At 2:00pm, the beginning of the Preview, invited guests were already flocking to Marx Halle Vienna in Vienna's third district, the new venue of viennacontemporary
. The 19th century wrought iron construction offered an impressive atmosphere for the 99 galleries and their booths. Both the program of the participating galleries and the collectors, who have travelled to Vienna from North and South America, Asia and Europe, highlighted the fair's international character. Collectors included, among others, viennacontemporary's collector-ambassador couple Ingrid and Thomas Jochheim from Germany as well as Friedhelm Hütte, head of "The Deutsche Bank Collection". Collectors such as Mimi Dusselier and Erno Vroonen/Belgium, Mikael Landström/Norway, Paolo Falcone/Italy, Marietta Budiner/Switzerland, Maria Anna Potocka/Poland, Mark Cuček/Slovenia, Gianni Jetzer/US as well as Gaudenz B. Ruf/Switzerland or Miguel Rios/Portugal are proof of the international significance of viennacontemporary.
The local art scene did not miss out on the first look at the new venue either. Karola Kraus/Director mumok - museum moderner kunst stiftung ludwig wien, Agnes Husslein/Director Belvedere, Christoph ThunHohenstein/Director MAKAustrian Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Art, Herwig Kempinger/President Secession, Peter Bogner/Director Austrian Frederick and Lillian Kiesler Private Foundation, Hans Peter Wipplinger/Director Leopold Museum, Gabriele Schor/Director Sammlung Verbund collection, and Christiane Krejs/Director Kunstraum Niederoesterreich enjoyed the unique atmosphere at Marx Halle together with artists such as Brigitte Kowanz, Erwin Wurm, Gunter Damisch, Ona B, Manfred Wakolbinger, Hans Kupelwieser, Marko Lulic, and many others.
At the end of this major art party marking the start of the autumn season for galleries and collectors alike, 7.300 visitors had attended, a clear rise in numbers in comparison to previous years.
Awards for innovatively curated booths
Since 2006, the Vienna Chamber of Commerce has been supporting the positioning and promotion of Vienna as an international venue for art and culture by awarding the "Gallery Prize der Wirtschaftskammer Wien". For the first time, the gallery prize endowed with 10.000 euros for the best booth design was awarded in the categories Austrian and International Gallery. The prizes, endowed with 5.000 euros each, will be awarded to an Austrian and an international gallery, aiming to recognize the outstanding quality of Austrian galleries as well as illustrating the increasing significance of Vienna as a venue for the international art scene. From 2008 to 2014, the prize was awarded in the categories Emerging and Established to young and established galleries. In 2015, the jury included the following personalities: Horst Szaal, Chairman of the Board for Art Trade at the Vienna Chamber of Commerce, Peter Assmann, Director Palazzo Ducale/Mantua and Krist Gruijthuijsen, Artistic Director Grazer Kunstverein.
"The Austrian Gallery Prize will be awarded to unttld contemporary, a young Austrian gallery which continuously strives to introduce new approaches to the Vienna art scene. At viennacontemporary, the gallery has succeeded in harmoniously contrasting older, established works with more recent works, thus weaving a coherent artistic context. After some discussion, the jury has decided to reward a young, emerging gallery as a deliberate sign of support. The International Gallery Prize will be awarded to Martin Asbaek Gallery from Copenhagen/Denmark, showing the artist Sophie Bird Moller at viennacontemporary, who intelligently confronts the challenges of the contemporary picture wave with thoroughly-conceived picture concepts using various approaches", the jury argues in its decision.
The official award ceremony will take place on Thursday, 24 October 2015 at 10:00 am at the Vienna Chamber of Commerce with Horst Szaal, Chairman of the Board for Art Trade and the Vice President of the Vienna Chamber of Commerce, Sepp Bitzinger.
"Over the past years, we have firmly positioned Vienna as an art market place in the international fair world. With the 25 galleries participating in viennacontemporary for the first time, a balanced yet high-profile mix of galleries from East, West and Austria, and in particular with local and international collectors, many of whom have already visited the opening at Marx Halle Vienna, we will use this year's edition as a decisive stepping stone for further positive developments of viennacontemporary", Christina Steinbrecher Pfandt, Artistic Director of viennacontemporary, announced.