All Eyes On Germany For Art Cologne And Berlin Gallery Week

On the every spinning international carousel which we call the art industry all eyes are about to turn to Berlin and Cologne for a month of non stop art action. Art Cologne’s 48th edition, 10th – 13th April is the world’s oldest art fair for modern and contemporary art of the 20th and 21st century. Today’s fair annually invites approximately 200 international galleries to showcase painting, sculpture, photography, prints, multiples, installations, performance and moving image art in the city of Cologne, cultural center of the Rhineland region and beyond. The origins of today’s ART COLOGNE go back to the year 1967, when Cologne-based gallerists Hein Stünke and Rudolf Zwirner initiated the first Kunstmarkt Köln.

This year, outside of the entrance hall, three monumental bronze sculptures of the American artist Joel Shapiro catch the eye of the visitor. Shapiro, born 1941 in New York City, is considered one of the most important representatives of contemporary sculpture. The works presented at ART COLOGNE, Elevation I and Elevation II from the year 1994, as well as another untitled sculpture from 1996, move between abstraction and figuration. Despite the massiveness of the material, the minimalist-abstract design of the heads, torsos or limbs of the sculptures convey a lightness of movement and dance. The Museum Ludwig  in Cologne dedicated a major show to Joel Shapiro in 2011. The Shapiro installations for ART COLOGNE 2014 are realised with the friendly support of the Galerie Karsten Greve (Cologne/Paris/St. Moritz).

A site-specific installation by the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who is currently subject to a travel ban, was created especially for the entrance hall of ART COLOGNE. Ai Weiwei produced this large wallpaper work as a non-commercial work of art for two long walls that progress toward one another like a funnel. In addition to a large-format text image, upon which the artist requests the return of his passport confiscated by the Chinese authorities, the work reflects on Ai Weiwei’s ‘bouquet in bicycle basket’ project. Every morning, a fresh bouquet of flowers will be placed in the basket of a bicycle chained in front of Ai Weiwei’s studio in Peking, which is under camera surveillance, until the confiscated passport of the artist is returned to him. The installation for ART COLOGNE arose in cooperation with the ‘FRIENDS OF AI WEIWEI’, represented by their co-initiator Alexander Ochs, who is also appearing at ART COLOGNE as a gallery owner, and who has been presenting contemporary art from China here for many years. Already on 3 April 2014, the world’s largest solo exhibition of Ai Weiwei opened in the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin.

Addressing issues of architecture and human interaction, the Danish artist Jeppe Hein presents a bench sculpture from the series ‘Modified Social Benches’  created in 2010 in the new boulevard of the upstairs exhibitor hall 11.3. Hein’s artistic practice is informed by architecture, communication and social behaviour. Hein modified the basic form of a park bench in such a way that the usual behaviour pattern of passive, in some cases lonely lingering is disrupted. Sitting down instead involves increased activity, even extending to physical exertion. The locations at which the benches are found are thus infused with an active character, encourage dialogue and are given a social quality – a conscious reference to the contradiction of art and functional object. The Jeppe Hein sculpture is realised with the friendly support of Galerie Johann König, Berlin.

ART COLOGNE has joined forces with the New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) to launch a new section titled ‘COLLABORATIONS’. Galleries participating in COLLABORATIONS will showcase a programme based on a jointly planned project. The new scheme forms the third mainstay of the Fair alongside the two major sections titled ‘GALLERIES’ and ‘NEW CONTEMPORARIES’.

ART COLOGNE and NADA have worked closely together to develop the ‘COLLABORATIONS’ scheme. The idea behind it is to encourage galleries to engage with the concept of collaboration. Projects can span every aspect of collaborative practice. Examples might be where a stand is shared by two galleries co-curating one programme or where two galleries co-host one artist. A third option might be a group show of work by several artists who are known to have worked together.

The aim of the ‘COLLABORATIONS’ section is to point up new artistic parallels and to spark interaction – for example between an emerging gallery and an established gallery, or between different artistic trends, styles and approaches, and across national borders.

Galleries and artists include: Arratia Beer: Friedrich Teepe, Galerie Guido W. Baudach: Björn Dahlem, Blain I Southern: Lynn Chadwick, Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi: Seth Price; Wu Tsang, BQ: Richard Wright, Galerie Buchholz: Lutz Bacher, Buchmann Galerie: Wolfgang Laib, Capitain Petzel: Adam McEwen, Carlier I Gebauer: Harold Ancart, Aaron Aujla, Neil Beloufa, Jonathan Binet, Michel François, Zak Kitnik, Ajay Kurian, Caroline Mesquita, Valerie Snobeck, Jessica Warboys, Emily Wardill, Contemporary Fine Arts: Christian Rosa; Borden Capalino, Sachin Kealey, Rosy Keyser, Sam Moyer, Kaari Upson, Mehdi Chouakri: Gerold Miller, Circus: Just ‘cos always (group show), Croy Nielsen: Hugh Scott-Douglas Galerie Eigen + Art: Tim Eitell; Despina Stokou, Konrad Fischer Galerie: Magnus Plessen, Gerhardsen Gerner: Julian Opie, Galerie Michael Haas: Arnulf Rainer; Dennis Scholl, Galerie Max Hetzler: Richard Phillips; Robert Holyhead, Johnen Galerie: David Claerbout, Galerie Kamm: Simon Dybbroe Møeller, Kewenig: Bertrand Lavier, Kicken Berlin: Joachim Brohm, Charles Fréger, Jitka Hanzlová, Hans-Christian Schink, Alfred Seiland Johann König: Jessica Jackson Hutchins; Michael Sailstorfer, KOW: Chris Martin, Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler: Katja Novitskova, Tanya Leighton: Robert and Trix Haussmann; Friedrich Kuhn, Meyer Riegger: Katinka Bock, Moeller Fine Art: Pravoslav Sovak, Galerie Neu: Alex Hubbard, neugerriemschneider: Pae White; Thomas Bayrle, Harald Pidgar, Michel Majerus, Galerie Nordenhake: Paul Fägerskiöld, Peres Projects: David Ostrowski
Galeria Plan B: Achraf Touloub, PSM: Nadira Husain, Aurel Scheibler: Philip Guston, Esther Schipper: Liam Gillick, Galerie Micky Schubert: Maximilian Zentz Zlomovitz, Galerie Thomas Schulte: Gordon Matta-Clark; Dieter Appelt, Société: Ned Vena, Sommer & Kohl: Andreas Eriksson, Sprüth Magers Berlin London: Reinhard Mucha; Peter Fischli / David Weiss; Philip-Lorca DiCorcia, Supportico Lopez: Julian Beck, Galerie Barbara Thumm: Antonio Paucar Sassa Trülzsch: Klaus vom Bruch; Ingo Günther, VW (Veneklasen / Werner): Huma Bhabha, Galerie Barbara Weiss: Geta Brătescu, Wentrup: Florian Meisenberg, Wien Lukatsch: Georges Adéagbo, Kunsthandel Wolfgang Werner: Gerhard von Graevenitz, Żak I Branicka: Zofia Kulik

Art Cologne 2014 10–13 April  Berlin Gallery week  2-4 May

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