For some art enthusiasts, COLOGNE FINE ART, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in the coming year, is among the best the art fair world in Germany has to offer. The unique mixture of old and new, of the familiar and the unusual, from applied arts to artistic craftwork and design, from precious jewellery to large-format works of art this year once again inspired around 14,500 visitors from Germany and neighbouring countries. "The concept of COLOGNE FINE ART brings together eras and styles across centuries and individual collector passions. That creates new perspectives. And everything in consistent and exclusive quality. That's convincing, and provides access new target groups, like young collectors", is how COLOGNE FINE ART Director Cornelia Zinken summarises the fair days. Thus, Asian items and Biedermeier period furniture presented themselves with a sense for perfect neighbourliness, as was also the case with contemporary painting and works from the 19th century. The fact that some galleries presented museum quality works increased the feeling of the extraordinary, which was also reinforced by the elegant atmosphere of the art fair. The exhibiting galleries and traders were enthusiastic about the curiosity, the knowledge and the willingness to buy of visitors. The sales were correspondingly good, and ranged from three figures to totals in the six-figure range.
"COLOGNE FINE ART has a great level of quality and charms with its elegance and clear structure", the Cologne gallery owner Knut Osper enthuses. "Because the art fair is so compact, visitors take their time. We had many good discussions and were very impressed by the well-funded and decisive public", says Osper, who sold a portfolio by Günther Uecker (€30,000) and several paintings by Klaus Fußmann. He achieved some "great numbers", says the trader of his COLOGNE FINE ART debut. The Galerie von Vertes was also able to report a good sale, with a painting by Serge Poliakoff for €300,000.
"The public on the Rhine is curious, informed and decisive", confirms the Freiburg gallery owner Albert Baumgarten, who sold works by all of his artists to collectors, including a large sculpture of the wood sculptor Walter Moroder (middle 5-figure range). "It went well for me", is Baumgarten's summary. Kunsthandel Nöth "got off to a brilliant start." "Customers are more concentrated because the art fair is so clearly structured", Michael Nöth observed. Galerie Koch did good business, selling a Kirchner drawing, sculptures by Erwin Wurm (€28,000) and Michael Croissant, a work of the COLOGNE FINE ART prize winner Horst Antes and drawings by Karl Bohrmann. "The art fair is well-received, and we always acquire new customers here", says Petra Koch. Kunstkontor Doris Möllers met with a great response to the graphic works of James Ensor, which originate from a Swiss private collection. "The offering of COLOGNE FINE ART is fantastic in terms of variety and also provides younger visitors with a lot of impulses", the art fair participant of many years from Münster praises.
"The opening was sensationally well-attended", was the verdict of Antiquariat Braun, which had very good sales with old graphic works and was also successful with print graphics by Gerhard Richter and works of Heinz Mack. André Kirbach was pleased at the great interest in the Japanese painter Keiko Sadakane, for whom he had arranged a special event for her 70th birthday. "The public has a good sense for quality", according to the Düsseldorf gallery owner, who also sold works by Abraham David Christian and the Cologne painter Martin Strippelmann, who had withdrawn from the art business for two decades. "All of the traders brought wonderful things with them; the art fair is getting more beautiful all the time", praises Kirbach; "we have been receiving a positive response across the board". "The impression is very good", confirms Raphael Petrov from Galerie Raphael, which was also pleased at many new contacts. "The atmosphere is wonderful", finds Sabrina Lemcke from the new exhibitor St. Gertrude. Galerie Henneken was also satisfied with its COLOGNE FINE ART debut. "The public and the mood were very good, we had some stimulating discussions", says Jan Henneken, the buyer of graphic works by E.W. Nay.
The Cologne gallery owner Ulf Larsson, who was successful with sculptures by René Dantes and paintings by Rupert Eder, made a clear statement. "COLOGNE FINE ART has to stay", says Larsson. "COLOGNE FINE ART is an enrichment for the Rhineland", Klaus Benden states. "Visitors feel very well in the atmosphere and see a lot of wonderful things". The specialist for American Pop Art sold a monumental work by James Rosenquist (€56,000), as well as Andy Warhol's "Goldbook" and the series "Bottom of my Garden", which went in its entirety to one collection. Gallery owner Manuel Ludorff was also pleased about "intensive discussions and good collectors from the Benelux countries". Works by Winfried Gaul, Karl Otto Goetz and René Sintenis were in demand at his stand. COLOGNE FINE ART is set up "very solidly" in every respect, finds art trader Thole Rotermund, who noticed that the art fair public has grown younger. "Quality and diversity are the strengths of the art fair", says the Hamburg gallery owner; "there are things here that you don't get to see at any other art fair." "Customers notice the quality of the offering and enjoy themselves at the art fair", Lukas Minssen from Galerie Utermann has determined; "we met some great people and are really pleased".
At his stand, Tilman Roatzsch combined Biedermeier furniture with modern art, reaching younger visitors with this concept. "We are hoping for successful follow-up business", says the trader. Kunsthaus Kende also adapted its offering to a younger group of buyers with select pieces from a young generation of silversmiths. "In doing so, we struck a nerve with people, but old customers can also find something to like in the high quality pieces", Christopher Kende reports. Jewellery trader Sabine Füchter won new customers. "The opening was extraordinary, the right people were there", says the Munich trader.
