art KARLSRUHE: The Love of Art Motivates the Purchasers Here
An entire city under the sign of culture
The sixteenth edition of art KARLSRUHE – Classic Modern and Contemporary Art attracted circa 50,000 visitors to the halls of Karlsruhe Trade Fair Centre, where a total of 208 galleries from sixteen countries showed artworks from a 120-year time span. The fair has sharpened its profile: “We promote art mediation by the gallery owners and thus do not primarily serve the institutional art market. Our fair focuses on the passion for art – and that is appreciated by all participants”, says the fair’s director Britta Wirtz, who adds: “This is precisely the reason why we annually honour private collecting with a special exhibition and encourage people to begin collecting through our special show of graphic prints.
Another important pillar of art KARLSRUHE is the Sculpture Areas, which were honoured this year for the second time by the Loth Sculpture Prize, which is sponsored by the L-Bank. Curator Ewald Karl Schrade comments: “The dialogue between so-called ‘flatware’ and three-dimensional objects is unique and has been anchored in our art fair’s concept right from the start. Each Sculpture Area gives us the freedom to create an optimal staging for its sculptures. And I am happy that we could further accentuate it this year with the ‘Sculpture Park’ in the fair’s atrium, which is enlivened by greenery.”
The fair was equally convincing for gallery owners and visitors
A particularly enthusiastic response greeted a special showing of the Peter C. Ruppert Collection – Concrete Art in Europe after 1945, which is ordinarily housed at the Museum im Kulturspeicher in Würzburg. Museum Director Dr. Marlene Lauter summarizes: “Our exhibition was already warmly received at the preview. Colleagues were very impressed by the museum-worthy quality of the Ruppert Collection. The showing could very possibly lead to a serendipitous acquisition because a collector offered me his collection of small-format concrete art. He and I agreed to discuss the details in the near future.” Peter C. Ruppert unfortunately passed away shortly before the fair in February 2019. In addition to the special exhibit, other big names such as Galerie Jeanne (Munich), Galerie Klüser (Munich), Peter Sillem (Frankfurt) and Monika Wertheimer (Oberwil, Switzerland) presented ambitious photographic artworks and editions.
Petra Kaffeesieder from Gilden’s Art Gallery (London) expresses a positive summary for her portfolio of Classic Modern art in Hall 3: “art KARLSRUHE is quite profitable for us. Our sales are brisk because our buyers are international. They come to Karlsruhe from Holland, France, Belgium and Switzerland.” The portfolio that she shows at the fair is specially tailored for art KARLSRUHE because “we know that we can find the right buyers here. Sometimes we also try to break new ground by bringing artists with us for the first time and seeing how the public responds to them. art KARLSRUHE is one of our most successful fairs. The interactions among colleagues and the contacts between the individual galleries are very pleasant too. I believe that the vast majority of exhibitors here are just as happy with this fair as I am.” Classic Modern art was strongly represented by galleries such as Döbele Kunst (Mannheim), Ludorff (Düsseldorf), Galerie Luzán (Berlin), Thole Rotermund (Hamburg) and Galerie Schwarzer (Düsseldorf).
This year’s art KARLSRUHE Prize was awarded to Galerie Bernhard Knaus Fine Art in Frankfurt and to its artist Myriam Holme. Gallery owner Bernhard Knaus is delighted: “The fair offers a very attractive atmosphere and is a terrific forum. We can report on great interest. We are well positioned, we have a large stand and our sales are quite good. I am meeting new people and the number of customer contacts is high. I am very satisfied. Of course, winning the prize contributes to my satisfaction. And I also sold many artworks by Ralf Peters, with whom our gallery has collaborated for the past twenty years.”
The dm-arena/Hall 4, which is dedicated to Contemporary art, is also well received. Gallery owner Marko Schacher (Schacher – Raum für Kunst, Stuttgart) attracted admiring attention with his unconventional sales concept for Jim Avignon’s One-Artist-Show. AV17 Galerie from Vilnius (Lithuania), a new addition to the hall, also expresses a positive summary: “The organizers are great, the stands are wonderfully spacious and there are plenty of interested visitors. We have already made some sales. art KARLSRUHE is an important fair and we hope to return here in the future.”
A city in cultural dialogue
Agility distinguishes the contacts between the art fair and the city of Karlsruhe. This ongoing cultural dialogue annually attains its high point during art KARLSRUHE. Not only does the fair host the conferral of the art KARLSRUHE Prize, which is endowed with 15,000 euros and jointly awarded by the state of Baden-Württemberg and the city of Karlsruhe, but cultural institutions in the city and beyond its gates all participate in the Museum Mile and in discussion groups such as the ARTIMA art meeting at the trade fair. Numerous events also took place outside the exhibition halls and the fairground during the week of art KARLSRUHE. These ranged from special offers in the Städtische Galerie, the Kunsthalle, the ZKM – Zentrum für Kunst und Medien and the restaurant and café scene to the annual Handel Festival in the Badisches Staatstheater.
The next art KARLSRUHE will return to Karlsruhe Trade Fair Centre from 13 to 16 February 2020.