That evening, artists, collectors, and dealers gathered in the Kunsthal’s sculpture garden for “art d’oeuvres,” part of CHART’s excellent emerging art exhibition “The Curves of the World.” Organized by Danish curator Mette Woller, the show is inspired by sci-fi cyberpunk; the best of the bunch, by 26-year-old Danish artist Emilie Alstrup, sees globular sculptures birthing Jello eggs, inspired by the sexual fetish for being impregnated by an alien. I couldn’t help recall this as the artist’s tray of small, glitter-filled, Jello eyeball mints were passed around for consumption.
I dared to take one, as did Helsinki gallerist Kaj Forsblom, as we struck up a conversation around the momentum of the Nordic art scene. It’s a fitting topic following last week’s news
that his gallery
will merge with Stockholm-based Lars Bohman Gallery
. The strategic move positions artists from each gallery to gain greater exposure through being shown in the other gallery’s country, and will no doubt make the pair a dominant force in Scandinavia come January 2017. Similarly at CHART, Forsblom sought to draw international eyes to the work of Finnish artist
, who he’s shown since 1989. Though her shows in Finland regularly sell out, here, Forsblom pairs Gottberg’s paintings with works by Swiss artist
to ultimately, he says, elevate her work to an international level.
“In previous years, galleries always had to go somewhere else to go to art fairs,” said Jesper Elg, director and co-founder of the Copenhagen gallery V1, as well as one of CHART’s co-founders. “Now people are paying attention, and we can invite them back home.” This shift was especially apparent this year, as dealers noted an increase in international collectors and the fair reported first-time visitors from countries including Ecuador, China, South Korea, and Russia, among others. V1, fresh off its opening of a new space in the city last week, placed works with American and Canadian collectors, among them, three of five works on paper by Los Angeles-based artist
which were scooped up for $25,000 apiece. But it was a Dutch collector who bought the fair’s largest work, a showstopping painting by British artist
2016) for $68,000.
Elg wasn’t alone, as dealers saw consistent sales throughout the weekend, including a number of six-figure sales on opening day. Fellow CHART co-founder Bo Bjerggaard sold one of the fair’s most expensive works,
’s Shepherd (Remix)
(2008), for 2.9 million DKK (approximately $435,900) and placed Danish artist
’s Winterbaum III
(1985) with a Danish collector for €140,000. And sales extended to the Copenhagen gallery’s current show of influential Scandinavia-based artists
, the result of the pair’s collaboration over the past year, which also goes on view at Galleri Magnus Karlsson