Visitors at art KARLSRUHE 2022. Credits: Messe Karlsruhe/Jürgen Rösner
From 7th to 10th July, art KARLSRUHE – Classical Modernism and Contemporary Art celebrated the return to the real encounter with art. The 19th Edition of the art fair attracted a total of 30,000 visitors to Karlsruhe, the UNESCO City of Media Arts. Not only summer art enjoyment, but also the acquisition of art was in the interest of the Karlsruhe audience. According to the visitor survey, the Karlsruhe Art Fair was able to increase not only in the purchase intentions, but also in the actual number of sales.
Britta Wirtz, Managing Director of Messe Karlsruhe, looks back positively on the past few days: “We have succeeded very well in the transfer of art KARLSRUHE from the ancestral square in spring to summer, which has become necessary this year. As the crowning conclusion to our trade fair restart, art KARLSRUHE was also able to prove the diverse potential in the cultural city of Karlsruhe. The media attention of art KARLSRUHE has not only advanced the image of Karlsruhe as a city of art, but also offered its award as “UNESCO City of Media Arts” a stage. The close connection between the trade fair and the city was felt, for example, at the appearance of the Karlsruhe Cultural Office or the ZKM in the newly designed Hall 3.
215 exhibitors from 12 countries, including Turkey, Greece or the USA, transformed Messe Karlsruhe into a multifaceted show and marketplace for art in all sectors for five days, in particular painting, sculpture, photography or editions, were the focus of interest. Not only the participations of the participating exhibitors, but also the feedback from the gallery owners show that the radiance of art KARLSRUHE is unbroken even after the corona-related trade fair break.
The sculpture square of the artist Rosali Schweitzer (presented by the gallery at the Pinakothek der Moderne) in Hall 4.
Walk through art history
With 47 galleries from abroad and about as many from Baden-Württemberg, this year’s art KARLSRUHE presents itself as a prominent meeting place for the industry both for the international art business and for the regionally based galleries. “A visit to art KARLSRUHE is always like a walk through art history,” says curator Ewald Karl Schrade.
With 180 one-artist shows, 24 sculpture places and two special shows, art KARLSRUHE 2022 offered art lovers not only tried and tested in a new light, but also innovations that creatively staged the real encounter with art.
Innovations for more relaxed art enjoyment
A changed hall structure invited art lovers to exciting discoveries. In the front halls, visitors expected classical modern art and art after 1945. ContemporaryArt 21 was represented in Hall 2. The tour of the newly designed Hall 3 was completed, which in addition to the special shows also housed the ARTIMA art Forum.
“We register great popularity for the new hall concept. Despite the consistently high number of exhibitors, the halls look larger thanks to generous cross corridors, the wider corridors not only offer space for artistic strolling, but also contribute to a more relaxed atmosphere in the halls,” Schrade continued.
There were also innovations in terms of scheduling, so preview (6. July) and vernissage (7. July) was dedicated for the first time. This offered a large number of institutional buyers, art dealers, collectors the opportunity to deal intensively with the offered program, especially on the first day.
If this continues, I have to go home again to get more works of art. The first day went great, the gallery sold some large-format works by me. I like the equalization of preview and vernissage. You simply have more time to deal more intensively with the people who are used to buying art,” artist Stefan Gross, for example, described his impressions.
“We are well connected internationally. art KARLSRUHE is a great building block in terms of our presence in Germany. We have seven artists from seven countries from four continents as a selection of our gallery portfolio. In autumn we will open a new branch in Palm Beach. We are happy to be there for the first time in Karlsruhe and enjoy the summer appointment,” says Eva Maria Ostendorf, Director of the Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery (Berlin/London).
Galerie Anja Knoess (Cologne) and Galerie Geiger (Konstanz) were also able to gain something from the restructuring. “I think the equalization is great. This allowed me to concentrate on important collectors,” said Dr. Stephan Geiger from the gallery of the same name.
In the summer edition of art KARLSRUHE, visitors focused not only on art enjoyment, but also on the acquisition of art. Credits: Messe Karlsruhe / Jürgen Rösner
Galleries and artists are happy about good sales
Not only was the return to the real encounter with art duly celebrated on the summer edition of art KARLSRUHE, but also the sales made many galleries very satisfied.
Galerie Schacher – Raum für Kunst (Stuttgart) draws a positive trade fair conclusion in Karlsruhe. “We were able to sell the largest exhibit of our artist Shalva Gelitashvili. The work “Purple Rain” shows an oil painting on demolition windows and caused great amazement at our stand. Claudia Thorban’s acrylic glass panels printed with natural motifs have also found many new fans,” says Marko Schacher, owner of Galerie Schacher and one of the advisory boards of art KARLSRUHE.
Galerie Eric Bausmann (Halle) also recorded satisfactory success after a short time: “We are very satisfied. On the second day, we had already re-hanged about half.”
The salon gallery “The Seagull” (Berlin) made a special sale. After Lotte Laserstein’s long-lost work “Madeleine im Spiegel” on art KARLSRUHE was presented to the public for the first time, it does not take long before the work could be sold. “There is a lot of interest among visitors. In any case, Lotte Laserstein runs and overall the interest in women is greater than their male colleagues, says Claudia Wall from The Seagull.
art KARLSRUHE as the most democratic art trading center
This year’s program of art KARLSRUHE was significantly characterized by the diversity of the program. “A programmatic focus apart from the time structure can hardly be found this year,” explained curator Ewald Karl Schrade. “This is precisely the beauty of our fair: the incredibly large multifacetedness of positions that are in dialogue with each other,” Schrade continues. Around 1,500 artists could be seen through the program of the galleries at the fair. Both aspiring young artists and the winner of the art KARLSRUHE Prize Ambra Durante (Galerie Friese), born in 2000, as well as big names in art history such as Lovis Corinth or Heinz Mack were presented.
The winner of the art KARLSRUHE prize Ambra Durante (presented by Galerie Friese). Credits: Messe Karlsruhe / Jürgen Rösner
This range is also reflected in the price segments offered. For example, art KARLSRUHE recorded business activities over works with prizes in the six- to seven-digit range; but there were also numerous titles for beginners that could awaken the desire to collect art. “This year, too, we wanted to underline our reputation as probably the most democratic art fair in the country. That’s why we felt the need to offer young collectors an inspiration platform, for example through the special show Printmaking,” says Britta Wirtz.
The next art KARLSRUHE also takes place in a warmer season and invites art lovers from the 4th to the 7th. May 2023 in the Karlsruhe exhibition halls.