CHART’s 8 Best Buys Under €6,000
Stepping into the light-drenched Kunsthal Charlottenborg, home of Copenhagen’s CHART Art Fair, is an elating experience. The 17th-century building, set adjacent to the Royal Danish Academy, houses 28 exhibitors which fill the palatial halls with art. In its third year running, CHART brings the best of the contemporary art world to Denmark, shining a spotlight on the offerings of Nordic galleries. While you’ll immediately spot a soaring Franz West sculpture or the newest series of Bjarne Melgaard paintings, CHART also boasts an impressive selection of pieces with moderate sticker prices and exemplary quality.
This series by Swiss duo Linus Bill and Adrien Horni—six feet in height—might be the best value at the fair per square inch. The artists have developed a unique threefold process that begins with a sketchbook, drawn collaboratively, from which images are transformed into large collages using paper, scissors, and silkscreen and finished with shellac. Once a piece is sold, it is photographed and the image is used to create another silkscreen in monochrome and black and white, playing with reproduction and the nature of art sales. If you want one, don’t wait—just a few hours into the fair, there are only a few left.
Bjerger is a celebrated Swedish painter known for her lush vignettes and smooth oil on aluminum paintings. In this foray into watercolor, Bjerger depicts reimagined scenes from real life, removing all context but the figures. (New Yorkers may even recognize the rotunda curve of the Guggenheim.)
This piece by Krokatsis is hands down one of the best buys at CHART in any price range. These molded rubber square floor tiles are not only a blessing for those who walk this fair in high heels but also offer a material playfulness suited for a room in any collector’s home.
With recent solo exhibitions at Moderna Museet, Stockholm and Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, Ortwed is establishing herself as one of Denmark’s premier sculptors. Best known for her public installations, she will be sharing the spotlight with Olafur Eliasson this summer in the new bridge commission Copenhagen center. Ortwed often invokes organic elements of her Nordic roots—quite literally so in this aluminum and chord work, which is a steal.
A sense of darkness often permeates Höller’s provocative and experimental pieces. This series of exquisite two-tone photographs is no different. The birds pictured are actually genetically bred—a comment on the often unnerving potential of of science to allow humans to act as the hand of God.
Though this New York-based Icelandic artist’s name might be a mouthful for Americans, work by her playful alter ego, Shoplifter, has universal impact. Working with themes of vanity, beauty, and illusion, she constructs a tondo out of a tangle of synthetic hair, creating what one curator says looks like “the top of a volcano.” She has received the Nordic Textile Award and collaborates with Björk, her pieces having most recently been exhibited in the polarizing MoMA show and at the 2010 Liverpool Biennale.
With a recent show at Jack Shainman Gallery in New York and a current exhibition at Stockholm’s Andréhn-Schiptjenko, Kahlhamer’s work continues to resonate on both sides of the Atlantic. Drawing on the symbolism of his Native American ancestry and incorporating rock and roll, comic books, and street art, his paintings on paper have a bad-boy quality that, like this vixen, is alluring. Needless to say, the piece’s price point is also attractive.
So, this is technically cheating but if you split this set with a friend or two, it’s an absolute deal. Hot off the presses of Edition Copenhagen, these lithographs were made following the opening of Rondinone’s solo show at Eva Presenhuber in Zurich in June. The set of seven plays with the idea of artwork as a window to the world while continuing to explore notions of space, which have long been a subject of Rondinone’s work.