52nd Art Cologne

The 52nd of Art Cologne shows its strength with a high quality offer at all levels. And she looks good too.

The Art Cologne has rebuilt, now there is also a “Plaza” on Level 2 of Hall 11, where contemporary art has its appearance. The bunks are sorted around in clusters around it, the top dogs naturally the closest to the center. As for the date, the 52nd edition of the “International Art Market” is better off again, the unfortunate overlap last year with the Berlin Gallery Weekend (this time from 27 to 29 April) is dissolved. This will certainly please the shopping-enthusiastic audience, who have already come to preview and vernissage in Cologne. The fact that the Art Brussels continues to take place in parallel (report on this page), can probably not be avoided; There is the usual announcement that the distance between Cologne and Brussels but easy to bridge.

A total of 243 exhibitors, including around 210 galleries from 31 countries, are gathered this time, the once-crowded exhibition spaces of previous years are once and for all before Daniel Hug took over the show as director ten years ago. This is very nicely reflected on Level 3, where the youngest scene is gathered, in the Neumarkt and Collaborations sectors. All in all, there seems to be a lot of DIY, preferably in zoo and anthropomorphic forms.

In a witty way, Ruttkowski; 68 from Cologne introduces Philip Emde’s installation of large-format drawings in his collection of Steiff monkeys; Gabriel von Max ‘weiland “monkeys as art judges” greet as well as the joy of self-reflection in the art on their own walls (prices from 2700 to 7200 euros). At the gallery PPC, Frankfurt, stand the mutated street signs of Martin Wenzel, like the full post, which refers to a path “Horst” under the title “For Inga”, along with curious explanations of the street name (7800 Euro).

Next to St. Stephan, Vienna, Esther Schipper, Berlin, and Jocelyn Wolff, Paris, with works by Isa Melsheimer, from small gouaches to ceramics to the polished stele, a homage to Mies van der Rohe (2000 to 18,000 euros). Baudach, Berlin, and Van Horn, Cologne, have entered into a cool alliance in matters of “light and shadow, black and white”; Van Horn contributes, among other things, one of the “snake” ceramics of Markus Karstieß (15,500 euros), Baudach a mirror “moon” of the gifted hobbyist Björn Dahlem (40,000 euros).

Stand: Ropac, Halle 11.2

Contemporary art in the best condition
The hall level 2 with the contemporary art is in the best condition. It shows impressively how Art Cologne positions itself as the leading art fair in Germany. Quite for the upper middle class, the clientele is accessible to six-digit height; nothing new in the Rhineland, only the corresponding offer has to be there. Cologne is loyal to what counts and has an international reputation for gallery owners and dealers – and presents works that suit them.

For example, at Klüser, Munich, there are also portrait drawings by Alex Katz (28,500 euros), or Ropac presents funny, completely new works by Erwin Wurm in his stand, stones on their feet. Hauser & Wirth make an appearance for the abstract artist Mary Heilmann, born in 1940 ($ 75,000), and Sprüth / Magers have, in addition to a recent knitting pattern by Rosemarie Trockel and current works by Thomas Ruff, an unprimed feminist statement by Astrid Klein from 2001-02 brought along, with the very true lettering “We never advance one step beyond ourselves” (35 000 euro).

What you would not have expected is that in the offer of Galerie Neu, Berlin, there are drawings by Yves Saint Laurent, among them a magical sheet from 1970/72, on which a “Zizi” is posing, in red and black ink (22 000 euros). Also a good surprise for Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin, is the steel sculpture “Königsberger Gitter” created by the collective Slaves and Tartars. In addition to its visibly beautiful shape, it also requires some spiritual deepening (35,000 euros). Slaves and Tartars had just an exhibition in the Westfälische Kunstverein in Münster, they will soon be seen in the Dresden Albertinum: cool art for thought! This is finally an option again, as shown by Andreas Schmitten, Johann König, Berlin, for example with the table sculpture “Festung” from 2017 (22,000 euros); Schmitten has also arrived at level 11.1, namely at Schönewald, Düsseldorf, which otherwise conveys more established works. In general, the clear demarcations between galleries and the art trade are beginning to dissipate