COLOGNE—The 40th edition of Art Cologne, held from Nov. 1-5, posted strong sales and drew praise from dealers, who say the reduced number of exhibitors, down from 180 last year to 150, improved the overall quality of the fair. The public flocked to the event: 16,000 came on the preview day alone, with overall attendance at 68,400 by fair’s end.
Says Art Cologne director Gérard A. Goodrow: “Preliminary figures indicate this year’s turnover is set to top the x75 million [$95.3 million] mark—and that’s a conservative estimate. Strong turnover in the top-price brackets was a major factor.”
Benden & Klimczak, Cologne and Viersen, sold an iron relief by Tom Wesselmann for €950,000 ($1.15 million). Alexander Baumgarte, of Samuelis-Baumgarte, in Bielefeld, successfully introduced American artist Sidney Goodman, selling several large paintings for €72,000 ($91,000) each. Berlin gallerist Michael Schultz exhibited a long photo installation by Stephan Kaluza, which was sold for €75,000 ($95,000) to a Korean private collector within the first two hours of preview day.
Exhibitors noted strong demand for photography. Cologne dealer Thomas Zander sold a group of photoworks by Ed Ruscha for €38,000 ($48,260) and a number of photographs by Victor Burgin for €65,000 ($82,500).
Esther Woerdehoff, Paris, sold a number of photographs by Loan Nguyen for €4,700 ($6,000) each; and Oslo’s Galerie K sold a quantity of large-format photographs by Axel Hütte at prices ranging from €18,000/30,000 ($23,000/38,000).
Berlin gallerist Clemens Fahnemann sold a number of 38-part sets of works on paper by Imi Knoebel for €46,000 ($58,400). Gisela Capitain, Cologne, sold a Martin Kippenberger Gummibild for x400,000 ($500,000) and a painting by Uwe Henneken for €13,000 ($16,500).
Mauroner Contemporary Art, of Salzburg and Vienna, sold a number of paintings by Herbert Brandl—who will represent Austria at the 2007 Venice Biennale—for €7,000 ($8,900) apiece.
The fair’s new “Hidden Treasures” exhibition section also achieved notable sales. Margarete Roeder Gallery, New York, sold a drawing by Fred Sandback for €17,000 ($21,600). Roeder praises the “incredible improvement” in the organization and design of the fair (which from now on will take place in the spring; the 2007 edition is slated for April 18-22).
Terminus, Munich, sold a €4.5 million ($5.4 million) early canvas by Roy Lichtenstein, and numerous works by John Chamberlain.