Vienna Fair 2008: The art fair focussing on Central and Eastern European Art

Vienna Fair 2008: The art fair focussing on Central and Eastern European Art
© UGL: Sodom by Gilbert & George courtesy Ropac Gallery

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.

© UGL: Arcangelo Sassolino courtesy by Sengens Gallery

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.

© UGL: Edouard Sacaillan courtesy by Kalfayan Galleries

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:

© UGL: Jan Mioduszewski. courtesy by gallery LOKAL_30

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.

Kalandia © by Pawel Wolberg courtesy Dvir Gallery
Purim Hebron © by Pawel Wolberg courtesy Dvir Gallery

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


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