Selected works and editions from the Francesco Conz collection. Photo: Paula Lūse

The alluring power of art 0

Photoreport: Art Cologne 2019

Elīna Ije, Paula Lūse
12/04/2019

Photo: Paula Lūse

With the power of an attraction that is almost magnetic in nature, from April 11 to 14 Cologne will be the centre of the art world as it attracts artists, gallerists, collectors and art-lovers in concentrate. It is a place where the perspective of gallerists meets public opinion head on – 176 galleries from 24 countries, a broad and varied events programme, satellite events, and discussions featuring art professionals from a myriad of different fields.

Art Cologne is one of the most prestigious, oldest, and notable of Europe’s art fairs, with this edition being its 53rd. Since its inception, the fair’s curatorial concept has reflected the progressive thinking of its organisers by not only conforming to the changing interests of its audience, but also by democratising the list of participating galleries. True to form, this year’s Art Cologne is introducing several firsts, beginning with the physical structure of the fair – instead of the usual three halls divided by theme, this year the fair’s director, Daniel Hug, has chosen to present the galleries in two halls. Despite this new two-levelled structure, the fair has lost none of its openness and legibility, and presents a rich spread of international galleries that, when taken together, illustrate the global art scene’s processes and personalities from the mid-20th century onward.

The hall on the ground floor (11.1) contains modernist and post-war artworks. To wit: Geneva’s Bailly gallery is showing Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s drawing Nude Woman and Girl, whereas Cologne’s Boisserée gallery has works by Roy Lichtenstein, Joan Miro, Robert Motherwell, and other well-known artists. Meanwhile, the upper floor (11.2) contains contemporary art, and for the first time, this level also contains the Neumarkt sector, whose speciality is new and less prominent galleries such as the gallery Emalin, which is showing the piece Household by Chechen artist Aslan Gaisumov.

One can truly feel a polyphonic dialogue going on between the already accomplished galleries and the specially selected 13 new art spaces which have yet to see their ten-year anniversary. When queried as to what are his personally recommended must-sees, Art Cologne’s director, Daniel Hug, mentions the Kamel Mennour gallery, adding that their exhibit of the artist Lee Ufan is almost museum-level; Hug also markedly points out the Neumarkt section. Hague explains why the galleries have been brought together into two halls, as well as why Neumarkt is featuring only 13 galleries this year: “Instead of quantity, I chose the quality of the new-commers. I want to help new galleries, which is why I believe that the best of them should be in the same hall with world-renowned contemporary art galleries, thereby bringing them even more visibility.” And so we see next to established galleries such as David Zwirner, Pearl Lam, and the German leaders Sprüth Magers, Karsten Greve and König Galerie, junior galleries like Kaps and High Art.  

Hug iterates that it is very important to follow along with the times, to change, and to experiment.

In short, Art Cologne is a multi-dimensional exhibition that provides a concentrated look at what is going on in today’s art world through curated content that makes one think. The following is a view of the fair through the photographic eye of Arterritory.com. 


Press conference. From left: Karin Schulze-Frieling, Daniel Hug, Christine Hackmann


Ilya & Emilia Kabakov, "The Fallen Sky“


Archivio Conz special exhibition


Archivio Conz special exhibition


Gallery Dittrich & Schlechtriem. Dorian Gaudin, "This is how it starts", 2017


Gallery Nagel Draxler. Exposition view


Gallery Nagel Draxler. Artists Martin Kippenberger + Albert Oehlen


Gallery Sprüth Magers. Michail Pirgelis, "The Same Different", 2018


Gallery Karsten Greve. Joel Shapiro, "Ohne Titel"


Gallery David Zwirner. Thomass Ruff, "phg.01_1", 2013


Gallery Fiebach Minninger. Collaboration between artists Arthur Löwen and Nicolas Pelzer


Galerie Forsblom. Kim Simonsson, "Mossgirls With Skis", 2019


Gallery White Cube. Works by Tracey Emin


Gallery White Cube. Magnus Plessen


Gallery Pearl Lam. Chun Kwang Young "Aggregation 15-NV069", 2015


Gallery David Zwirner. Work by Carol Bove


Gallery Nathalie Obadia


Gallery Giorgio Persano. Work by Michelangelo Pistoletto


The artwork 'J'aime la France' by Chinese artist Wang Du at gallery Laurent Godin


Exposition view of gallery Wentrup 


Gallery Klüser. Work by Anish Kapoor


Gallery's Klüser exposition view


Gallery Sprüth Magers


Collaboration between galleries Blain and Southern


Gallery Fiebach Minninger. Collaboration between artists Arthur Löwen and Nicolas Pelzer


Gallery Ammann. Collaboration project between Zaha Hadid and Hélène Binet


Gallery Jan Kaps. Works by Nancy Lupo and Melike Kara


Gallery Arcadia Missa


Gallery König. Jeppe Hein, "You look into my heart", 2017


Gallery Emalin. Aslan Gaisumov, "Houshold", 2016


Gallery Deborah Schamoni. 


Gallery High Art


Gallery Continua. Work by Hans op de Beeck


Gallery Thaddeus Ropac. Tony Cragg sculpture "Ferryman", 1997


Gallery Thaddeus Ropac. Erwin Wurm "Double Ear Head", "Peace Restrained" and "Ear pointer", 2018; Alex Katz "Laura 11", 2017


Gallery Thaddeus Ropac. Robert Rauschenberg, "Rose Pole", 1978. 


Gallery Bo Bjerggard. Anna Bjerger, "The Sea", 2019


Gallery Ernst Hilger. Gunter Damish, "Ohne Titel", 2004-2010


Gallery Ernst Hilger. Mel Ramos, "Miss Chiquita", 2016


Gallery Fischer Kunsthandel & Edition. Andy Worhol


Gallery Thomas. Robert Indiana "Hope", 2009. Exposition view


Gallery Thomas. Works by Heinrich Compendonk and Emil Nolde


Gallery Klaus Benden


Gallery Boisseree. Roy Lichtenstein "Nude Reading", 1994


Gallery Boisseree. Patrick Hughes, "Banksy"


Gallery Boisseree. Robert Motherwell, "Red Sea II", 1979


Gallery Michael Schulz. Cornelia Schleime, "Zentaur", 2017/18


Gallery Thole Rotermund. Kunsthandel. Ernst Ludwig Kirchner


Gallery Lorenzelli Arte 


Gallery Bailly. Fernand Leger, "Composition au compas", 1932


Gallery Thomas


Gallery Thomas. Martin Spengler, "La Defense 2000", 2019


Galerie von Vertes exposition view


Gallery Kamel Mennour. Artist Lee Ufan solo show 


Collaboration project between galleries Natalia Hug and Aurel Scheibler


Gallery Pearl Lam. Zhu Jinshi ,"Birds Flying Back to the Mountains", 2015


Andreas Schmitten, "Am Ende der Adoleszenz", "Wartende", "Mutter", 2018. Courtesy: the artist and König Galerie


Gallery Templon. Chiharu Shiota, "State of Being (Books)", 2019


Gallery Templon. George Segal, "Women Looking into Mirror", 1992. 


Work by Gil Shachar