The Vienna Fair tries to escape the dying of 2nd or 3rd class art fairs by specializing on its greater region: Central and Eastern European Art.
If you are interested in contemporary art from this region, it is worth a visit. Otherwise it is a very local and small art show: It attracted 15.000 visitors. Of the 126 Galleries were:
- 46 Austrian Galleries
- 55 West-European Galleries
- 21 East-European Galleries
- 1 Israeli Gallery
- 1 US American Gallery
Ropac Gallery, Salzburg and Paris, sold Gilbert & Georges work “Sodom” for € 275.000 / US $ 425.000 to a Viennese collector. The boat sculpture is by Erwin Wurm.
Spectacular was the work “AZ007” by the Italian artist Arcangelo Sassolino at Nicola von Sengens Gallery, Zürich: A massive hydraulic pump was bursting slowly a huge piece of wood. It was quite exciting. The gallery offered it for € 35.000 / US $ 54.000.
Kalfayan Galleries, Athens, gave a one man show to the Greek artist Edouard Sacaillan who does modern icon like paintings with lots of gold leaves on it. They were offered for € 20.000 / US $ 31.000.
Interesting was also the installation by Jan Mioduszewski. It was shown at the Polish gallery LOKAL_30, Warsaw. He does fake furniture sculptures/paintings/installations:
The sculpture titled “BlaBlaBla” by Fabian Seiz at Layr Wuestenhagen Contemporary, Vienna, was sold for € 5.000 / US $ 7.750. I think his low-tech bricolage works were boring, but obviously someone else had another opinion about it.
I liked the photos by the Biennale artist Pawel Wolberg about the madness of every-day-life in Israel. Dvir Gallery, Tel Aviv, sold them for € 7.500 / US $ 11.600.
Like Cologne - also in Vienna: The unavoidable (very decorative) Förg paintings. Offered for € 36.000 / US $ 56.000 at Thoman Gallery, Innsbruck Austria.
In general I think this years Vienna Fair was better than last years - when you could see for instants a lot of similar paintings in decorative colours by local hero Jakob Gasteiger.
The focus on Central Eastern European art seens to me a strategy to survive in the global competition of art fairs.
By Chris Neuschler
I wonder what the Eastern Europe focus will be like when the credit crunch fully hits these countries.