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Exceptional Highlights - Art Karlsruhe Arouses a Mood for Discovery
'Dance with the devil' sculptures by German artist Ottmar Hoerl are displayed at the 'art KARLSRUHE' fair in Karlsruhe, Germany, 02 March 2010. The international fair for classical modernity and contemporary art presents artworks from 208 gallerists from 12 countries from 04 to 07 March. EPA/RONALD WITTEK.

KARLSRUHE.- The El Dorado for art, the seventh art KARLSRUHE featuring 208 gallery-owners from twelve countries – amongst them 36 new exhibitors –, will be arousing a mood for discovery from 4 to 7 March beyond the fulfilment of "classic" customer wishes. Two special exhibitions will be attracting visitors with high-quality exhibits. One is dedicated to "Contemporary South African Art from Private Collections" (dm-arena), and the other to video art ("Looping Memories – Works from a Swiss Collection of Video Art", Hall 1).

Introducing itself in apt accompaniment to this is a project that aims to convey a genre long established in museums and art societies but one that frequently remains a sideline in the art market: (Hall 1, Stand W16). The project, conceived as a centre of competence, is also aimed at private customers and business. The responsible galleries are Bernhard Bischoff & Partner of Bern, Henze & Ketterer of Wichtrach/Bern, and Carola Ertle and Günther Ketterer, Annick Haldemann and Julia Pannell. Help and advice are available on building up a collection, buying, archiving, and how to handle and conserve substrate materials, which are extremely perishable in comparison to painting and graphics.

How about some computer art? The Digital Art Museum in Berlin is exhibiting at the Baden emporium with its commercial division, Galerie DAM, for the first time (Hall 1, Stand 09). It's bringing along a one-artist show on Vera Molnar. Born in 1924, the artist is regarded as the grade dame of art from machines. Her concrete-constructive graphics were initially created with a "machine" she thought up herself. So Molnar programmed her pictures, and as soon as she was able she used a computer. Mostly laid out as a sequence, the images depict transformations of squares, for example, nesting inside each other. The artist completely addresses herself to the observer, the computer serving as nothing but a tool. For her, what matters is what is visible. She describes her preferences with the words: "I like formal precision and the austerity of geometry, I like the rational purity of mathematics."

Next, New Positions. Art-fair curator and project manager Ewald Karl Schrade reports: "Contemporary art has been occupying the most space since the very first event." Their showplace is the dm-arena. Another guest here, for the second time, is the Regional Association of Berlin Galleries (LVBG) in whose lounge the Georg Kolbe Museum is making a small but mighty appearance this year. The "Berliner Haus", in which contemporary art, too, has been playing an ever increasing role since 2007, is staging three works – wholly in keeping with the flavour of art KARLSRUHE – from classic modern and contemporary art: a small, figure sculpture by Georg Kolbe (1877 to 1947) contrasts with the kinetic wall installation entitled "O2" (2006) by Zilvinas Kempinas (born 1969). "Weitere galante Szenen (Inga)" (2006) by Pia Stadtbäumer, born in 1959, is exhibited, too, as an example of the topicality of figure sculpture.

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