ART COLOGNE 2021 and COLOGNE FINE ART & DESIGN: Good run, good sales, good atmosphere
Galleries and dealers of both art fairs presented ambitious programmes
A knowledgeable public allowed itself to be inspired, many good sales
How do art fairs work under pandemic conditions? The Cologne fair organisers can now answer the questions: when all safety measures are observed, it is possible to present a real art market that is visited by real art enthusiasts who even buy real art and take it home with them. “Our thanks go to the galleries and dealers that made a fantastic, ambitious programme possible and thus presented visitors with a longed-for art experience”, says Daniel Hug, Director of ART COLOGNE and COLOGNE FINE ART & DESIGN, upon conclusion of the fairs. Around 34,000 art fair guests didn’t miss the chance to visit the art fair and kept to the “3G” (vaccinated, recovered or tested) and mask obligations in a disciplined fashion. In the process, it was evident that one can rely on the loyal collectors of the Rhine region, as well as of the metropolitan areas between the Rhine, the Ruhr and neighbouring Benelux communities. The exhibitors of both art fairs thus not only praised the quite knowledgeable and curious public, but were also able in many cases to report good sales. “Our planning with wider airy corridors and quiet zones ensured not only the required distancing but also provided a sense of relaxation. The art could thus also be seen better, which was to everyone’s advantage”, according to Daniel Hug, who is also considering a similar approach for coming art fairs. The reduction of the number of exhibitors to around 150 galleries at ART COLOGNE and around 60 exhibitors at COLOGNE FINE ART & DESIGN also contributed to the relaxed atmosphere. In addition to gallery heavyweights, young galleries and dealers also exhibited more artists with political and socio-critical statements.
The Galerie Eigen + Art (Berlin/Leipzig) was successful at this year’s ART COLOGNE with the concept of concentrating on young artists that are new in their programme. Igor Hosnedl’s large-format painting on paper found a buyer, as did Stefan Guggisberg’s work “Tal”. All works by Brett Charles Seiler and sculptures of lathed wood by Maja Behrmann (between 3,000 and 7,000 Euro) were sold. “The collectors in the Rhineland are really very inquisitive”, gallery owner Judy Lybcke has observed from many years of experience.
“Satisfied under the given circumstances” was the summary of Galerie Hans Mayer (Düsseldorf). “We made good sales. The collectors of the Rhine region were amply represented and ensured a good mood”, announced Marie Mayer, who also thinks the pairing of ART COLOGNE and COLOGNE FINE ART & DESIGN is “a good idea”.
Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac (Salzburg/Paris/London) brokered sculptures by Tony Cragg to a French and a Rhineland collection; Arnulf Rainer’s “Fußmalve” from 1977 was snapped up by a Munich collector. Vintage photographs by Valie Export from the series of body configurations are joining the collection of the Museum Ludwig. “Given the pandemic and the absence of an international public, this was quite a success”, gallery director Arne Ehmann concluded.
Business was ideal for the Galerie Johann König (Berlin/London/Seoul). “We ,were constantly in the booth”, Sonja Schacht confessed. König completely sold out the booth with paintings of the “New Position” Conny Maier, and a “Data Painting” by Refik Anadol, a spray work by Katharina Grosse and a work on canvas by Norbert Bisky were also sold on the first days of the fair. Annette Kelms book covers of authors that were ostracised during the Nazi era will enter the The Federal Collection of Contemporary Art.
Christian Nagel (Berlin/Cologne/Munich) found it important that one “could again experience works of art physically” at ART COLOGNE. “Many more people came than were anticipated. We are thus accordingly quite satisfied under the circumstances”, among the works sold Kenny Schachter’s much-admired work “The Last Soldier”, Leon Kahane’s “Frontex” and Sayre Gomez’ painting of provisional housing for homeless people. Nagel was also successful with collages and sculptures by Pedro Wirz.
“The Rhineland has a great group of collectors, praises Deniz Pekerman, gallery manager at Galerie nächst St. Stephan (Vienna), which also had many discussions with museums that were interested, for example, in Sonia Leimer’s “Awning”, a sculpture that is inspired by the awnings in New York, and other artists of the gallery with works by Daniel Knorr and drawings by Imi Knoebl were sold.
“It is quieter, but the Rhineland works“, Daniel Buchholz (Berlin/Cologne/New York), who let go the “Gaudi” sculpture of Isa Genzken.
“We are pleased that ART COLOGNE can even take place at this level”, according to Eike Dürrfeld, director of Galerie Thomas Schulte, which was once again represented at the art fair following a long break. “The loyalty of the collectors is extremely strong, and the first two days felt really good“, according to Dürrfeld. Among others, a monumental three-part canvas by Paco Knöller was sold to a major German collection. They were especially pleased about the sale of a sculpture by the young artist Leunora Salihu, who was a student of Tony Cragg at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf.
