The 53rd edition of Art Cologne, the world’s oldest modern and contemporary art fair, closed on Sunday. The fair reported an uptick in attendance from 2018, with around 57,000 visitors during its four-day run, despite cutting down on exhibitor numbers—176 galleries participated this year, down from 200 in 2018.
“The strategic decision to reduce the size of the fair and to focus on quality was correct,” the fair’s director, Daniel Hug, said in a statement. The sales reported by dealers at the fair appear to support his claim.
Sales at the 2019 edition of Art Cologne included:
- Galerie Eigen + Art, which has locations in Berlin and Leipzig, sold out its entire booth in the fair’s New Positions sector, which featured drawings by Ulrike Theusner, ranging from €1,200 to €4,000 ($1,350–4,500). In its regular booth, it sold works by Karl-Heinz Adler ranging from €6,000 to €60,000 ($6,800–67,800), and two glass sculptures by Kai Schiemenz for €46,000 ($52,000) and €26,000 ($29,400) to collectors. The gallery notched one of the fair’s biggest sales on its final day, placing the Neo Rauch painting Sommer in a private collection for €880,000 ($994,000).
- Hometown powerhouse Galerie Karsten Greve, which in addition to its space in Cologne operates showrooms in St. Moritz and Paris, sold a work by Gotthard Graubner for €680,000 ($768,000) and a painting by Raúl Illarramendi for €28,000 ($31,600).
- David Zwirner Gallery sold the Carol Bove sculpture Flying Bee for €500,000 ($565,000), as well as works by Oscar Murillo, Raymond Pettibon, and Wolfgang Tillmans.
- Galerie Thaddeus Ropac sold a sculpture from Tony Cragg’s “Envelopes” series, Ferryman (1997), for €450,000 ($508,000).
- Galerie Thomas sold a work by Zero group co-founder Heinz Mack, Terra Rotunda, for an undisclosed price in the six figure range.
- Galerie Klaus Benden found success with Pop Art masters, selling a Tom Wesselmann charcoal drawing for €225,000 ($254,000) and Andy Warhol’s 1980 screenprint portrait of Joseph Beuys for €150,000 ($169,000).
- Speaking of Beuys, Galerie Heinz Holtmann sold one of the last unique items created by the pathbreaking conceptualist, an untitled work from 1958, to a private collection for €190,000 ($215,000). It also sold a piece by Heinz Mack for €100,000 ($113,000), as well as works by Alicia Viehbrock and portfolios by Boris Becker for unspecified prices.
- Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle sold a Karin Kneffel painting for €200,000 ($226,000) and a work on paper by Thun Van Tran for €26,000 ($29,000).
- Vienna’s Galerie nächst St. Stephan made a bevy of sales: a piece by Imi Knoebel for €137,000 ($155,000) to an American collection; a piece by Daniel Knorr for €35,000 ($39,500); a painting by Herbert Brandl to a collection in southern Germany for €30,000 ($33,900); two paintings by South Korean painter Jongsuk Yoon for €18,300 ($20,700) apiece; three Isa Melsheimer gouache works for €4,000 ($4,500) each to a private collection; and a piece by Joëlle Tuerlinckx for €5,700 ($6,400).
- Global mega-gallery Hauser & Wirth’s solo booth of works by painter Rita Ackermann met with success, resulting in an unspecified number of sales at price points ranging from $95,000 to $120,000.
- Carolina Nitsch sold an early Bruce Nauman drawing for $90,000, a sculptural ensemble by Matt Mullican for $60,000, a textile piece by Louise Bourgeois, and woodcuts by Donald Judd and Damien Hirst.
- Hamburg’s Thole Rotermund Kunsthandel sold six works on paper by August Macke from 1913 and 1914 for between €34,000 and €80,000 ($38,000–90,000).
- Berlin’s König Galerie sold multiple display case sculptures by Alicja Kwade for €86,000 ($97,000) apiece, a Norbert Bisky painting for €56,000 ($63,000), three Katharina Grosse works on paper for €30,000 ($34,000) each, and two display window works by Andreas Schmitten for €28,000 ($32,000) each.
- Dortmund-based Galerie Utermann sold a portrait of Asta Nielsen by the German Expressionist Christian Rohlf for €68,000 ($77,000), a sculpture titled Paperwall by Angela Glajcar for €4,000 ($4,500), and a work by Konrad Klapheck titled The Misanthrope for an unspecified sum.
- Galerie Hilger sold three sculptures by Gunter Damisch to an Italian collection for prices ranging from €46,000 to €71,000 ($52,000–80,000).
- Galerie Schlichtenmaier sold a painting by Ralph Fleck for €31,600 ($35,700) and another by Eckart Hahn, titled Red Ape, for €14,300 ($16,100).
- Galleri Bo Bjerggaard sold a diptych by Brigitte Waldach to an institution for €28,000 ($32,000) and a large-format charcoal drawing by Per Kirkeby to a private collector. The gallery also found buyers for a painting by Anna Bjergen and a monumental collage by Tal R.
- The gallery Derdaberlin sold the 1919 Paul Klee drawing Insects for €24,000 ($27,000) to a German museum. On the occasion of the Bauhaus’s centennial, it also found a buyer for Lyonel Feininger’s Bauhaus Manifesto, at €17,000 ($19,000).
- Galerie Max Mayer sold three pieces by conceptual artist Sarah Kürten to two private collectors.
- Gallerists Aurel Scheibler and Natalia Hug’s joint presentation of works by Carolin Eidner resulted in five works finding buyers.
- Thomas Rehbein Galerie sold several works by Joelle Dubois.
- Blain | Southern sold a neon piece by the artist duo Tim Noble and Sue Webster.
- Cologne local Jan Kaps sold do you remember, a large-format work by Melike Kara.
- New York’s MX gallery sold three of Benjamin Kellogg’s large tapestry works.
- Thomas Zander reported sales of multiple works by Günter Umberg and James White.