art KARLSRUHE 2015
A pulsating market place with an international profile
Karlsruhe 08-Mar-2015, Today marked the end of the twelfth art KARLSRUHE, with almost 50,000 visitors attending the exhibition halls, making Karlsruhe into a pulsating market place for art with a wide ranging offer of paintings, sculpture, published art and photography from the worlds of classic modern and contemporary art.
Sculptures of Schad in Hall 2 - art KARLSRUHE 2015 Photo: KMK / Jürgen Rösner
"The art KARLSRUHE is a major boost both to the portfolio of the Karlsruhe Messe- und Kongress-GmbH, as well as to the economic and technological region surrounding Karlsruhe. The fair addresses a broad public audience, and thereby raises the international profile of the location," explained managing director Britta Wirtz, highlighting the importance of art KARLSRUHE. The fair again proved capable of reaching its core audience and attracting new visitors. And the visitors came from far and wide: almost 40% of those attending the fair for the first time travelled over 100 km to get there, and some 15%, over 300 km.
"Getting to talk about art in the exhibition halls with the artists, exhibitors and visitors each year, and being able to play a small part in ensuring that even more people get to feel the power of art is a privilege," explained Ewald Karl Schrade, long standing curator of the fair, summing up the twelfth art KARLSRUHE. Many of the gallery owners attending the event particularly value the opportunity the fair gives them for forging new contacts and extending and consolidating their networking with customers and institutions. The high profile guests attending the event this year included Thole Rotermund (Hamburg), Heinz Holtmann (Cologne), Philomena Maier (Innsbruck) and Christian K. Scheffel (Bad Homburg). At his stand in hall 2, Michael Schultz got a feel for the extent to which Karlsruhe is also open to experiment: his provocative stand concept, Self-Bondage – photographs by the Danish artist Annette Merrild, stood in stark contrast to the traditional coffee drinking ritual, and proved to be very popular. "We had expected the response to be very different and were pleasantly surprised," explained the Berlin based gallery owner, who was also pleased to make some good sales in the middling price segment between 4,000 and 35,000 Euros.
The ARTIMA art meeting: for the love of art
The two day ARTIMA art meeting in the accompanying programme provided for interesting discussions with guests from different areas of the world of art: Carl Friedrich Schröer was the host of the second part of the event on Friday, 6th March. He spoke to Götz Adriani, long standing director of Kunsthalle Tübingen (Tübingen Art Gallery), who has been Chairman of the Tübingen Art Gallery Foundation since 2003, about his wide ranging experiences with exhibitions. Friedrich E. Rentschler, the second panel guest of the day, provided an absorbing discussion about his love of art which began in his youth in his family home and in his art lessons. The Ulm-based collector, who with his FER Collection is committed to making art accessible to the wider community, made a strong case for the better teaching of art in schools. Finally, Rose-Maria Gropp, editor and head of department of the art market division of the FAZ (Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper), considered whether the predominance of the prices that are evident in the art industry will make other criteria obsolete, and the extent to which the media reports about the art market are creating the commercial hype.
The art KARLSRUHE: a fair with a regular clientele
"We have been attending the fair for five years and now have a superb clientele in Karlsruhe," explain Petra Kaffeesieder and Jacob Gildor of Gilden's Arts Gallery. Their London-based gallery succeeded in selling a special work to a private collector from Germany just a few minutes after the fair opened: Max Liebermann's study on his famous portrait "Free Period in the Amsterdam Orphanage" (1881/1882), which is on display in the Städel Museum in Frankfurt. "We could have sold it a dozen times," explained the euphoric gallery owner, who specialises in original prints and paper works from the 20th century and was thus able to celebrate some big successes in Karlsruhe. Attending the fair again was also worthwhile for Achim Hagemeier. "In Baden Württemberg, the collectors are spending like they were in the Rhineland twenty years ago," revealed the Frankfurt-based gallery owner, who along with other sales, parted ways with Josef Scharl's "Sunset" (1943) for 65,000 Euros. "Our sales were satisfactory," confirmed Peter Femfert of DIE GALERIE (Frankfurt am Main). "The art KARLSRUHE is an attractive trade fair that is professionally managed and attracts some excellent collectors. Femfert succeeded in selling Volker Stelzmann's "Five Part Portrait" to a private collector for around 130,000 Euros for example, and Carl-Henning Pedersen's "Light Bird of Destiny" for 65,000 Euros. There was also a sense of satisfaction at the stand of the Schlichtenmaier Gallery (Grafenau and Stuttgart): Horst Antes' "Figur und Schlange vor grünem Grund" (1975) changed hands for 60,000 Euros, a sculpture by Otto Herbert Hajek went for 42,000 Euros, and works by pupils of the Baumeister school Georg Karl Pfahler (21,000 Euros) and Winfred Gaul (23,000 Euros) also proved to be hot property.
