'It's all you could wish for in a fair'
Cologne Fine Art & Antiques: An innovative art market platform with a 'unique focus and flavour'
Strong sales in all sections and price brackets. Approx. 12,800 visitors from
all over Germany. Successful launch of contemporary design section.
Younger public in strong evidence. Top sales in the six to seven-figure
bracket. 'Rich mix of styles and epochs produces a vibrant event'
Cologne Fine Art & Antiques 2010 closed its gates on Sunday, 21 November on a high note. Dealers and organizers were in buoyant and enthusiastic mood. Stefan Horsthemke, Managing Director of AXA Art Deutschland, commented: 'Our clients love the Fair. Its unique focus and flavour have injected new ideas into the art market and renewed the Rhineland's trend-setting role.' One happy private collector was full of praise: 'It's all you could wish for in a fair.' The new planning - designed to promote visual interplay and dialogue between different cultures, epochs and collecting fields - was strongly supported by both organizers and dealers. This innovative focus met with approval across the board. 'Visitors are responding very positively to the rich mix of visual relationships,' commented Cologne dealer Rolf Hirschberg (Teppichkunst Hirschberg). 'We see from the kind of response we're getting just what the attractions are of a really high-calibre mix of styles.' Strong sales were reported in all specialist fields - underlining the success of the Fair's new strategy - both in the five to six-figure brackets and at the top end of the market. 'We always sell well in Cologne,' noted fine furniture specialist Georg Britsch jun. (Bad Schussenried). He did good business in antique chairs, tables and cabinets. Ulrike Berendson, the Fair's Director, looks forward to an even stronger focus on quality and cross-cultural interaction next year: 'With its palette of traditional art and antiques, modern art, applied art and design objects, Cologne Fine Art & Antiques has developed a successful formula unique in the German art fair world. We'll be intensifying this focus at future events and continuing to prioritize the strength and calibre of our exhibitor list.'
Sales and attendance got off to an excellent start on Vernissage night and dealers reported no let-up in the trend as the Fair progressed. The Hamburg photography specialist Flo Peters notched up what proved to be one of the biggest successes of this year's Fair. She sold a 1957 Picasso collage along with a photo documentation of the creative process by David Douglas Duncan at EUR 1.2m. Peters had taken a shared stand with the Cologne-based non-European art expert Dierk Dierking and design specialists frankandoliver (Frankfurt / Zurich). The stand proved something of a crowd-puller and all three dealers reported high turnover. Galerie Schlichtenmaier (Grafenau) also had a very successful fair, selling a 1959 oil on canvas by Emil Schumacher titled 'Blauschwarz' at EUR 145,000 and works by Willi Baumeister
(EUR 360,000), Karl Otto Götz (EUR 150,000) and Walter Stöhrer
(EUR 60,000). 'The Preview was super,' commented Kuno Schlichtenmaier
in upbeat mood. 'We're very pleased. We've had a record number of visitors who've travelled from far afield.' Utermann (Dortmund) commented: 'Our expectations have been exceeded by far.' He had several good sales, including a work by Emil Nolde priced at over EUR 100,000 and a Feininger oil priced at EUR 250,000. His verdict: 'The new strategy works - the rich mix of exhibits produces really exciting contrasts.' Beck & Eggeling (Düsseldorf), returnees to the Fair, did very good business. Sales included a watercolour by August Macke with a five-figure price-tag. The gallery is in 'advanced discussions' with a client over the purchase of an Emil Nolde oil titled 'Peter und Hans' priced at EUR 2.2m. Klaus Gerrit Friese (Stuttgart) sold works by Walter Stöhrer (EUR 17,000), Dieter Krieg (EUR 13,000) and George Grosz (EUR 17,000). Friese sees the expansion of specialist fields and inclusion of Contemporary Design as 'a logical and all-important move'. Setareh & Söhne (Düsseldorf) saw high levels of interest for some of their top items - a number of antique rugs and paintings are on hold for collectors. The gallery lauded the Fair's elegant ambience. Another returnee, the Hamburg dealer Anat Isman-Fänder, shared this view, commenting, 'It's a very attractive ambience - just the right thing.' Jörg Schuhmacher, also back after a period of absence, sold a Nolde watercolour. He praised the 'fantastic feedback' and vigorous interest in his range of exhibits. Michael Vignold was very impressed by the positive and appreciative response of the Cologne public to the '"crossover" between styles and cultures'. Vignold, an expert in African and Oceanic art, had a stand right next to Thole Rotermund, the Hamburg specialist in classic modern works on paper. Rotermund sold his star piece, a vibrant 1910 pastel and crayon drawing by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner titled 'Flussdampfer', for a six-figure sum. A black and grey pen and ink drawing by Hanns Bolz went to a collector at EUR 9,000.
