Final Report: In a class of its own: COLOGNE FINE ART convinces with a unique art selection in Germany
Exhibitors report good sales and praise an expert public - Very good mood, full passages - Once again around 16,000 visitors
Concentrated, elegant and with positive emotions; COLOGNE FINE ART 2017 closed its doors on Saturday, 26 November 2017 after five successful days. A total of around 16,000 visitors came to the art fair. "Staged as a temporary chamber of curiosities that combines old and new at the highest level and at the same time with a great sense of lightness, we have been successful with COLOGNE FINE ART in positioning a completely independent approach in the midst of the large number of art fairs. The considerable reduction in size of the fair, more international exhibitors and the diverse selection of exquisite objects with presentations that partially represent museum quality, as well as the completely revised appearance of the fair, have entirely convinced the public", according to Katharina Hamma, Chief Operating Officer of Koelnmesse.
"COLOGNE FINE ART is the best German art fair in this offering segment", praises the Zurich-based top gallery owner Laszlo von Vertes, "it is compact, beautifully designed, and has this year once again experienced high-class growth. We also noticed synergy effects in combination with RETRO CLASSICS and EXPONATEC." In addition to numerous sales, Von Vertes also accepted a reservation for a painting of the Japanese painter Yayoi Kusama, which, at over a million Euros, was one of the most expensive works of this year's event. "The appearance is wonderful, the offering segments have been optimised", found the Cologne Pop Art specialist Klaus Benden, who sold works by Andy Warhol and an early pencil drawing by Alex Katz to collectors.
"COLOGNE FINE ART is absolutely consistent in terms of quality", confirmed COFA veteran Rainer Ludorff (Düsseldorf), "visitors are satisfied with the reduction in size". "It's a beautiful air fair that can't be replaced in the region, because it extends across eras", is the appraisal of Samandar Setareh, who added that "the eclectic selection is of high quality and even better than in the previous year". Setareh was successful with works from Otto Piene, Norbert Kricke, Hans Hartung and Imi Knoebel. Praise also came from Johannes Schilling from the Galerie Boisserée (Cologne). "The feature of this trade fair is the unbelievably solid, well-funded and decisive public", according to the fair participant of many years.
Great sales success was reported by Thole Rotermund, who brokered Emil Nolde's watercolour "Weite Marschlandschaft mit Bauernhöfen" (Expansive marsh landscape with farms) (mid 6-figure range) to a new customer. The "Young Designer Space", represented for the first time, is also "a good thing", found the Hamburg art dealer, who also had younger collectors visit his stand. "We had the best opening in a long time", reported Dr Doris Möllers from the art agency of the same name. The start of the trade fair was tremendous, and the numerous buyers included many new customers. "The trade fair is very elegant, and many top-quality collectors were there", Jinhee Choi from the young Cologne gallery Choi & Lager determined.
Dierk Dierking (Zurich) was pleased at the "great response" to his curated stand, at which he juxtaposed ceramics works by Thomas Virnich with ceramics from West Africa. Dierking sold pieces from both areas. "COFA was very successful for us", Maike Denker from the Galerie Kunst & Denker shared, "the art fair is of very high quality and offers a lovely mixture of modern and old art". "We are always very happy in Cologne", says Ofer Gildor, Director of Gilden´s Art Gallery from London, which was successful with German Expressionism works and works of Sam Francis. Simon Mills from Trinity House Paintings was able to welcome old customers to the stand and establish new contacts. "It's fantastic here in Cologne", the London gallery director reported enthusiastically.
Positive responses also came from the high quality new exhibitors. The Stern Pissarro Gallery from London also had visitors from neighbouring countries at its stand and was able to establish many new contacts. David Stern praised the high quality of the trade fair and the good balance between old and new art. Works by André Masson and Lélia Pissarro, as well as a sculpture by Yves Dana were sold. "We'll be coming again", David Stern assured. The Galerie Marcilhac from Paris was also pleased about new contacts and new customers; the same applied for the Galerie Hélène Bailly (Paris), which was taking part in its first German trade fair ever. "It is important for us to be in Germany, because we want to create a network here", Jeanne Dehaye shared. Works by Hans Hartung and Albert Haberpointner were sold.