Upswing for ZERO: sales in Karlsruhe
In the "Modern Classics" segment, many of the gallery owners have turned to the art from the Informel and ZERO movements. "The ZERO artists are currently the stars: for me, ZERO is the most important movement since 1945, and I'm very pleased about the international recognition it is getting," highlighted Cologne-based gallery owner Heinz Holtmann, who sold a work by Heinz Mack just after the fair had opened to a collector for 18,000 Euros. The Mainz-based gallery owner Dorothea van der Koelen succeeded in selling more than a dozen works by Günther Uecker. Her colleague, Roland Geiger from Konstanz, sold ten ZERO works, with prices ranging from between 3,000 Euros to 16,000 Euros. Michael Gausling, who was representing both the Fritz-Winter-Haus (Ahlen) and the Fritz-Winter Studio (Dießen at Lake Ammersee) in Karlsruhe, celebrated sales of Günther Uecker's relief printing "Spirale" (25,000 Euros) and Bernard Aubertin's "Tableaus clous" (28,000 Euros). He was also able to sell two works by Fritz Winter himself ("Flashing" for 150.000 Euros and "Easter" for 135,000 Euros). "We were very satisfied at both of our stands," reported Gausling, who was also well received by the visitors to the fair in the dm-arena with his artists Roland Helmer, Raimund Göbner and Jusha Mueller. "This year's event was excellent – perhaps even the best ever in the history of the fair," enthused Christian Marx, whose sales were so good that he found himself replacing the paintings on show at his stand not long after the opening event. "The mood in the dm-arena was superb right from the start, and the good atmosphere quickly spread throughout the halls and all around the fair," highlighted the gallery owner from Düsseldorf. It was in the area of Contemporary Art that most of the 32 new international exhibitors were to be found. The new galleries, numbering over a dozen, included La Fabrique de la Cendronne (Paris), Franzis Engels (Amsterdam) and Gallery Tableau (Seoul). Várfok from Budapest also attended the fair for the first time, and reported good sales of works by their artists Péter Korniss, Mátyás Misetics and Ákos Czigány.
The art KARLSRUHE prize: successes for Alfonso Hüppi and Reinhold Maas
A total of 157 one artist shows competed for this year's art KARLSRUHE prize, endowed with 15,000 Euros, and the jury of five faced the agony of picking a winner from so many first class submissions. Lübeck based gallery owner Hubertus Hoffschild's solo presentation, for instance, proved a big hit – almost his entire one artist show sold out exceptionally quickly. "Interest in our artist Friedel Anderson has been so considerable that we haven't been able to satisfy the demand for his work by a long way," explained Hoffschild, who is looking forward to good sales following the fair. The prize was ultimately awarded on the Friday, however, to Swiss artist Alfonso Hüppi who lives in Baden-Baden, and his Reutlingen-based gallery owner Reinhold Maas. "I was completely shocked to have won the prize," explained the artist, who celebrated his 80th birthday in February. Hüppi: "I am especially pleased for my gallery owner, as the art KARLSRUHE prize is a great honour for his work."
The 13th art KARLSRUHE is to take place from 18th until 21st February 2016.
- Roland Geiger, Geiger Gallery (Konstanz) attended the art KARLSRUHE for the eighth time: "We've been setting up our stand in hall 2 for several years. We really like the way our exhibition area opens out extensively to the neighbouring space for the sculptures." The gallery owner believes it creates an exciting sense of correspondence between the works that are on show." All in all, Geiger succeeded in selling ten works by ZERO artists by the Sunday afternoon. "We are very satisfied with our sales," explained Geiger.
- Dittrich & Schlechtriem (Berlin) attended this year's art KARLSRUHE for the first time. David Schlechtriem draws his balance: "Our attendance was a success. We succeeded in forging many new contacts with high quality collectors from southern Germany who are seeking a point of contact in Berlin. Many of them come from Karlsruhe, Baden-Baden and Pforzheim." His gallery will certainly be attending the art KARLSRUHE next year: "Gallery owners with whom we are on friendly terms also gave us a tip: the longer you attend, the more you sell. Many customers take their time getting to know a particular gallery."
