Cologne Fine Art 2018: a first class selection of art and artistic craftwork
Cologne Fine Art will once again show extraordinary exhibits from around the world from 22 to 25 November 2018, and thereby ranges across three millennia of art and cultural history. From Far Eastern sculptures and exotica of the past and present to American design classics and young contemporary positions of painting and photography: Cologne Fine Art unfolds a kaleidoscopic dialogue fed by the most varied art genres, eras and style, and invites discovery. No other German art fair presents art and artistic craftwork with this complexity and depth, and is at the same time, thanks to the lively exhibition concept, so approachable and exciting. Cologne Fine Art thus addresses both established art connoisseurs and budding collectors. At the same time it is an exhibition, chamber of curiosities and realm of experience, presented by select, high quality galleries and dealers from nine countries.
Modern classics and exciting new positions
Classic fine arts at Cologne Fine Art is an important focus and is prominently represented. The Galerie Ludorff (Düsseldorf) has a real sensation on offer: Otto Mueller's "Russisches Mädchenpaar" (Two Russian girls) from 1919 is once again accessible to the public for the first time in 50 years. An exceptional work of the German Expressionist, which shows his wife Maschka and, as is presumed by renowned Mueller researchers, his second great love, Irene Altmann, united on the canvas. "I am quite secure in assessing this painting as a minor sensation, as Mueller so rarely succumbed to a colouring as passionate as that of his colleagues of the Brücke group", says Manuel Ludorff. Thus, the authors of the Mueller catalogue of works, which should appear at the end of the year, were also "delighted to now be able to see this central work originating from an American private collection for the first time in the original."
The Ludorff portfolio also includes central works from Willi Baumeister (Kessaua statuary, 1954) and Ernst Wilhelm Nay (Dominant yellow, 1959), and in the contemporary art segment convinces in particular with the diptych "Wassertürme" (Water towers) from Bernd and Hilla Becher from 1980, as well as with an early cherry portrait of the former Cologne Fine Art prizewinner Karin Kneffel.
Stern Pissarro (London) is also showing high quality work. Thus, key works of Emil Nolde and Fernand Léger are represented, flanked by Lucio Fontana's "Concetto Speciale" and three works by Yayoi Kusama, including the painting "Teardrops" from 1989. The mix of modern and contemporary art attempts to create a docking point for all art lovers. Nobody should feel left out. "We want to show the knowledgeable public high quality works that are of both art historical and market relevance. At the same time we hope to provide younger collectors, who are showing increasing interest in art after 1950, with a forum extending to the present", explains Natalie Plan from Stern Pissarro.
The latter may also be interested in the promising offering at Choi & Lager (Cologne) and Kaune Contemporary (Cologne), which have dedicated themselves to young positions like those of the former master pupil of Peter Doig, Helena Parada Kim, Jan-Ole Schliemann and Dale Lewis (Choi & Lager), as well as to the contemporary photographic art of Mark Arbeit and Todd Hido (Kaune Contemporary), flanked by design classics from Eames and Cassina.
Jewellery rarities, design icons, luxurious porcelain and high quality pieces from the Baroque and Biedermeier periods
For the 20th century, jewellery and design make the main points. Antique Jewellery & Art Sabine Füchter (Munich) thereby focuses on Art Deco and the 1940s. "Especially the 1940s were characterised by an entirely new language of form. Jewellery was no longer mere decoration, but instead a statement expressed in large stones, unusual settings and extravagant arrangements. Especially since the goldsmith had to be very creative due to the shortage of material as a result of the war", Sabine Füchter explains. In addition to highly expressive precious items from this era, the Munich-based establishment presents select pieces from major jewellery producers like Cartier, Chaumet, as well as Van Cleef & Arpels from the 1920s. The showpiece among the watches is a Rolex Prince Brancard with the eye-catching dual face from 1929, which, in the stainless steel version offered here, is among the most coveted models from the legendary manufactory.
