Over Art Cologne 2018, de grootste kunstbeurs van Duitsland die plaatsvond van 19 t/m 22 april in Keulen

Starting from the bottom and going to the top or the other way around the visit to Art Cologne does not follow any specific route but that of your own taste. The oldest fair of Europe offers something for everyone, no matter if you are looking for the latest trends in contemporary art or the unseen gems by modern art artists such as Max Ernst, Andy Warhol or Sigmar Polka and although this year was competing on the same dates as Art Brussels the 2 hour drive difference between both cities made that many people managed to attend both and building towards collaboration instead of competition.

Even before entering the fair we can feel the grandiosity of itself by the carpet artwork made at the entrance by artist Zuzanna Czebatul. Once inside we went up to the top of the fair to start, getting to the youngest galleries and facing the collaborative both of Fons Welters and Isabella Bortolozzi as soon as we step out of the escalators, with an amazing presentation of 3 huge canvas of Juliette Blightman laying on crates of beer and some new wall work by Olga Balema. It is in this top floor were we find not only the collaborations section, with highlighted booths such as Arcadia Missa and Deborah Schamoni, featuring some work by Judith Hopf or the collaborative booth of Weiss Falk and Gillmeier Rech where wall works and works turned in furniture by Veit Laurent Kurz worked perfectly in this fair context, but also were we find the Nieuwmarkt section with some young galleries that are showing some of the most interesting work at the moment, like the work of Peppi Bottrop and Tobias Spichtig at Jan Kaps (with a show in the gallery at the same time), the amazing paintings of Veronika Hilger at Sperling (that sold completely) or the simple but funny proposal by Rob Tufnell with the work of Edward Kay.

Installation view of Sperling, Munich at Art Cologne 2018. Courtesy Sperling
Installation view of Sperling, Munich at Art Cologne 2018. Courtesy Sperling

Koenig © Art Cologne 2018
Koenig © Art Cologne 2018

Edward Kay’s Beelzebub (2018) at Rob Tufnell. Courtesy the artist and Rob Tufnell
Edward Kay’s Beelzebub (2018) at Rob Tufnell. Courtesy the artist and Rob Tufnell

In the middle floor we face the big names within the contemporary art world and the floor changes to be carpeted, to our left received by a work by Gilbert and George presented by Thaddeus Ropac; to the right an amazing sculpture booth by Gagosian featuring works by Duane Hanson, Chris Burden or Alberto Giacometti among other top names, all of this without any label. It is sometimes very difficult to choose among all the big blue chip galleries, because you would like to take everything, but it was nice to see the effort of Spanish gallery Heinrich Ehrhardt, very well known within the German art market bringing both a selection of names such as Günther Förg, Imi Knoebel or Martin Kippenberger next to not so well known Spanish artists like Kiko Pérez, Fernando García or Julia Spínola. It was also interesting to see the booths of some Berlin galleries just before the Gallery Weekend, as a kind of sneak peek, like the new sculptures of Anna Uddenberg at Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler or the works by Alicja Kwade and Erwin Wurm at König Galerie.

Erwin Wurm © Art Cologne 2018
Erwin Wurm © Art Cologne 2018

And it is in the ground floor where we see why Art Cologne is one of the biggest fairs in the game, with a selection of modern and post war masters that included pop figures such as Andy Warhol or Roy Linchestein or German icons like Max Ernst or Sigmar Polke. Art Cologne has a strong connection to the Rhineland and the collectors in that area and in a world of Art Basel franchises it is nice to see that there is still some space for the “tradition”.