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Most successful edition of VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary closed on October 13, 2013
Exhibition view, VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary, Park Seungmo, Yu Hyeon Jeong. Aluminium wire, fibre glass, lifecasting, 39x92,5x45cm Ed. 3/6, 2012. Courtesy Hada Contemporary, London© VIENNAFAIR / Christian Jungwirth.

VIENNA.- With a grandiose vernissage and a total of 22,963 visitors VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary records the by far most successful edition in the nine-year history of Austria’s largest international art fair.

“We have made a big and very important step in the further development of VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary, and we are delighted that our strategy worked out so well. Once again we could anchor the art fair as one of the most important art events in Vienna and, at the same time, attract an even broader international audience. The fact that the increased number of visitors also had a positive effect on the sales made by the galleries is a strong sign that Vienna is not only a European center for artistic-intellectual exchange but that it has evolved into a central hub in the international art market,” say artistic directors Christina Steinbrecher-Pfandt and Vita Zaman, summarizing the four days of the fair in Hall A of Messe Wien.

“The quality of the galleries and their presentations has clearly risen, and there were also numerous important art collectors at the fair. The potential for further advancement of the fair is on hand, and I am certain that we can build upon what we have achieved thus far,” comments Asia Zak, Galerie ŻAK | BRANICKA, Berlin/Warsaw and member of the fair advisory board and admission committee, convinced of the progress of VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary.

Strong sales for the galleries to national and international art collectors
On the opening day – with more than 5,700 visitors also a record in the history of the fair – the animation among art buyers in the prestigious audience was already evident and sustained throughout the duration of the fair. Already on the vernissage evening Galerie nächst St. Stephan reported sales of works by Heinrich Dunst, Ernst Caramelle, and Herbert Brandl. On the same evening also Ursula Krinzinger, who redesigned her booth on a daily basis in order to showcase as many of her artists as possible, could hand over works by Eva Schlegel, Alfons Walde, and Thomas Zipp to national and international collections. Ernst Hilger – whose total sales increased by 20% in comparison to 2012 – was likewise successful at the vernissage.

Also the international galleries from the East and West were quite pleased with their participation in VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary. “We sold 16 works at the fair with prices ranging between 5,500 and 10,000 EUR from the complete selection that we presented here. However, I’m also expecting additional sales after the fair. Equally important are the contacts with Austrian galleries and that we were able to arrange exhibitions of our artists in museums and biennales. For us, this was the most rewarding participation in VIENNAFAIR to date,” says Timothy Persons from Taik Gallery Berlin/Helsinki, pleased with his success.

Alessandro Casciaro from Goethe Galerie in Italy praised the internationalization of the art fair under the aegis of the new fair organizers: “There has never been so much English spoken as there was during this year’s VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary. After a break last year I’m here in Vienna for the fourth time now and could make a wide range of new international contacts, both with private collectors and representatives of art institutions. Participating in the fair was more than worthwhile.”

Michael Schultz (Galerie Schultz, Berlin/Seoul/Beijing) underlined that the program of guided tours for VIENNAFAIR visitors was particularly strong. Besides sales of works by Andy Denzler (10,000 to 17,000 EUR), Rebecca Raue (4,800 to 8,000 EUR), Sabina Sakoh (12,000 EUR), and SEO (42,000 EUR), by Sunday he could also report the conclusion of a sale of a work by Gerhard Richter for over 380,000 EUR.

“I outfitted my booth with works that I felt suited Vienna. This idea worked very well, and the sales mark an encouraging success,” says Markus Peichl (Galerie Crone, Berlin) also pleased with the fair, who above all could sell a drawing by Andy Warhol (Unidentified Male, circa. 1954, 42.2 x 35.2 cm). First-time participant Hada Contemporary (London) sold two works by Park Seungmo and a work by Hong Sungchul.

From Galerie Ruzicska (a.o. Kenton Nelson, 12,500 EUR and Josef Hoflehner, 7,500 EUR) to Galerie Lang Wien (numerous drawings by Stefan Zsaitsits, 1,350 to 2,000 EUR), Galerie 422 (works by Michael Kienzer, Hubert Scheibl, and Patrick Schmierer, 1,400 to 26,000 EUR), Galerie Schmidt (Arnulf Rainer for 28,000 EUR), and Galerie Chobot (works by Alfred Haberpointner and Walter Moroder, 6,000 to 30,000 EUR), also Austrian galleries attained good turnover figures at VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary.

Galleries from the focus countries were also more than pleased with their participation: Jecza Gallery (Timisoara) sold a number of works by Genti Korini and the Sigma 1 Group (prices ranging between 1,650 and 4,000 EUR); P74 from Ljubljana, works von Tadej Pogačar; newcomer Trapez from Budapest, a work by Beatrix Szörényi and two works by Damir Očko; the Shirin Art Center (Tehran) sold works by Morteza Zahadi and Ghodratollah Agheli; pop/off/art (Moscow/Berlin) handed over seven works by Haralampi, G. Oroschakoff, and Vlad Yurashko; and Inda (Budapest), works by Kamen Stoyanov.

“VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary has the potential to become an important center for contemporary art from Eastern Europe. Not simply because of the focus of the fair but also because the atmosphere here is far more experimental than at Frieze or FIAC, for example. For me VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary is the perfect fair to present young art and to experiment with the selection,” says Vladimir Popov (pop/off/art, Moscow), enthused by the developments at the art fair.

Hans Knoll from Knoll Galerie, Vienna/Budapest – a participant at the art fair from the very beginning and a pioneer in the Eastern European art market notes happily: “It is great to see how Vienna has internationalized as an art market location over the course of the last years, not least due to the numerous guests from around the world who increasingly choose to visit VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary. Vienna and its art fair have thereby become the market-leading art site for galleries from the neighboring Eastern and Southeastern European regions.” The focus on Eastern and Southeastern Europe was once again supported in 2013 by Erste Bank as the main sponsor.

Vienna once again confirmed as an international center for artistic networking
VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary once again positioned itself as an art marketplace – but moreover also as a center for information about the developments in the Eastern and Southeastern European art scenes. With the special project “DIYALOG”: New Energies supported by OMV, VIENNA XL – a project about non-commercial exhibition and project spaces from the CEE region with the support of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Art and Culture (BM:UKK), who also funded the special presentations in ZONE1, and the special exhibition VIENNA Duet with its focuses on Poland and Georgia, even more young and upcoming cultural institutions could make presentations in Vienna.

“It rests upon the creativity of contemporary Polish art producers to respond to the question of whether and to what extent their art bears specific Polish features. In any case, an obvious and attractive common ground is the omnipresent twinkle in the eye,” says Justyna Golińska, director of the Polish Institute Vienna, which supported the “Who Are You or The Polish School of Happiness” part of the exhibition in the framework of VIENNA Duet.

“I deeply believe that the essence of a nation is expressed in its culture, while its ambitions and its goals manifest the strongest in contemporary cultural production. VIENNA Duet is an ideal platform upon which to convey our European identity and endeavors through contemporary art from Georgia. I hope that the project not only paves the way for young Georgian artists into Austria’s current cultural life; it should also leave visible traces here,” comments Maia Panjikidze, foreign minister of the Republic of Georgia, pleased about the initiative by VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary.

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