"Cologne is always very pleasant", finds Miriam Schmitz-Amkreutz from "The old Treasury", which already sold a pair of candle holders from the silversmith workshop of Georg Jensen (€25,000) on the opening evening. Galerie Simonis sold a nail fetish from the Congo (€38,000), a Yaure mask (€30,000), as well as a ceremonial axe and other pieces from the Schmalenbach collection, not to mention a number of wooden neck supports. At the KKZ Kabinett, various items of furniture of the Italian designer Ico Parisi, lamps, jewellery and Murano vases were sold. Tobias Hirschmann was pleased with both existing and new customers. "Mid-Century is hip at the moment", the Berliner reported. Michael Woerner acquired a lot of recognition for his original stand concept: the mix of Khmer sculptures and contemporary Thai ceramics attracted a great deal of attention from visitors. Woerner made sales in both segments, and also in demand were the fine ink on canvas drawings by Jiratchaya Pripal. "The amount of interest was unbelievable. I was able to establish some new contacts", says the trader.
The young traders also looked satisfied. "The art fair is an enormous opportunity for me. I had some very good discussions and an exchange of ideas at a high level of sophistication", the trader of Asian items, Alexander Kommoss, who sold lacquer and ceramic boxes to collectors, shared. "The public is very knowledgeable", emphasised Philip Ennik, who let go a large-format pencil crayon drawing by Pierre Klossowski during the opening. "I met some wonderful people in Cologne and established new contacts. I am very satisfied with my presence here", says Mario Bermel, who was especially successful with Robert Pan, who creates his paintings from many layers of resin.
This year's COLOGNE FINE ART Prize went to the painter, sculptor and draughtsman Horst Antes for his life's work.
Galerie Simonis from Düsseldorf and Galerie Michael Woerner from Bangkok were honoured for the best stand design.
The next COLOGNE FINE ART takes place from 21 to 24 November 2019, again parallel with EXPONATEC COLOGNE, the international trade fair for museums, preservation and cultural heritage.
List of reported sales
Galerie Klaus Benden
Large-format work by James Rosenquist, €56,000; Andy Warhol, Goldbook €85,000; Andy Warhol "In the bottom of my Garden", drawing by Tom Wesselmann €75,000
BF Galleries/Art Sablon
Bronze sculpture "Rhinoceros" by Stefano Patti, €35,000
2 sideboards, chairs, 4 paintings, vases and bowls of Murano glass, lamps, tapestry €7,500
Galerie Am Elisengarten
Works of the Aachen artist Peter Lacroix, paintings by Belgian impressionists,
2-part work by Otto Freundlich, €15,000
Ennik Fine Art
Pierre Klossowski, double portrait of the artist and his wife, pencil crayon, 1979, €90,000
Antique & Art Sabine Füchter
Wristwatches and Art Deco jewellery
7 works of the Spanish artist Salustiano, from €2,000 for pigment prints to €35,000 for oil paintings, works of the street artist Banksy
Galerie 100 Kubik
Dino Valls portrait in the style of the old masters, €30,000
André Kirbach Düsseldorf
Works by Abraham David Christian and the Cologne painter Martin Strippelmann, €5,800
KK Kiez Kabinett
Ico Parisi, various pieces of furniture, including telephone table, €1,850; lamps, Murano vases, jewellery
Kirchner drawing, sculptures by Erwin Wurm (€28,000) and Michael Croissant, a work of the COLOGNE FINE ART prize winner Horst Antes and drawings by Karl Bohrmann
Kunstkontor Dr. Doris Möllers
Graphic work by Otto Dix, work on paper by Lovis Corinth
Galerie Ulf Larsson
3 sculptures by René Dantes
Painting by Winfried Gaul €14,500
Dr. Michael Nöth
Painting by Lotte Laserstein and Otto Modersohn
Oberacker – Frühes Porzellan
2 Commedia dell`Arte figures, Meißen 2nd half of the 18th century, Meißen two-handled terrine, € 9.500
Galerie Commeter / Persiehl & Heine
Lars Zech "Moving Portrait" of walnut, €6,800
Photographs by Alberra & Cabrera €1,800 to 8,000
Works by Sarah Moon
Thole Rotermund Kunsthandel
Graphic work by Lyonel Feininger, painting by Eduard Bargheer
18 inro seal containers, a large number of netsuke, scroll paintings, folding screen with scenes from Japan's most famous novel, €8,000
Kunsthandel Dr. Thomas Schmitz-Avila
Cabinet and two chests of drawers
Nail fetish from the Congo, wood, iron, magic material, €38,000
Ceremonial axe from the Schmalenbach collection, wood, metal, €6,500
various wooden neck supports from Africa
The old Treasury
Pair of candle holders from the silversmith workshop of Georg Jensen, 1933/1944, €25,000
"Shirt Painting" from the 1990s by Horst Antes, Plexiglas objects by Angela Glajcar
Galerie von Vertes
Paintings by Serge Poliakoff €300,000
Michael Woerner Oriental Art
Ceramics by Wasinburee Supanichvoraparch, drawings on canvas by Jiratchaya Pripwal, Khmer sculptures
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