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VIENNAFAIR: The New Contemporary 2012 announces new curatorial cluster for art fair
András Szantó, Curator, International Art Industry Forum, Vita Zaman Artistic Director, VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary, Sergey Skaterschikov, Founder, Next Edition Partners GmbH and Principal Shareholder, VF Betriebsgesellschaft mbH, Christina Steinbrecher, Artistic Director, VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary Edelbert Köb, Founder Member, VF Beteiligungs KG. Photo: Manfred Burger.

VIENNA.- “We see enormous potential in Viennaʼs role as a hub between the Western hemisphere and the emerging economies of the East, which has only begun to come to fruition. We strive to further build upon the synergies that have already been established in earlier editions of VIENNAFAIR and to facilitate stronger connections between the markets. The new team of artistic directors of VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary provides us with the best possible conditions to realize these goals – both from an artistic point of view and from the perspective of the art market decisive for the participating galleries,” says Sergey Skaterschikov, founder of Next Edition Partners and majority shareholder of VF Betriebsgesellschaft mbH, on the topic of VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporaryʼs new artistic directors. “As the artistic director of Art Moscow, Christina Steinbrecher has already gathered in-depth experience in the field of international art fairs, and Iʼm delighted about her readiness to contribute her expertise in the further development of VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary. Vita Zaman brings equally extensive knowledge of the international gallery scene to the new team. Between 2009 and 2011, she was the director of the Chelsea Space of the renowned Pace Gallery in New York. The third person in the curatorial cluster has many years of curatorial experience in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, and excellent connections with the Viennese gallery and museum scene – and thereby also guarantees the continuity of our engagement for galleries and art institutions both in Vienna and the Eastern European region. Due to legal reasons, we can only announce this name in the coming week.

I am happy that we could successfully assemble a new, committed team so quickly for VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary,” concludes Sergey Skaterschikov.

Christina Steinbrecher and Vita Zaman in the curatorial cluster of VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary
Christina Steinbrecher was born in 1983 in Kazakhstan. She studied at Manchester University in Great Britain, where she graduated with a Master in Contemporary Art. In addition to her role as the artistic director of Art Moscow since 2009, she has held the same position at the Moscow House of Artists since 2011, is the curator and head of the Sputnik Art Foundation, and since 2011 has been the director of the Innovation Prize of the National Centre for Contemporary Art, Moscow. She also co-curated the exhibition “Unconditional Love” in the framework of the 53rd Venice Biennale and was a member of the curatorial team for the 3rd Moscow Biennale 2009.

Vita Zaman was born in 1976 in Lithuania. She studied Creative Curating at the Goldsmiths College of the University of London and Photography at the Royal College of Art, London.

Between 2002 and 2008, she founded and led IBID Projects in London and Vilnius prior to being appointed the director of the renowned Pace Galleryʼs dependance in Chelsea, New York, in 2009 where she established many contacts with the most important galleries in Europe and the USA as well as many young galleries around the world.

In addition to sustained relations with the Austrian gallery scene and with galleries and cultural institutions in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, the new team of artistic directors provides fresh and important impulses in the relaunch of VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary. The teamʼs intensive contacts in Great Britain and the USA in particular, but also in the so-called emerging markets and flourishing art scenes in the Middle East, guarantee the exciting development of Austriaʼs most important art fair into a fixed point in the international art fair calendar.

Support the domestic art and gallery scene and stimulate exchange
“Even though our participation is economic in nature, to be precise, above all we want to be regarded as a stakeholder, a group of persons who are highly committed to the development of the art and gallery scene,” states Edelbert Köb, who organized the participation of art collectors and personalities from cultural industries in the VF Beteiligungs KG, which owns 30% of the VF Betriebsgesellschaft mbH. “We consciously decided for an economic form of participation because as such it also enables us to be active in the interest of the VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary and the galleries, and to be involved in the decisionmaking processes. This is a significantly stronger position than that a friends association, for example, would have. We want to contribute in the development of the fair and gallery scene as a responsible partner.” A central objective of the Austrian group in the VF Betriebsgesellschaft mbH is the development of ongoing cooperations that benefit both the participating galleries and the Austrian art market. In addition to investment in art and setting up collections, the group also has the cultural task to help stimulate the exchange of ideas and information between galleries, art collectors, and institutions from the key regions.

The new Art Vectors Investment Partnership focuses on Vienna as a marketplace Art Vectors Investment Partnership, the new art fund initiated by Sergey Skaterschikov, will launch at VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary 2012. The finance market specialist Friedrich Kiradi will assume the role of economic director. An international acquisition jury composed by Edelbert Köb will make a selection of artworks at VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary to be purchased for the fund. “Naturally, an art fund is about investing in art, but it is important that the art collection set up for this purpose also follows a coherent concept in which not only the financial but also the artistic added value is apparent for the investors,” reasons Edelbert Köb for the selection of a jury consisting of international art experts.

In the coming five years, a minimum of one million Euros will be available annually for purchases by Art Vectors Investment Partnership at VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary.

Committee of Admittance guarantees continuity in the further development of the VIENNAFAIR concept.
As in the past years, Miryam Charim (Charim Galleries, Berlin/Vienna), Ursula Krinzinger (Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna), Mihai Pop (Galeria Plan B, Cluj), Philippe Valentin (Galerie Chez Valentin, Paris), and Asia Zak (Zak Branicka, Berlin) will be members of the committee of admittance, thereby ensuring continuity for the participating galleries.

Erste Bank confirms their support
The Erste Bank has been the main sponsor of VIENNAFAIR since 2005, and it directly supports the participation of galleries from Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. This commitment ensures access to the international art world for galleries and their artists and facilitates the fairʼs thematic scope with its focus on Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. “Helping artists from Eastern and South-Eastern Europe is one of our ongoing interests. Our support goes to galleries who otherwise couldnʼt participate in the fair due to their financial situation. VIENNAFAIR has developed a profile with this strategy, which we will continue to support with the new management,” says Ruth Goubran, Head of Community Affairs and Sponsoring at Erste Bank.

The International Art Industry Forum strengthens Viennaʼs role as an information hub at the intersection of culture and economy. Just before the opening of VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary 2012, Skateʼs Art Market Research in cooperation with Deloitte Luxembourg, the Art Investment Council, The Art Newspaper, and leading personalities from cultural industries warmly invite to participate in the first International Art Industry Forum. “We find ourselves in a time of rapid innovations, which will have a sustainable effect on cultural and creative industries. New business models are emerging and are in search of financing. Cultural institutions in Eastern and SouthEastern Europe need support in setting up their structures, and the latest technological developments present new chances but also bear risks. A new generation of specialized, globally networked, and technologically advanced companies is cropping up at the intersection of culture and economy. The International Art Industry Forum will bring together representatives from diverse areas of cultural industries – from investment firms, art insurance companies, and consultancies to auction houses, galleries, and the media – to introduce the latest developments in a unique setting with sufficient time for discussion and networking,” says András Szantó, a New York based author and art consultant, and the curator of the International Art Industry Forum. In addition to the participants from cultural industries, also private investors, art collectors, and representatives from international investment funds, foundations, and small and medium-sized enterprises will meet at the convention in Vienna.

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