“We always have a public at the Cologne fair that is extremely well-versed in modern art”, Thole Rotermund determined. “The visitors come again a few days later to finalise sales”, the Hamburg art dealer, who sold a watercolour by Lyonel Feininger for € 80,000 and a self-portrait of the artist for € 30,000, and accepted a reservation for a still life by Alexej von Jawlensky, observed.
At Henze & Ketterer & Triebold, pencil crayon drawings, watercolours and drawings by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner were sold. Ingeborg Henze-Ketterer was pleased at the “outstanding public on the vernissage day and has hopes for follow-up business. “Sunday evening is not the end”, the art dealer based in Switzerland knows from many years of experience.
At the Cologne Pop Art specialist Klaus Benden, Andy Warhol’s portfolio with three silkscreen prints of Beuys portraits (€ 140,000) was also brokered to a collector, as was Roy Lichtenstein’s offset lithograph “Crying Girl” (€ 95,000).
Daniel von Schacky sold a work by Thomas Schütte to a southern German museum. “We met many of our customers here, also from France and Belgium”, the ART COLOGNE debutante was pleased to announce.
“The art fair has reacted to the present situation with a good concept”, found Thomas Zander, who shared the stand with Anke Schmidt. “The broad corridors and the spaciousness are fantastic and pleasant for everyone”. Zander was also satisfied with the turnover: “ART COLOGNE is always a good trade fair for us”.
Galerie Samuelis Baumgarte let go two large paintings by Heinz Mack (six-digit range), photographs by Astrid Lowack and paintings by Christian Awe.
At Galerie Thomas, there was a great deal of attention for the mosaic “Les constructeurs” after Fernand Léger. Sold were works by Carl Buchheister and drawings by the Cologne artist Simon Schubert. “We were overjoyed to welcome old customers here again and had time to talk”, according to Raimund Thomas; “the Cologne art fair is also an important contact exchange”.
The art fair business was “pleasant” for Galerie Ludorff, where they accepted reservations for high-quality modern artworks in the six-digit price range and sold drawings by Feininger and Kirchner, graphic works by Josef Albers, works on paper by Karin Kneffel and paintings by Christopher Lehmpfuhl and Christian Awe . “We expected considerably fewer visitors”, according to Manuel Ludorff … “the international friends of art may have been missed, but the foundation of collectors who are eager to buy is traditionally very strong in Cologne”.
Sales were also reported at COLOGNE FINE ART & DESIGN.
First-time exhibitor Rosemarie Jäger received a very positive response for her stand design and established contact with museum people. “COLOGNE FINE ART & DESIGN is a good place to be noticed”. This is confirmed by Martin Bohn, who showed unique items of furniture at his stand and praised the “successful cooperation” of the two art fairs. Laurent-Alexis Guelfucci found buyers for a jewellery ensemble and an Art Deco sofa from 1934 by Christian Krass (€ 30,000); his stand partner Mario Bermel had “deep exchanges with knowledgeable visitors” and was pleased at the synergy effects between the two fairs. “This should be maintained“, the Berlin gallery owner found.
Ilona Stüttgen from the Galerie Francaise from Munich found her trade fair start “very successful”. Many graphic works were sold, and there was a great deal of interest in two important works on paper by Marc Chagall, which originate from his estate. “We feel very much at home here. COLOGNE FINE ART & DESIGN has its very own atmosphere”, Stüttgen emphasised.
Sebastian Jacobi reported “an incredible response“ to the new “Showroom”, curated by himself, which was very well-attended. Sold were paintings and graphic works by Christo, A.R. Penck, Jeff Verheyen, Kuno Gonschior and other artists.
Floris van Wanroij was highly satisfied with the course of the fair and was able to hand over four works to collectors, including a late Gothic pieta for € 32,000.
Carola Persiehl welcomed “great collectors” at her stand. “I had no downtime at all”, said the Hamburg gallery owner, who sold a walnut wood sculpture by Lars Zech, cloud paintings by Li Trieb and canvas works by Daniel Behrend.
First-time exhibitor Martina Kaiser brokered a work by Umberto Cicero to a museum in Istanbul and works by Alexander Höller, Dokupil and Zhang Hong Yi to private collections.
Also at COLOGNE FINE ART & DESIGN for the first time was Gisbert Pöppler, who showed modern, unique pieces of furniture. “I think it’s great here”, delighted the Berlin gallery owner, who had “many good discussions” and is convinced that projects will follow.
The next ART COLOGNE and COFAD will take place from 16 to 20 November 2022.