VIENNA—The first edition of ViennAfair—Austria’s new fair for contemporary art—was held at the Messezentrum Wien from April 21-24 and produced healthy sales for many of the 96 participating galleries. Most exhibitors were from Austria, with 19 from eastern Europe and a few others from countries including Germany and Spain. A number of galleries reported total sales upward of $260,000.
Johan Nowak, of Berlin’s DNA gallery, says he sold, among other works, all eight paintings by Clemens Krauss, a young Berlin-based painter, for prices ranging from $4,500/6,500. Nowak comments that visitors to the art fair were in a “spending mood.”
Spielhaus Morrison Gallery, also from Berlin, sold a number of works by Tim Trantenroth for around $1,100 each. Trantenroth painted several American (and other) city landmarks, then held these in front of a camera so they blended with the surroundings. Rosemarie Schwarzwälder, of the Vienna Galerie Nächst St. Stephan, reports that “very many very good collectors” came to the show.
Michael Schultz, Berlin, was pleased and reports the sale of a recent mixed media painting by Berlin-based Korean painter SEO. Schultz also sold a work by grisaille painter Tom Fleischhauer for $5,600. Cologne’s Galerie Heinz Holtmann sold a painting by fluxus artist Dieter Roth to a German museum. The Chocolate Cookie Painting, circa 1969, employing filled chocolate cookies and sour cream, was priced at $58,000.
One artist was represented by five galleries: Peter Zimmermann’s colorful epoxy-resin paintings appeared to be very popular. At 20.21 gallery, Essen, Germany, a huge plastic painting was priced at $65,000; smaller ones went for $31,200.
The ViennAfair was mainly a showcase for the top galleries from Austria, such as Ernst Hilger, Vienna, who sold, among other works, a large bronze, Marsyas, by Alfred Hrdlicka, for $161,000. Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna, sold a number of works by Erwin Wurm—among them the sculpture Little Big House, which fetched about $32,500.
More classical art was represented by Benden & Klimczak (Vierseen, Germany, and Cologne). The gallery sold 11 Pop art works, including an early drawing by Tom Wesselmann at $54,000.