23 April 2013

ART COLOGNE 2013 / PART II: MODERN CLASSICS

Art Cologne 2013 _ featured on artfridge, all images copright artfridge.de, courtesy the artists and galleries
Daniel Buren at Galeria Hilario Galguera, Mexico City
Art Cologne 2013 _ featured on artfridge, all images copright artfridge.de, courtesy the artists and galleries
Laura Ford at Scheffel, Bad Homburg v. d. Höhe 
Art Cologne 2013 _ featured on artfridge, all images copright artfridge.de, courtesy the artists and galleries
Booth Hauser & Wirth, Zürich, London, New York 
Art Cologne 2013 _ featured on artfridge, all images copright artfridge.de, courtesy the artists and galleries
Christoph Schlingensief at Hauser & Wirth,  Zürich, London, New York
Art Cologne 2013 _ featured on artfridge, all images copright artfridge.de, courtesy the artists and galleries
Jonathan Meese at Bo Bjerggaard, Copenhagen
Art Cologne 2013 _ featured on artfridge, all images copright artfridge.de, courtesy the artists and galleries
Sigmar Polke at Michael Werner, Cologne, Berlin, New York
47th editon of Art Cologne _ 2013 _ featured on artfridge _ images by artfridge _ courtesy Art Cologne, the artists and gallerists
Jeff Cowen at Michael Werner, Cologne, Berlin, New York
47th editon of Art Cologne _ 2013 _ featured on artfridge _ images by artfridge _ courtesy Art Cologne, the artists and gallerists
Georg Baselitz at Michael Werner, Cologne, Berlin, New York
Art Cologne 2013 _ featured on artfridge, all images copright artfridge.de, courtesy the artists and galleries
Jack Pierson at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, Salzburg
All images by artfridge, courtesy Art Cologne, the artists and the galleries

After writing about the contemporaries in my last post, the second part of my review about the 47th edition of Art Cologne will be focussing on the modern classics segment on the first floor. For those of you who have never been to the fair I should mention that Art Cologne is very much separated into two different areas: the contemporaries upstairs, the classics downstairs. While Art Cologne Director Daniel Hug transformed and improved the upstairs area, the classic-department hasn't changed much: Botero, Beuys - Kneffel, Knoebel. Ernst Ludwig Kirchner's 1926-painting “Strassenbild vor dem Friseurladen” even made it into the press, as Galerie Heinze & Ketterer had it on sale for 3,75 million Euros, which is said to be the highest price of the whole fair. 

So far, so good. All this was to be expected. Instead, what most regular visitors rather stumbled upon, was the fact that Hauser & Wirth, as one of the world's biggest players in contemporary art, moved downstairs - right next to the other gallery-giants Michael Werner, David Zwirner and Thaddaeus Ropac. No doubt, seen from the perspective of value and price - the swiss gallery sits quite comfortable next to its gallery siblings. However, Hauser & Wirth did everything to not fit at all: By turning a big part of their booth into a black box where a Christoph Schlingensief movie was shown and by highlighting Philippe Vandenberg's "Kill them All II" painting in the center of their space, the booth seemed more provocative and juvenile than ever. 

Michael Werner did his cosy standard program and had some obligatory Sigmar Polke and Georg Baselitz paintings on display. Also David Zwirner remained in his traditional comfort zone and showed off with a giant painting by Neo Rauch, which was so distracting that one would almost overlook two great, small paintings by the Belgian artist Francis Alÿs. Another lively highlight was the large blue and red pavilion installation by Daniel Buren, which was displayed at Galeria Hilario Galguera from Mexico City and it helped forgetting the nightmarish "Bedtime" elephants by Laura Ford, which were shown at Galerie Scheffel. 

Maybe the strict separation between Art Cologne's first and second floor is simply overdue and rather calls for a blending of the contemporary and the classic. Being represented down there, on the first floor, unfortunately comes with an old fashioned after-taste. This is for example the case with the Copenhagen-based gallery Bo Bjerggaard, which had the three infamous CFA artists Jonathan Meese, Tal R and Daniel Richter in their booth. Not really a bad selection, but it seemed odd and gave the paintings a bit of a fusty taste. As if Bo Bjerggaard's booth turned into an art-graveyard. Well, at least a luxurious one.


Art Cologne 2013 _ featured on artfridge, all images copright artfridge.de, courtesy the artists and galleries
Francis Alÿs at David Zwirner, New York, London 
Art Cologne 2013 _ featured on artfridge, all images copright artfridge.de, courtesy the artists and galleries
Neo Rauch at David Zwirner, New York, London 

Art Cologne 2013 _ featured on artfridge, all images copright artfridge.de, courtesy the artists and galleries
Koen Vanmechelen at Guy Pieters, Knokke-Heist (B)
Art Cologne 2013 _ featured on artfridge, all images copright artfridge.de, courtesy the artists and galleries
Joseph Beuys at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, Salzburg 
47th editon of Art Cologne _ 2013 _ featured on artfridge _ images by artfridge _ courtesy Art Cologne, the artists and gallerists
Meret Oppenheim at Levy, Hamburg

All images by artfridge, courtesy Art Cologne, the artists and the galleries
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