The successful course of the 53rd Art Cologne
shows that the reconfiguration of the art fair has been just as well-received by the public as by the exhibitors. Around 57,000 visitors, an increase of around three percent in comparison to the previous year, had the opportunity to see the presentations of 176 galleries from 24 countries. "The strategic decision to reduce the size of the fair and to focus on quality has paid off, as was bringing young and established galleries together", says Daniel Hug, Director of Art Cologne.
The gallery owners, who unanimously evaluated the concentration on two hall levels positively, were also of this opinion. "As a result, the fair is more compact, which improves the atmosphere ", confirms Florian Berktold, gallery director at Hauser & Wirth. The internationally active gallery was able to make sales of five works of the painter Rita Ackermann, to whom it had dedicated a solo presentation on the opening day. The visitors, including numerous collectors, curators and decision makers from institutions and museums, found a consistently high quality and convincing selection of artists and works in all price ranges at ART COLOGNE. Over the entire period of the fair, the galleries reported many sales, and many also anticipate good follow-up business.
The first edition of UNLOCK Art by ZEITmagazin, the first art market conference of ZEITmagazin at Art Cologne, was also a success. With more than 400 participants, the conference was fully booked. The organisers, ZEITmagazin and WELTKUNST, were able to welcome, among others, the gallery owner Johann König, the artist Tino Sehgal, the French historian Bénédicte Savoy, the actress and photographer Katja Flint, the entrepreneur and art patron Grażyna Kulczyk, as well as Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Head of Serpentine Galleries, London as panel guests. The second UNLOCK Art by ZEITmagazin conference will take place once again at the coming Art Cologne 2020.
Wonderful visitors and a strong marketplace for art - the impressions of the exhibitors
"Art Cologne is always good for us", said Morten Korsgaard from the Galleri Bo Bjergaard. "With the combination of German and Danish artists, who, like Tal R and Per Kirkeby, have a close relationship with Germany, we have a very special position here, with which we are very successful in Cologne", says the Copenhagen gallery owner, who sold a diptych by Brigitte Waldach to an institution and a large-format charcoal drawing by Per Kirkeby to a private collector. Korsgaard also found buyers for the paintings of Anna Bjergen and a monumental collage by Tal R.
The Galerie Eigen + Art reported its NEW POSITIONS sponsorship booth being completely sold out shortly after the opening of the fair. All drawings by Ulrike Theusner found buyers; also very much in demand were the works of Karl-Heinz Adler. Two glass sculptures by Kai Schimenz went to collectors at prices of 46,000 and 26,000 respectively. "Art Cologne is always a great forum for us", reported Christian Ehrentraut, Senior Director of the Berliner Galerie. On the last day of the show the gallery could confirm the sale of a painting by Neo Rauch to a private collection for 880,000.
The Thomas Rehbein Galerie, which also sold works through its full programme, also had success with its sponsorship artist Joelle Dubois, whose works were nearly all sold. "Two hall levels are absolutely sufficient", finds Thomas Rehbein, "one can go into more depth without getting lost".
A neon work of the artist duo Tim Noble & Sue Webster was sold at Blain / Southern. We saw many collectors, and hope for successful follow-up business, was heard at the stand of the gallery, which is based in London and Berlin.
The major gallery Hauser & Wirth was successful with its solo show of the painter Rita Ackermann. "We are very satisfied. It definitely paid off for us that we presented the work of the artist, who is not represented by any German gallery, with depth and breadth", gallery director Florian Berktold reported. It was possible to arouse interest for Ackermann among curators and museums. Berktold evaluates the concentration on two hall levels at this year's ART COLOGNE positively. "The fair is more compact as a result, which creates a good atmosphere". "There is a lot of time for discussion in Cologne, which I don't have in London or Basel", according to Berktold, who uses the art fair appearance to maintain relationships with collectors from the Rhineland.
The fair was "really good" for the New Yorker Carolina Nitsch, who, among other things, sold a set of sculptures by Matt Mullican to a Düsseldorf foundation. "Thanks to the streamlining, Art Cologne has become denser and doesn't feel so empty", says the gallery owner, who was also able to welcome Belgian and Dutch collectors at her stand.
Karsten Greve evaluated the reduction "absolutely positively". He sold works by Raúl Illarramendi and a colour space object by Gotthard Graubner for 680,000.
Many sales were also made by the David Zwirner gallery. Two sculptures by Carol Bove, incl. "Flying Bee" (500,000), as well as works by Oscar Murillo, Raymond Pettibon and Wolfgang Tillmans were sold. Director Veronique Ansorge praised the "wonderful visitors" and the compact structure of the art fair.
"We were able to place many of our artists well", reported Sabine Schiffer from the Galerie Buchholz, which sold works by Isa Genzken, Sergej Jensen, Anne Imhoff and Nairy Baghramian.
"Significant works" by A.R. Penck, Jörg Immendorff, Sigmar Polke and Per Kirkeby were sold by the Galerie Michael Werner to collectors, as Rolf Unkel reported. Although the gallery is represented worldwide at art fairs, Europe in particular is "a strong marketplace for art", according to Unkel.
Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle, which, among other works, let a large-format canvas by Karin Kneffel (200,000) and a work by Thun Van Tran (26,000) go, was also satisfied.
At the Paris Galerie Templon, monumental works by Jonathan Meese and Oda Jaune were sold. "We are happy", said director Anne-Cécile Coric. The same applies for the Bailly Gallery, which handed over a painting by Fritz Winter and ceramics by Pablo Picasso.