Ferdinand Funk from the Munich-based Galerie 20/21 Modern & Contemporary, which primarily sold silver, was full of praise for the Rhenish public, which was appreciative of art, and the elegant appearance of the trade fair. Great appreciation was shown for the chamber of curiosities objects at the stand of Theatrum Mundi (Arezzo), which sold fossil objects and established many contacts, as Luca Cableri reported. Successful from the start was Traute Conrad (Asperg), which specialises in Vintage Couture costume jewellery. Already on the opening evening, they sold various pieces of jewellery and travel luggage from Louis Vuitton owned by the American entrepreneur family Firestone. Sylvia Kovacek (Vienna) was also satisfied with her COFA debut. She sold glasses and paintings, and praised the "knowledgeable public". "I really like it here", said the gallery owner. "We will be sure to come again next year", her Vienna colleague Florian Kolhammer summarised; he had many discussions and was pleased at the visit of museum people. The new exhibitor Igra Lignum Antiquités (Dompierre) praised the "sophisticated public", which was able to appreciate the offering. "We feel very welcome here", said art and furniture dealer Luca Bizzozero. New exhibitor Kitsune, specialising in Japanese art, was not only honoured by the vetting commitee of the fair for the best stand design of COLOGNE FINE ART, but was also pleased at sales in all offering segments. "COFA is exactly the right size", the Brussels gallery owner Arie Vos found. "Everyone registered that the fair has become even more lovely", summarised André Kirbach, who praised the "brilliant opening". "I haven't seen such an atmosphere in a long time. The visitors were ecstatic."
Galerie Klaus Benden
Andy Warhol "Santa Claus" one-of-a-kind drawing, trial proof and print run ¤ 165,000; "Jackie I" trial proof; pencil drawing by Alex Katz ¤ 9,000
Top-class graphic work between ¤ 10,000 and 40,000; great positive response to Chillida
Graphisches Antiquariat Braun
Old maps of Cologne and South America; flower bouquet of an unknown master
Choi & Lager
Painting by Helena Parada Kim ¤ 6,000; work by James Hopkins ¤ 4,000
Travel luggage from Louis Vuitton and Vintage Couture costume jewellery
Ceramics by Thomas Virnich and ceramics pieces from West Africa
Galerie am Elisengarten
Oil painting by Armand Jamar for between ¤ 2,000 and 12,000
Gilden`s Art Gallery
Works by Sam Francis and works of German Expressionism
Various works of the street artist Mr. Brainwash, ¤ 8.500 each
Sculpture by Karl-Heinz Krause; 2 works of Alex Katz
Sold art nouveau and Art Deco silver
Meditation rug "Abstract Tiger" ¤ 22,000, several valuable kilims and other pieces
Works by Heiner Koch
KK Kiez Kabinett
Day bed from Auping ¤ 1,900; large chandelier ¤ 5,900
Horst Antes' "Alte rote Figur in grün" (Old red figure in green), ¤ 100,000, watercolour by E.W. Nay, works by Karl Bohrmann
Glasses, paintings, 2 works by Arnulf Rainer
Work by Herbert Zangs ¤ 88,000; works by Karl Fred Dahmen
Ozeanische Stücke (Oceanic pieces)
Kunstkontor Doris Möllers
Colour lithography by Otto Dix "Katze und Hund" (Cat and dog) ¤ 16,000; etching by Schmidt-Rottluff; art nouveau lamp ¤ 28,000
Emil Nolde "Weite Marschlandschaft mit Bauernhöfen" (Expansive marsh landscape with farms), mid 6-figure range
Two canvases by Heinz Mack; photographs by Astrid Lowack, works by Peter Zimmermann
Galerie von Vertes
Reservation for a painting by Yayoi Kusama, painting by Hans Hartung ¤ 150,000; painting by Jawlensky ¤ 250,000, Raoul Dufy, work on paper by Marino Marini ¤ 100,000
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