BERLIN—Organizers of Art Forum Berlin, now in its 15th year, have tried to make the annual art fair a destination event but with limited success. Now however, Peter Vetsch and Eva-Maria Häusler—formerly head of communications and show manager, respectively, of Art Basel—who took over as joint directors of the fair in 2009, appear to be getting the event back on track.
This year’s edition proved to be lively and impressive, attended, as in recent years, by about 40,000 collectors, curators and art experts. Among the most expensive works on display was a large Neo Rauch painting in the booth of Eigen + Art, with an asking price of over €400,000 ($560,000). Art Forum Berlin, also integrated young, cutting-edge galleries into the main halls via the “Focus” section. Said Berlin gallerist Jette Rudolph, “We are very happy about this, as we can present our artists to the public in a much better way.”
The fair featured a number of surprises. Bruno Brunett (CFA—Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin), took a bit of a risk by showing three big glass vitrines filled with metal and wood by young artist Max Frisinger. The vitrines were €35,000 ($49,000) each, and one was sold at the fair, according to Brunett. Kuckei+Kuckei (Berlin) showed a large wooden model of a planetarium projector by Oliver van den Berg priced at €62,000 ($86,000). Among the gallery’s sales were six works by Michael Laube priced from €7,000/9,000 ($9,800/12,600), and four photographs by Guy Tillim priced at €6,600 ($8,800).