"I always like coming to Art Cologne. The Cologne collectors are loyal and grateful", Laszlo von Vertes reports. "Visitors don't even notice that the fair is smaller." The Zurich resident, who has been an exhibitor focusing on modern art for more than 30 years, sold Expressionist paintings and accepted a reservation for an early Poliakoff painting from a French collector.
The Pop Art specialist Klaus Benden was extremely successful, in addition to "countless smaller works" he sold Robert Rauschenberg's "Sling Shots", a charcoal drawing by Tom Wesselmann for 225,000 and Andy Warhol's Beuys portrait for 160,000. Johannes Schilling from the Galerie Boisserée praised the "knowledgeable public, which was inclined to buy, and can't be found elsewhere in these numbers".
At Boisserée, works by Julien Opie, Sean Scully, Antoni Tapies and Christo were sold. "The Rhineland shows its strength. Here the art market also demonstrates its robustness in times of crisis", confirms Samandar Setareh from the Setareh Gallery, which, in addition to a capital work by Hans Hartung, also sold works of its younger artists.
"The art fair has become more visitor-friendly and is better structured", finds Alexandra Henze-Triebold from the Galerie Henze & Ketterer, "due to the condensed offering, visitors are able to absorb what they see better". The gallery owner accepted a reservation for August Macke's painting entitled "Bildnis Walter Macke mit Rosenstrauß" (Portrait of Walter Macke with bouquet of roses), which was offered for 1.1 million Euro. "It's good that the fair has been reduced in size. It's much easier to read now", adds Diane Lahumière. "Here we reach a public that we can't reach anywhere else. Art Cologne hasn't lost its identity; it pays off coming here", says the fair participant of many years, who sold two works by Victor Vasarely and a work by Günther Frutrunk, and was pleased at the interest in its younger artists.
Thole Rotermund, who sold six drawings by August Macke to collectors for between 34,000 and 80,000, as well as drawings by Lyonel Feininger, said the fair was an "enormous success". The Hamburg art dealer has "seldom had so many intensive discussions". "The streamlinging of the offering is positive, the level of attention of visitors is high and a great dynamic prevails", was his summary. Karin Schulze-Frieling from Galerie Utermann also found this to be the case. "Daniel Hug has cleverly pulled the strings, and everyone did everything right this time". Utermann found a buyer for a painting by Konrad Klapheck and let Christian Rohlfs' portrait of the actress Asta Nielsen go.
That the "COLLABORATIONS" and the young galleries in the "NEUMARKT" sector presented themselves this year side by side with the established galleries was very positively received. "This meant that our fair appearance has a completely different feeling", Heike Tosun from the Soy Capitán Gallery, who joined with her Berlin colleague Tanja Wagner, was excited to report. "Leaving the third level out did us good. Young art has more equality here". Both galleries were able to place works of their artists in good collections. "My address book is fuller than ever", according to Tosun, "which means I can also keep working after the fair". "Two floors make it easier for visitors", the Cologne resident Marietta Clages also finds, who was especially successful with the painter Frances Scholz.
"We evaluate it positively that the third floor was not included", says Ralf Lehmann from the Galerie Gebr. Lehmann; "everyone profits from the better mix of offerings. ART COLOGNE now has an ideal size and is very well balanced". Lehmann was successful with the Japanese Pop Art artist Keiichi Tanaami and the painter Frank Nitsche. "Essence through reduction", commented Melanie Wagner from the Galerie Hubert Winter on the focus on 176 galleries. "The art fair is exciting, the Rhineland and its collectors are attractive". "The connection with visitors is greater and of a higher quality than ever before", said Berthold Pott, who was successful with Daniel Boccato. "Good art fair, good people, wonderful satisfaction", is Pott's summary. "It's great here", said the young gallery owner Tobias Naehring from Leipzig, who sold a sculpture by Wilhelm Klotzek to an American private collection. Deborah Schamoni was pleased at the "many good visitors" at her stand; as was Petra Martinetz, who was able to awaken the interest of institutions and curators for her artist Selma Gültoprak.
ART COLOGNE also went very well for Galerie Kadel Willborn. They had to rehang the booth three times. The gallery Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler sold two works by Katja Novitskova to the German Federal Collection of Contemporary Art and a work by Anna Uddenberg to the purchasing commission of the German federal government.
The acquisition budget of Outset Germany_Switzerland, an international, independent charity pooling donations from patron circles and partners to support new art, goes to the Pinakothek der Moderne. A work of the American Jessica Vaughn, who is represented by the London gallery Emalin in the NEUMARKT sector, was selected. The acquisition committee also purchased three works by Thilo Jenssen from the sponsorship section NEW POSITIONS from the Christine König Galerie in Vienna.
The "Friends of ART COLOGNE" also once again reported acquisitions, as it has every year since 2003. The purchase of a vintage gelatine silver print by August Sander from 1925, the "Painter Marta Hegemann", an edition of Wolf Vostell for the Cologne City Museum and a figure study by Adolph Menzel for the Wallraf-Richartz Museum. In total, the "Friends of ART COLOGNE" were able to acquire works of art to a value of 178,700 for the museums of the city of Cologne.
The Friends of the Sammlung NRW (Düsseldorf) also found what they were looking for at ART COLOGNE. From Galerie Daniel Buchholz, they acquired a work by Isa Genzken from 2015 for the Sammlung NRW Art Collection.