And, though prices have risen in the past 50 years, and Art Cologne’s stock has risen in step, the fair is by no means a relic. Particularly of note in this regard is the number of galleries who are sharing booths, both within the official Collaborations
section (a joint effort by Art Cologne and NADA) and in the fair’s main section. In the latter group is Munich, Zurich, and Lustenau’s Häusler Contemporary
who shares a booth with Mexico City’s Galería OMR
. “It was a beautiful way to introduce us at this fair,” said OMR’s Kerstin Erdmann. “We each help the other meet collectors either in Mexico or Germany. It’s a kind of collaboration that represents a new era of how a gallery could be,” she added, echoing Hug’s thoughts on the concurrent evolution of the market, galleries, and fairs. The tie is made all the stronger thanks to Gary Kuehn
’s Crate Piece
(1969) in the booth. “It was shown at the Cologne art fair in ’69. And it was in storage since then,” with the exception of a Kuehn exhibition in Stadt Aachen in 1971, said Hausler co-founder Wolfgang Hausler. “No one knew where it was. But we recently found it and restored the piece. It is wonderful to be able to show it this year because of that history.” It’s a fitting presentation within a fair that, in its old age, is merging history with the present to offer arguably its freshest presentation yet.