22 Feb 2024

Successful start: art KARLSRUHE opens with a new concept

art KARLSRUHE prize goes to Carlo Krone (Galerie Thomas Fuchs)

Much is new, some things are different, but the tried and tested has remained: This year's art KARLSRUHE welcomed art lovers to the light-flooded halls of the trade fair centre with a successful opening ceremony. The highlight of the opening was the presentation of the 16th art KARLSRUHE Prize, which honours a gallerist and artist of a one-artist show in a double pack and was awarded for the first time during the opening. Galerie Thomas Fuchs and its artist Carlo Krone are honouring a promising young artist from Stuttgart, whose paintings focus on everyday life, alienating it visually and in terms of content, yet evoking an almost nostalgic familiarity in their recognisability. The prize money of 15,000 euros will be used to purchase works from the presentation shown at the fair, which will become part of the art KARLSRUHE Collection at the Städtische Galerie Karlsruhe.

Gallery owner Thomas Fuchs is not only delighted about being honoured with the art KARLSRUHE prize, but also about an all-round successful start to the fair. "By the end of yesterday's preview day, we had already sold several works - including an impressive 16 paintings from our award-winning one-artist show with Carlo Krone," says Fuchs.

His gallery colleagues were also enthusiastic about the successful preview day on Wednesday and praised the revised concepts and the restructuring of the halls. The sculpture spaces enclosed in this scheme and the upgrading of the perimeters with the sculpture spots also ensured very relaxed visitors, who strolled through the aisles, admired art and made their first purchases, but also found time to chat. "We really enjoyed the preview day, as we had successful deals and felt this unique spirit here," says Andreas Herrmann, owner of Mianki.Gallery from Berlin. "It was important for all of us to see the direction in which art KARLSRUHE is developing, especially in terms of its future viability. That's why the consistently positive feedback and the incredibly high quality fulfil us with great pleasure. Our guests thank us for the invitation and they really enjoy walking through the fair. We are thrilled by this response, which shows an intensity that we have rarely experienced. We now hope that we can build on today's success and that the mood of today will continue in the coming days."

New dual leadership concept impresses gallery owners and visitors

Over the past nine months, the new dual leadership of project manager Olga Blaß and art KARLSRUHE advisory board chairman Kristian Jarmuschek have set themselves the goal of further developing the concept of art KARLSRUHE without losing sight of its strengths. Thus, the galleries cover 120 years of art history from classical modernism to contemporary art and also give sculpture the attention it deserves. With a new hall structure and a customised selection of exhibiting galleries, newer concepts are also implemented. Young art in particular will find space here: "The common goal with our galleries is and remains to constantly develop art KARLSRUHE further and to give everyone with a passion for art access to the art world," says fair director Britta Wirtz. "With both our established and new formats, we promote art education and offer galleries from all over the world a valuable platform on which a broad spectrum of 120 years of art is presented. This enables us to appeal to both experienced collectors and newcomers to the art market." One of these new formats is the Academy Square in the dm-arena. Here, curated by Monopol editor-in-chief Elke Buhr, a total of 14 promising graduates from the Karlsruhe and Stuttgart art academies and the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design will be shown.

Numerous new galleries have been acquired for the new formats, many of which are looking forward to the friendly exchange with national and international colleagues. Nadja Thiel from Galerie Cosar says: "This is our first time here in Karlsruhe and we feel very comfortable at our location. We have known and appreciated Galerie Meyer Riegger for a long time and are delighted about this neighbourhood." The newly introduced "Friends" format also contributes to these connections, as young galleries can present themselves at the stand of an established gallery. A total of seven gallery owners have taken advantage of this opportunity to offer a platform to often very young artists. Two galleries from Karlsruhe are also taking part in this way: Michael Oess is offering the Spanish Pigment Gallery an exhibition space, which is also being used by the young Spanish sculptor Juan Miguel Quinon with his ice "sculptures" made using traditional craft techniques.

A city characterised by art

With its numerous cultural institutions, Karlsruhe's reputation as a city of art and culture has always preceded it. "Once again this year, the fan-shaped city is honouring its reputation as a city of art and culture with art KARLSRUHE - far beyond the regional borders," says Britta Wirtz. "As the first and so far only German city to bear the title "UNESCO City of Media Arts", it goes without saying that the whole of Karlsruhe is currently dedicated to art: with numerous committed partners and municipal art and cultural institutions, this year we are interweaving ourselves more than ever with the players in the city and offering a unique insight into the local art scene."

The project spaces and Off Spaces have put together a sophisticated programme especially for art KARLSRUHE under the title "Kunstrauschen", which will be made accessible to all those trade fair visitors who are still in the mood for contemporary art after the exhibition halls close on Friday evening with a trade fair shuttle. This perfectly complements the "Forum Karlsruhe" in Hall 4, where the UNESCO City of Media Arts, the Karlsruhe museums and the two art academies will be presenting themselves.

After art party in the Hallenbau

art KARLSRUHE meets Hallenbau: If you're still in the mood to celebrate after the opening of art KARLSRUHE, you can round off the evening with drinks, snacks and live music in the ZKM foyer in the Hallenbau: After a "Get together" for invited guests of the fair and the institutions at 7 pm, the After art Party will follow from 9 pm with DJ sets by deepthought and Caligo. Admission is free of charge.

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