21 Feb 2024

art KARLSRUHE begins: Highlights at the fair and in the city

177 galleries, exhibiting museums, institutions, art academies, associations and media as well as partners from the urban environment are eagerly awaiting the opening of art KARLSRUHE tomorrow. The numerous innovations in store for the 21st edition of the fair are already generating lively interest and anticipation among all those involved, as well as a great deal of media attention. The Managing Director of Messe Karlsruhe, Britta Wirtz, is also looking forward to the coming days of the fair: "In the past nine months, we have initiated many new things, building on the convincing strengths of art KARLSRUHE. This has been well received by the market. I am particularly proud that we have succeeded in bringing the art fair more into the city. Thanks to the numerous, committed partners, municipal art and cultural institutions, we can offer a broadly diversified programme and additional offers to our out-of-town guests as well as interested parties from the region."

Opening and awarding of the art KARLSRUHE Prize

For the first time, the 16th art KARLSRUHE Prize will be awarded to a One Artist Show dedicated by a gallery to one of its artists during the official opening at 5 pm in the Aktionshalle. The 15,000 euro prize is jointly organised by the state of Baden-Württemberg and the city of Karlsruhe.

New structure in the halls

Conceptual adjustments and a focussing of the fair have led to a new structure in the halls, which offers visitors better orientation.

In future, 120 years of art history will begin at art KARLSRUHE in Hall 1 - entitled "Classical Modernism and Contemporary Art" - where the museum quality of the works shown by the exhibitors can be experienced in particular. Together with the high-calibre post-war modernism in Hall 2 - "Art after 1945 and Contemporary Art" - they will convey a comprehensive impression of the diversity and innovative potential of these eras. Positions of contemporary art are combined in a dialogue. This inspiring interplay is unique in Karlsruhe.

The spatial arrangement of the halls is followed by Hall 3 - "Artication" - in which art and education are combined. Here you will find the new "Paper Square" format (a further development of the special show Printmaking) for works with the artistic medium of paper. Under the title "Nature - Beauty and Destruction", LBBW is presenting parts of its art collection as part of this year's special exhibition. The "Academy Square", supported by LBBW and curated by Elke Buhr (editor-in-chief of Monopol), offers current graduates of Baden-Württemberg art academies a new platform at the fair. In addition to the Forum Karlsruhe, a large number of cultural institutions, art academies and art associations from the region and beyond will be presenting themselves in the hall.

The dm-arena, Hall 4 in the counting sequence, is entitled "Discover". It is dedicated to contemporary art.

re:discover - Strengthening female artists in the market and unjustly forgotten artistic positions

In cooperation with the Bundesverband Deutscher Galerien und Kunsthändler e.V. (BVDG) and with the support of the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM), the upcoming art KARLSRUHE is placing a special emphasis on artists who, despite the high artistic quality of their work, do not (yet) receive the attention they deserve. With the new format re:discover, more space will be given to the current and art-historical significance of artists. Galleries participating in the programme will receive 25 square metres free of charge for the presentation of an artist. This year, a total of 20 positions will be rediscovered in the gallery booths through re:discover. The ARTIMA art meeting on 23 and 24 February is dedicated to the topic of re:discover, such as "How to keep artistic heritage alive in a museum context" or "How to deal with estates: What happens after the death of artists to those works that are not purchased by museums or collections?"

Talks on art

In addition to the ARTIMA art meeting on Thursday, 22 February and Friday, 23 February, there will be the SWR Kultur Messetalk every day. For example, the painter Mona Ardeleanu will be talking to presenter Dietrich Brants on Thursday 22 February about her work, which often reproduces patterns from Delft porcelain in the form of textile fabric. Everything in her paintings appears realistic; but none of it is. On Friday, 23 February, Dietrich Brants will be talking to Munich gallery owner Renate Bender, whose gallery programme ensures that Concrete Art remains contemporary art.

And on Saturday, 24 February, and Sunday, 25 February, the LBBW Talks will take place in cooperation with the magazine MONOPOL and the MONOPOL Talks. Among others, Silke Hohmann from MONOPOL will be talking to the artist Julius vom Bismarck, whose works can also be seen in the special LBBW exhibition on site, and the artist duo Super Vivaz, whose works will be shown at Academay Square. On Sunday, the traditional fair summary will be held for the first time with the new management duo Olga Blaß and Kristian Jarmuschek.

Sculpture spots bring even more "large-format" works into the halls

Since the first edition, art KARSLRUHE has been characterised by its expansive sculpture spots. Supported by the Vollack Group, numerous outdoor sculptures can be experienced in the sculpture garden (atrium). New additions are the sculpture spots, also supported by the Vollack Group, which provide space for viewing 23 three-dimensional works in the visitor walkway and in the action hall. The special commitment to sculpture is also reflected in the fifth presentation of the Loth Sculpture Prize with partner L-Bank.

For example, Galerie Heike Strelow, Frankfurt, will be there with Alejandro Monge's sculpture "SHIBUYA 2" from 2023 and Galerie Chiefs & Spirits, London, with the sculpture "The Space Between" by artist Piet Warffemius from 2022. Galerie ARTAFFAIR, Regensburg, is also bringing along a work for a sculpture spot: the bronze "Atlas" by Markus Lüpertz.

Karlsruhe Forum

Art, culture, media art and creativity will once again enter into a symbiotic partnership and merge during art KARLSRUHE into a marketplace of artistic creation under the label "Forum Karlsruhe" in Hall 3. Media art is the focus of the Forum as one of the brand cores of Karlsruhe, the UNESCO City of Media Arts. In addition to works from the archive of the Centre for Art and Media (ZKM), the next generation of media artists from the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design (HfG) will be presenting four of their own works and the scenographic design of the space for the first time.

From party to project space

During art KARLSRUHE, the cultural scene in the city also really gets going. So it doesn't have to end when the fair closes.

artini is the name of the temporary bar that opens daily from 5 p.m. to midnight at Kaiserstrasse 120, where people talk about art and the art business, art from various networks is exhibited and changing DJs perform sets.

On 22 February there will be a party in the foyer of the ZKM in the Hallenbau on Lorenzstraße. It starts at 9.00 pm and the dancing goes on until 1.00 am. Admission is free.

The long night of project spaces on Friday 23 February from 7.00 pm to 11.00 pm will be presented under the heading "Kunstrauschen". Following the exhibition programme, visitors can explore the city and the local art scene away from established galleries. Karlsruhe has an incredible wealth of project spaces and off-spaces that have been an important part of the city's cultural life for decades. Whether studios or rooms in private flats, backyards or large halls - art takes place in every conceivable corner of Karlsruhe. These spaces, often run by artists, are places of self-determined artistic activity and experimentation that offer a unique insight into the work of contemporary Karlsruhe artists.

Parallel to art KARLSRUHE, around 15 of these project spaces will open their doors simultaneously for one evening for the first time this year, offering the chance to discover the sometimes hidden spaces in a relaxed atmosphere and get to know the artists personally. A shuttle bus connects the fair with the project spaces and offspaces. Further information is available at kaunstrauschen-karlsruhe.de

The official after-art party will take place on Saturday 24 February at P8 in Schauenburgstraße. An international DJ line-up featuring Acid Pauli, Anna Schreit and Shahrokh Dini will provide the basis for a perfect evening. Artist Dominik Rinnhofer will provide the visuals.

Credit: Alejandro Monges Skulptur "SHIBUYA 2” Concrete, fiberglass, resine and pigments 2023, Galerie Heike Strelow, Frankfurt