The Kunsthaus Nüdling (Fulda) also builds on vintage precious items. The outstanding offering at Cologne Fine Art encompasses an Art Deco broche with round, triangular and rectangular-shaped brilliants, a stylised duck broche of turquoises, brilliants and yellow gold from Cartier and silver rarities from Tiffany from the 1930s to the 1960s.
The Kiez Kabinett (Berlin) initiates an exciting design dialogue. The gallery presents a juxtaposition of Danish and Italian mid-century design, whereby the central focus here is on the iconic designs of Ico Parisi. The rose-coloured Minerva sofa from Peter Hvidt and Orla Mørgaard-Nielsen, which marks one of the highlights at the stand of the Berlin design specialists, still appears to be visionary. "Thanks to the retro trend in films and streaming series, mid-century design has once again come to the fore. And younger people have in this way discovered it for themselves. We are observing an increased demand for furniture from this time", explains Tobias Hirschmann from Kiez Kabinett.
At Frank Oberacker (Frankfurt), those who love early Meissen porcelain will find rare treasures from the reign of August the Strong, who arranged for the founding of the "Royal-Polish and Electoral-Saxon Porcelain Manufactory" by decree in 1710.
A high quality offering of German Baroque and Biedermeier furniture, complemented with chandeliers, mirrors and mantelpiece clocks from the 18th and 19th centuries can be found at Dr. Schmitz-Avila (Bad Breisig/Bamberg), who, with a trade fair presence of more than 20 years, is one of the grandees of Cologne Fine Art.
Asiatic and tribal art
The highlights this year too include select Asiatic and Oceanic tribal art from top exhibitors like Michael Woerner (Bangkok/Hong Kong), Famarte from Belgium and the Paris art dealer Martin Doustar. His ancestral figures and ceremonial objects carved of exotic wood are on the one hand witnesses of everyday life, and on the other hand of the mysterious rites of tribes from the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu or Papua-New Guinea for the most part unknown to us. No less spectacular are Doustar's ancient bronze objects from the Arabian region, which in some cases date back to the 2nd millennia before Christ and have impeccable provenances.
Farah Massarte from Famarte focuses on Hindu and Buddhist art, for which he sees growing potential: "People are travelling more than they used to and are therefore more open and more sensitive with regard to the art and culture of distant lands. They are looking for something special, something that tells them new, to date unfamiliar stories, and which may even be spiritually charged. Ancient Asian art offers all of that, coupled with great expressiveness, impeccable craftsmanship and unique materiality." The focus at Famarte is a majestic sandstone Ganesha figure from Central India, originating from the Chandella period of the 10th century, flanked by a bronze group with Buddha and his pupils from the mid 19th century. Opposite these, Farah Massarte places the neoimpressionist works of the Burmese artist Soe Soe, and in this way impressively reinforces the trade fair concept, according to which old and contemporary art not only coexist in equality, but even mutually complement one another in bold stagings.
Art dealer Michael Woerner, who will travel directly from Asia, also joins in with this characteristic style. "For this year's Cologne Fine Art we will present a new, fresh exhibition concept, in order to also address the wishes of a younger, increasingly design-oriented public", says Michael Woerner. Thus, works from the cobalt series of the Thai ceramics artist Wasinburee Supanichvoraparch will be exhibited exclusively in Cologne, flanked by the ethereal, textile-like ink paintings of Jiratchaya Pripwai, who is one of the current shooting stars in Thailand's contemporary art scene. "We will embed two outstanding antiques in this scenery: the sublime stone torso of a goddess from the pre-Angkor period, dated to the 7th century AD, as well as the head of a Bodhisattva sculpture from old Gandhara", according to Woerner.
Other exhibitors will also be showing exhibits from other countries and cultures. While the Brenske Galerie (Munich) is coming with Russian icons from the 17th to 19th centuries, Patrick & Ondine Mestdagh (Brussels) will show old indigenous art from North and South America.
Image: Hans Stoltenberg-Lerche. Sea Floor (ED GALLERY S. N. C.)
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