- "All in all we are satisfied," such was the conclusion drawn by gallery owner Freerk C. Valentien, Valentien Gallery (Stuttgart). "Our stand attracted a lot of visitors. After many interesting conversations, we hope to have been able to forge new contacts with collectors and interested customers." During the fair, the Valentien Gallery sold works by contemporary artists Amely Spötzl, Anna Ingerfurth and Karl Manfred Rennertz. In the field of Classic Modern, Valentien sold works by Otto Dix, Oskar Schlemmer, Peter Lenk and Horst Antes. Valentien continued: "the special thing about this fair is its extensive coverage. Its variety is its unique selling point when compared with other fairs. We hope to see further work to increase the levels of quality, and that the number of exhibitors will be reduced. Less is also more when it comes to individual presentations."
- The Várfok Galéria (Budapest) also attended the art KARLSRUHE for the first time: "We want to come back again next year," said Krisztina Kovács. "The fair was professionally organised, the exhibitor service is superb, and the staff at the trade fair are very helpful. We have also been very satisfied with our sales." The gallery sold four works by Hungarian photographic artists at the fair. "We want to return next year in order to build our presence in Germany."
- The Nuova Galleria Morone came to the art KARLSRUHE all the way from Milan. "This is the first fair we have attended in Germany. Until now, we've mainly attended fairs in Italy and the USA", explained Mara Pradella. "We noticed some small cultural differences. While visitors to the fairs we attend in Italy always ask us for background information on the artists and their work, in Karlsruhe, the visitors preferred to simply study the art work on show without saying so much."
- "The atmosphere here in the Berlin corner of hall 3 was excellent. We ourselves as well as our colleagues Tammen and Brennecke got to celebrate some big successes which, of course, put us in a good mood," enthused Alexander Friedmann-Hahn, Friedmann-Hahn Gallery (Berlin). Melanie Battaglia was also pleased: "Our impressions of this fair have been very positive. It isn't just the sales that are important, it's also the contacts we forged with our colleagues that will enable us to arrange new exhibition opportunities for their artists, or enable them to further extend their own programme."
- Carsta Zellermayer, Zellermayer Gallery (Berlin): "We were especially pleased that our Swiss collectors attended."
- Bernd Geserick, BEGE Galleries (Ulm): "We have been attending the fair for some years. The opening event to this year's art KARLSRUHE was very well attended and we made some very good sales."
- Stéphane Boulin, La Fabrique de la Cendronne (Paris): "I have been attending the art KARLSRUHE as a visitor for five years, and attended as an exhibitor this year for the first time in order to provide my artists from France with a platform in Germany. We feel very welcome here and want to come back again."
- Franzis Engels, Franzis Engels Gallery (Amsterdam): "The art KARLSRUHE attracts a very experienced and professional kind of visitor. They don't go in for impulsive buying, but carefully consider their purchases."
- Berni Fetzer, Fetzer Gallery (Sontheim): "We succeeded in selling several works by Thomas Deyle which meant we had to replace the paintings on show at our stand."
- Thole Rotermund, Thole Rotermund Gallery (Hamburg): "I've been attending the art KARLSRUHE for seven years, and this year, we got to meet some first rate visitors at our stands. We made some good sales and the contacts that we forged this year have been first rate. The art KARLSRUHE is a fair that I enjoy attending from every point of view."
- Walter Bischoff, Bischoff Gallery (Zell a.H.): "The response to our stand was superb. One visitor even told us that he found our stand to be the best in the whole fair – and as a gallery owner I was naturally really pleased about that."
- Erika Davis-Klemm, DavisKlemmGallery (Wiesbaden): "Erhard Witzel and I have attended art KARLSRUHE as exhibitors for several years. We are very satisfied with this fair. Once again, our attendance proved to be a success."
- Kuno Schlichtenmaier, Schlichtenmaier Gallery (Grafenau): "The art KARLSRUHE is a home game for us. The fair was very well attended and we are very satisfied with our result."
- Martin Mertens, Martin Mertens Gallery (Berlin): "The Städtische Galerie (Municipal Art Gallery) in Karlsruhe bought a work from us by one of our artists, Kai Mailänder. For an artist who is so young this is really great, and we are naturally very pleased.
- Thomas Fuchs, Thomas Fuchs Gallery (Stuttgart): "All in all we sold 21 works to the value of 130,000 Euros. We were able to part with works that are set to join collections in Germany and Luxembourg. We really like this fair because it has a dream mix of visitors. We also got to forge new contacts with both collectors and curators of private museums."