7 May 2023

Good business makes for a good mood

Twentieth art KARLSRUHE takes positive stock

Positive mood and good sales at the stands: After a very good preview (3 May), art KARLSRUHE 2023 attracted more than 40,000 art collectors and art enthusiasts to the halls of Messe Karlsruhe on four days that were consistently well attended. From 4 to 7 May, 207 galleries from 15 countries transformed the exhibition grounds for the twentieth time into a show and market place for the international art industry.

Messe Karlsruhe is particularly pleased with the increased number of trade visitors, such as curators, curators of institutional collections or museum directors, who ensured increased demand at the gallery booths, especially at the beginning of the fair. Malte Uekermann from Galerie Uekermann (Berlin/Ludwigsburg), for example, was delighted on Thursday to be able to give away a work by his artist Alexander Deubl to the Hoppe-Ritter Collection: "I am very pleased that I was able to give this work by Alexander Deubl to such a renowned collection for a five-figure sum".

The trade fair company is equally pleased with the high proportion of young art lovers who were able to get excited about the art experience at art KARLSRUHE for the first time. According to a representative visitor survey, the proportion of new visitors under 30 years of age was a whopping 40 percent.

Britta Wirtz, Managing Director of Messe Karlsruhe, is positive about art KARLSRUHE 2023: "The popularity and appeal of art KARLSRUHE are higher than ever. With our anniversary edition, we have proven that there is no way around Karlsruhe, the UNESCO City of Media Arts, in the art fair business. Thanks in part to art KARLSRUHE, the art and culture city of Karlsruhe will be in the public eye for five days. Around one in five people have linked their visit to the fair with a visit to cultural institutions in Karlsruhe."

Appreciation for decades of commitment

Just as important as its own anniversary was for Messe Karlsruhe to duly honour and celebrate the grand finale of Ewald Karl Schrade, who is handing over the curatorial reins of art KARLSRUHE to new hands after two decades. Schrade draws a positive balance for his last fair: "I have been practising for 19 years. The 20th art KARLSRUHE is my masterpiece, which I can now proudly hand over."

From now on, the baton will be taken over by team leader Olga Blaß and advisory board chairman Kristian Jarmuschek. "We have the ambition to continuously develop the fair as a strong art marketplace while maintaining central elements of the twenty-year-old fair concept in dialogue with our customers," says the designated dual leadership.

Schrade intends to remain with the fair, both as an exhibitor and as honorary chairman of the "Friends and Supporters of art KARLSRUHE" association, which was founded especially for the fair's 20th anniversary.

Successful concept turns 20

For two decades now, the successful concept of art KARLSRUHE has proved to be reliable. Already at the premiere in 2004, there were sculpture spaces and one-artist shows to marvel at; programme items which visitors could also experience this year and which will continue to be among the unique selling points of art KARLSRUHE in the future.

Galerie Friese (Berlin) praises the continuity with which art KARLSRUHE is developing: "This year's fair went well for us. We used to have our gallery in Stuttgart and therefore have many contacts in the region. For that reason alone, it is always nice to be here, to experience the changes and the constancy. art KARLSRUHE is characterised by its constancy. We really enjoy being here," says Miriam Ewering.

Voices of the galleries

Other gallery booths are also positive about their participation in art KARLSRUHE 2023.

Marina von Morr from Galerie Anna Laudel (Istanbul) emphasises the service character of Messe Karlsruhe: "I can only say: keep it up! The work is solution-oriented and on a great communication level, which you don't experience at all fairs."

"We would like to stay in this place for the next 20 years. We feel really at home here," said Leander Rubrecht of Rubrecht Severens Fine Arts (Maastricht), who were now represented in Karlsruhe for the second time.

Daniel Wahrenberger of Galerie WOS (Pfäffikon) is pleased about the increased number of visitors: "There were consistently visitors with great interest and a high level of quality on site, and the sales are also right. We are happy to be back in 2024."

For The Route Gallery (Amsterdam), taking part in art KARLSRUHE for the first time was a wonderful experience: "We were finally allowed to be there! The organisation was perfect down to the last detail. We will definitely come again", says Basara Dilek.

art KARLSRUHE is also a profitable platform for the gallery scene in Baden-Württemberg to present themselves and their art.

Petra Kern (Kunstkompetenz Petra Kern / Heidelberg) is happy about a successful fair business: "I sold every day. It is my eleventh participation. The feeling is quite different from last year. This time I had the biggest stand in my own fair history at art KARLSRUHE - and a sculpture space to boot."

Success stories were also recorded by Galerie Schacher and Galerie Thomas Fuchs from Stuttgart. The gallery couple Katrin and Marko Schacher succeeded in selling not only other works but also their most expensive exhibit. The 180 by 180 centimetre work 'On my Terms' by the artist Josephiné Sagna has found a new home in the region.

Andreas Pucher of Galerie Thomas Fuchs, on the other hand, comments as follows: "We have brought a selection of gallery artists to the 20th edition of art KARLSRUHE. Among them are works by Rainer Fetting, from whom we have already sold three paintings in the high five-figure euro range as well as a sculpture, plus three works by Jochen Mühlenbrink. Even though the last few years were already good, art KARLSRUHE 2023 went particularly well."

Looking ahead

At the industry's request, art KARLSRUHE will return to a spring date next year. The 21st edition of the fair will then be held again at its traditional venue and, under the direction of team leader Olga Blaß and advisory board chairman Kristian Jarmuschek, will open the German-language art fair year from 22 to 25 February 2024.

Portrait Eric Dewald
Eric Dewald
Press Officer
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