Fair newcomer André Kirbach (Düsseldorf) described the Preview as 'a fabulous first night party'. He was showing an exquisite selection of ceramics from Japan impressively juxtaposed with abstract paintings and sold a variety of works, one of them a painting by the Cologne-based artist Jupp Lückerath. Also new to the Fair were Frankfurt specialists Friedrich, who spoke highly of the 'knowledgeable and discerning public'. The gallery reported strong buying and plenty of interest in items of jewellery from its own studio. Claude Noëlle, a specialist in antique and contemporary jewellery, reported a number of spur-of-the-moment buys in a price category equivalent to a 'mid-range luxury car'. Fair newcomer Renate Krümmer (Hamburg), who specializes in images of women in art, also voiced her enthusiasm: 'Interest has been really strong and my show was well received.' She found buyers for a work by Max Klinger (EUR 44,000), a small-format canvas by Franz Skarbina titled 'Junge Frau am Strand' (EUR 12,800) and a work by Dodo (EUR 95,000). Mohammad Tehrani, another first-time exhibitor from Hamburg, is a specialist in fine antique and contemporary textile art. He was pleased to see a younger public in strong evidence and reported lively interest in rugs and tapestries. 'The mix of exhibits is the big draw at Cologne Fine Art & Antiques,' he said, 'It's a real formula for success.' Antiquities expert David Ghezelbash (Paris), now in his second year at the Fair, was upbeat about the increase of interest and high level of sales. His colleague, the Paris dealer Yannick Durand, noted a very good showing of experts from the museum sector. He saw brisk turnover in pre-Columbian works of art.
Hubertus Melsheimer (Cologne) reported good sales. He sold a large-format Ernst Ludwig Kirchner drawing and found buyers for a work by Antoni Tàpies and a nail painting by Günther Uecker. 'The rich mix of styles and epochs makes this a vibrant event,' he commented, adding, 'The Rhineland is a good marketplace for art. That's clear when you look at the number of regulars on the exhibitor list.' Exciting contrasts between modernism and the art of the antique world were the focus at the stand of Aurel Scheibler (Berlin). Here large-format, black-painted wall pieces by Louise Nevelson were juxtaposed with a pre-Christian marble bust offered by the Cologne antiquities expert Gordian Weber. Scheibler reported a 'lively response to the show from a very good public'. Berlin dealers Fahnemann sold work by Hans Hartung in the EUR 22,000 to EUR 75,000 price bracket and a large-format canvas by Raimund Girke at EUR 60,000. Fair regular Hans Maulberger (Munich) sold paintings by Rolf Cavael, Gerhard Hoehme, Conrad Westpfahl and Gerhard Fietz at prices between EUR 6,000 and EUR 69,000. His decision to stock his stand with work in the medium price range paid off. He was pleased and impressed by the strong turnout of younger visitors. Maulberger also applauded the inclusion of design, commenting, 'It lightens things, makes things more relaxed.' Rainer Ludorff (Düsseldorf) agreed, 'Contemporary design attracts younger collectors, it's essential the Fair opens up to new contacts.' Sales included an important street scene by Lesser Ury. 'We're clearly seeing an influx of younger visitors,' was the consensus at Salis & Vertis (Zurich / Salzburg). The gallery sold paintings by Raoul Dufy and Sam Francis to private collectors. Helmut Riedl (Munich) sold a landscape by Erich Heckel. Design expert Gabrielle Amman (Cologne) saw strong demand for smaller objects. Her Berlin colleague Karena Schuessler noted a similar trend, selling hand-made porcelain stools priced at between EUR 2,400 and
EUR 2,800. 'I really enjoy being here,' said vintage design specialist Hans-Peter Jochum, also from Berlin. He did well, selling a number of objects including a table by the Italian designer Franco Albini (EUR 15,000).
Schlapka (Munich) staged a showstopping juxtaposition of post-war art and Biedermeier furniture. Collectors rewarded this stunning display of contrasts with substantial purchases in the four-figure bracket. At the stand of Dr. Eva Toepfer collectors' items like a box adorned with a cameo and a small, late 17th-century silver teaspoon went well. Oberacker sold items of fine porcelain at prices ranging between EUR 5,000 and EUR 20,000. Elfriede Kirsch (Langeloh) sold porcelain items made by smaller German factories as well as Meissen tableware and figures. Hamburg dealers Basedau had an outstanding range of fine antique walking canes on offer. Pieces snapped up by collectors included
an extremely rare watch cane and a cane with a moveable ivory handle that, when raised, revealed a delicately carved erotic scene.
Cologne Fine Art & Antiques 2011
16 - 20 November 2011
Images can be downloaded from the Koelnmesse Image Database. Go to (www.cofaa.de). Select 'Englisch', 'For the Press', 'Photos' and 'Cologne Fine Art & Antiques'.