (Berlin) and Van Horn (Düsseldorf) also functioned ideally. "We sold works from all of our artists", according to Daniela Steinfeld from the Galerie Van Horn, which sold a large work from Jan Albers to a private collection. "Collaborations is a wonderful format", was the assessment at the stand of the galleries Esther Schipper (Berlin), nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder (Vienna) and Jocelyn Wolff (Paris), which had joined together for a solo presentation of Isa Melsheimer. Things also went sensationally for the Cologne-based Mirko Mayer (Cologne). "I sold works like crazy", shared Mayer, who sold two sculptures from Micha Cattaui and works of the Finnish photographer Pasi Orrensalo.