ART COLOGNE: When the entire city vibrates
Art Cologne was born in 1967, exactly half a century ago. As the first fair of its kind, it was anticipated to change the art market for ever. Could there be a better reason to celebrate in style? Well, yes and no. Art Cologne preferred to make waves to mark its 50th iteration¬– and that happened to be back in 2016. Still, Cologne is set to vibrate all over once the artists, buyers, gallery owners, journalists and art freaks hit the city from April 26 to 29, 2017. Obviously they’ll be heading mainly for the trade fair grounds, but the Art Cologne vibes will be tangible all over town. Read on for an account of what not to miss.
A voyage of discovery: KÖLNER LISTE
My personal highlight is almost definitely Kölner Liste, or “Cologne list”. The location in and of itself has a strong coolness factor: X-Post was previously the club venue of Cologne’s electronica label Kompakt. During Art Cologne, X-Post will open its doors to 80 exhibitors showing works by up-and-coming artists from 20 countries. The show is squarely aimed at “normal people” looking to buy art or even start a collection. I’m excited to see the inspiring wall designs by Enrico Pense, Eva Nordal’s visually loud pop art, and zen-inspired photography by Gürel Sahin.
Kölner Liste 2017
Address: Gladbacher Wall 5, 50670 Cologne
When: April 27 to 30, 2017
Opening hours: Thu 6 till 10 pm, Fri/Sat 11 am till 9 pm, Sun 11 am till 6 pm
Day ticket incl. catalogue: 13,- Euro
Web: koelner-liste.org, www.facebook.com/events/1720612694925138
In orbit: FAR OFF
The youngest Art Cologne satellite, Far Off will reach orbit on Thursday. The show’s new home is a former lift factory in Ehrenfeld, where galleries from near and far will show some fresh positions. It’s come a long way since its premiere in 2016 in the rather more run-down Jack in the Box. However, the second time around, its ambition remains the same: to be the place to be for contemporary art, including video, performance art and acoustic installations. A weekend after-show party is also on the agenda. I’m looking forward to seeing input from the Bruch & Dallas gallery, which has succeeded in turning Ebertplatz into a cultural venue.
Address: Marienstraße; entrance via Venloer Str. 474–476, 50825 Cologne
When: April 27 to 30, 2017
Opening hours: Thu 8 till 11 pm (opening), Fri 4 till 11 pm, Sat 4 till 11 pm, Sun 3 till 8 pm
Admission: Thu 8,- Euro, Fri–Sun 5,- Euro
Web: www.faroff.de, www.facebook.com/events/1134744956633839
Cubism at Kunstverein plus an educational DJ set
Avery Singer: Sailor
To coincide with the opening of Art Cologne, Kölnischer Kunstverein is staging an attention-grabbing event on Wednesday night (April 26, 2017). Its domicile alone, known as Brücke (Bridge), never fails to fascinate me. Dating from 1950, the stylish building was designed by Wilhelm Riphahn (also the architect of Cologne’s opera house) and exudes the flair of Germany’s post-WW II “economic miracle” years. This year Kunstverein will be showcasing the work of young New York artist Avery Singer, whose oversized pieces have previously been exhibited at Art Basel. Singer designs the templates for her French Cubism-inspired paintings on a computer before transferring them to canvas using an airbrush technique. The result is one-of-a-kind compositions that are frequently understood as a commentary on the state of modern society.
Address: Hahnenstr. 6, 50667 Cologne
When: April 27, to June 11, 2017
Opening: Wednesday April 26, 2017 at 7 pm
Shrooms and trance
The evening after, I’ll be heading to Temporary Gallery to recover from a hectic day at the fair. At 9 pm the venue will ring in an “educational DJ/VJ set” featuring Eloïse Bonneviot and Anne de Boer, whose artistic projects examine the life-form of fungi as an example of sustainable network structures and an ecological role model for human action. Against the promised acoustic backdrop of trance music, this promises to be a chilled out night of psychedelic proportions.
Address: Mauritiuswall 35, 50676 Cologne
When: Thursday from 9 pm
Open-air art safari through the Belgian Quarter
Take a deep breath and embrace Saturday’s choice event – Le Tour Belgique, a 30-hour safari through the boutiques and bars of the Belgian Quarter. For the fourth time running, Le Tour will also transform the quarter into an open-air art gallery. Dotted along the route are 31 exhibitors of painting, graphic art, graffiti and photography, so get ready for an exciting trip! If you’d like to meet the artists, head over to the music club Zum scheuen Reh (Shy Deer) between 6 and 8 pm, with musical entertainment by duo Waking up in Stereo and a limited open bar.
Local heroes in a world-class atmosphere
At the fair itself, I plan to drift here and there before turning my attention to the local galleries. I’m particularly looking forward to dropping by Nagel Draxler, who never fail to disappoint. One of their Art Cologne exhibits will be “Gigi Lagoon” by sculptor Anna Fasshauer. My local hero tour will also take me past Priska Pasquer, Michael Werner, Anke Schmidt and Christian Lethert. Hammelehle and Ahrens, whose space – a disused subway station in the north of the city – is probably one of the most intriguing in town, will be on site with an installation by Vincent Tavenne.
ART COLOGNE – 51st international art fair
Address: Deutz trade fair grounds, halls 11.1, 11.2 and 11.3
When: April 26 to 29, 2017
Opening hours: Wed–Sat 11 am till 7 pm, Sun 11 am till 6 pm
Day ticket: 21.25,- Euro (advance), 25,- Euro on the day