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Art Cologne!

21/04/2016 - 07:44-0 Comments by | poland flag

Art Cologne is a fair of modern and contemporary art, held in the “Koelnmesse”—a huge trade fair/exhibition center in Cologne. Renowned art galleries from all over the world show their collections during the fair. It is a great place to see contemporary art, and to get a glimpse of how art business works.

Some visitors come to Art Cologne just for the experience—a few hours with art, taking a look at the bookshop, socializing over the glass of champagne or grilled Wurst… The experience is not free, which makes the fair a little bit exclusive—one day pass costs around 20 euro. Fortunately, as the student of fine arts academy in Germany, I could enjoy a free day-pass on Thursday.

There are also serious art collectors, who come to Art Cologne. Every piece of art has a tag with its price—or with the information that you should ask the gallery employee for the price directly (this kind of “priceless” tag is often used for the works of the very famous artists, such as Andy Warhol). The sold artworks remain at the art fair to be admired, but a special “sold” tag appears next to them. I went to the fair on its first day (it lasts the whole weekend) and many artworks were already sold.

I’ve been to Chicago EXPO art fair before, but what makes Art Cologne unique is its clear structure. It is easy to get lost among hundreds of stalls of various galleries. However, clear maps make it easy to navigate Art Cologne. It is also easy to find the art one’s interested in. There are three exhibition halls on three floors. The first floor shows modern and post-war art. You can see German Expressionists, Marc Chagall, and Andy Warhol there, among others. The second and largest hall is occupied by contemporary, renowned galleries. The third floor is dedicated to galleries, which did not exist for longer than ten years. Therefore, it shows mostly young, emerging artists. There are also bookshops, cafes, small restaurants, and a garden-terrace—to enjoy your time when you need a break for socializing.

Art Cologne is situated in the exhibition halls, which are directly opposite “Koeln Messe-Deutz” train station. Thanks to the direct train connection, visitors can reach Art Cologne (and other fairs in Koelnmesse) very conveniently. Train schedules are also hanging next to the main entrance to Art Cologne, to help you plan your return journey.

Art Cologne is definitely worth visiting and very exciting. However, I was quite disappointed by its core rule—only galleries can book space and exhibit art there. It makes the fair very business-oriented, as the gallery owners are the ones who decide who they show. There are many talented and wonderful artists who are not bound to any gallery out of their personal preference. They should not be excluded from having the opportunity to show their art at the international fair. Also, most of the galleries at Art Cologne come from the wealthy, Western countries. Perhaps due to the pricing for the spaces, many countries seemed excluded from this international fair. However, that’s the theme for an essay rather than for a blog post—an sadly, it concernes not only Art Cologne, but the art world in general.

Tags: English Blog Post, German Cities, Holidays & Events, Leisure Time, Society & Culture

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