artKARLSRUHE 2017 – a review

Soooo, artKARLSRUHE – my local artfair – is over. I promised to tell you all about it. But well. There is not so much to tell.

I loved it and I am disappointed at the same time. Mostly I loved it because I had the opportunity to see a lot of contemporary art within short time. There were stunning artworks and I could talk to many people like artists or gallerist. At the same time there was only one piece of art where I really considered buying it (A mobile by Monika Schmid). Ok, to be honest, I would have bought a lot if I had a) more money and b) no kids who destroy everything withing reach. (The mobile could be placed out of reach…) Oh I talked to a nice woman of a company that offers art insurances (Mannheimer Versicherungen). She was optimistic that my kids would do no harm to any bought artworks. Hahaha. My 4yr old accidently produced a hole in the wall this morning with the help of Lego. He can destroy anything. And I’m sure he would MEAN no harm… 😉

And why am I disappointed?

First of all, I had the impression that there were not so many new things so see, be it artist or artwork. There were several artworks where I am pretty sure that the respective gallery showed the exact same piece last year. Of course, galleries don’t change the artists they represent every now and then, so it’s kinda logic that I saw artworks of most artists before. The sad thing is, that there were only few artists where I could see some kind of progress to the artworks of last years exhibition. Also, it’s february and many pieces were dated 2017. I know, this really IS contemporary, but it makes me think that the artists just painted or built some stuff to have something new to show and sell for the quick money, but without all the hard work and progress of thinking that makes a good work an excellent one.

Then I think the fair itself is beyond its peak. There were fewer visitors than last year (at least that’s my impression for the days I was there) and even fewer galleries. The overall space was the same as last year I think, but the galleries had bigger booths, so there were less galleries. That’s speculation, I’m too lazy to fact-check this right now.

Aaaaand… a couple of years ago they changed the caterer and I’m still missing the smoked salmon bagels…

What about the cool stuff I saw? You can have a look at my instagram to see some of them. This is the next disappointment. I expexcted the galleries and artists to be kind of reluctant to have their artworks shown and shared at Instagram, but I was kinda shocked of how many gallerists didn’t even know what Instagram is. Instagram or Blogs are such a fantastic medium to show an artists work and increase awareness for him. It’s perfect for PR and this is a main task of a professional gallery imho, so I really don’t understand why they don’t use it. Especially the small ones (big galleries or galleries with really expensive artists usually have professionals for their social media) who often don’t know if they’ll make it over the next year. Also there was one gallery, they didn’t want me to publish the pictures of the (amazing!) artworks because they feared they might lose some kind of exclusive status. Well they showed the pieces at an art fair – what did they expect? Of course I respected their wish and didn’t publish it, though it was one of my favourites. Maybe that’s the point where I should mention that I asked ALL galleries or artists (if available) for their permission to publish the pictures you can see on my instagram.


But I have to mention that there were also great reactions like Mrs. Cerny of Galerie Cerny und Partner who spontaneously decided to reactivate her instagram account or Jo Kley who posed for a picture with two of his sculptures. Or that guy from Galerie Laurence Esnol who even recognized my pictures from instagram! All those great people made it worthwhile, so once again I’ll have to say – I won’t miss artKARLSRUHE 2018.

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First impressions of art KARLSRUHE 2017

So I was at art KARLSRUHE yesterday and I’m glad that I have a 2-day-ticket (though I hope that by next year the fair will accept blogger for press admittance…), so I’ll go there once again as soon as baby wakes up from her morning nap.
My general impression was, that there were fewer galleries and fewer visitors as in past years, instead there were more artists present than ever. Here are a few pictures which you can also see on my instagram account.

I know, you’re waiting for the pics and I don’t have the time right now to add all the correct sources right now, but be sure I’ll add all the information in the next days. In case you’re a copyright holder and want me to remove a picture, let me know.

The art fair building at Karlsruhe – best spring weather!


surprise, surprise – my bag with the two-part catalogue (heavy piece… bring your backpack…)


“Ceci n’est pas un meme“ by Holger Kurt #Jäger. Represented by #Kunst-Raum schulte-goltz+noelte.
So this ain’t #trump


Now here is the final piece that I mentioned on my blog. Isn’t it great? Did you notice the planes?
It’s “Let’s play peace for once, 2016“ by Daniele #Sigalot represented by #bernheimercontemporary


Nice talk with the #artist Ulrich #Haug about his series “Schichtweise“ from 2017. He is represented by #KunsthausFischer


Marvelous #glass pieces by Sang Min Lee, a korean artist represented by gallery #tableau from #Seoul.


hch-33 by H. Craig Hanna, represented by the #gallery of Laurence #Esnol
The depth! The artist painted on glass, placed above wood


Already sold: “Wolke“ (cloud) by Monika Schmid. She’s represented by Galerie #Claeys
Dreamy, light, awesome!
Don’t miss that if you’re at #artkarlsruhe


some champaign while we waited for the artima talk






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Double Vision exhibition

A few weeks ago I used naptime of my baby to have a look at the upcoming exhibitions in my area. Just in time, as I otherwise would have missed the Double Vision exhibition at the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe. I had planned to go there some time ago, but then I forgot about it. You know that too, don’t you? I’m so happy I didn’t miss it!

To make a long story short: the exhibition was fantastic! I already talked about the visit on my german blog, but I loved the exhibition so much, I want to tell you about it as well (even if it’s over by now).


William Kentridge,
Untitled (Rhino II), 2007
© William Kentridge

William Kentridge, a contemporary artist from South Africa and Albrecht Dürer concentrated on similar questions, motives and media (Print! Books!). The exhibition faced those two artists vis-a-vis and let the visitors compare. Each showroom engaged in a specific lineup, e.g. their concentration on the rhino (which also serves as marketing catch) oder their view on perspective (which seems their biggest common ground).

Albrecht Dürer
Das Rhinozeros, 1515
© bpk / Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe

A (also physical) confrontation was e.g. arranged for Kentridges “Remembering the treason trial” and Dürers “Ehrenpforte”. About 500 years are between those prints, both in big scale and both against neglect.

William Kentridge,
Remembering the Treason Trial, 2013
© William Kentridge
Albrecht Dürer,
Die Ehrenpforte Kaiser Maximilians I.
© bpk/Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

I did not always find the manner how the pieces were put into context easy to understand, but e.g. a study room with archive-research-laboratory character which presented the theoretical pieces on perspective by Dürer and their practical implementation by Kentridge made me dive into that topic by the mere atmosphere of the room. Maybe that’s the reason why I was so fascinated by the anamorphosis “Medusa” which was presented in that room.

Kentridge is also known for his animation films, many of them can be found on Youtube (but I think they are rather illegal copies). The Kunsthalle showed films like “Felix in exile” or animations in books, prepared like flip-books. I couldn’t elude myself from the hypnotic fascination and the captivating reduction of colors.

William Kentridge
Blatt aus: Ubu Tells the Truth, 1996/97
© William Kentridge

I’m glad I went to that exhibition just in time before it closed 3 days later. I’m not so glad that my son is not yet old enough for the “Junge Kunsthalle”, the program for kids. I’m looking forward to that! My thesis for the state examination was about approaching art with kids in museums and therefore I know how extraordinary and innovative the Kunsthalle works in this field.

I collected some links in my german blog post, so most of them lead to german sites. But there’s google translate 😉

Your way to the Kunsthalle:

The german Wikipedia entry about Kentridge with some very interesting links:

The german Wikipedia entry about Dürer for those of you who don’t have any further plans for today…:

Btw, there are other cool people who wrote about the exhibition or Kentridge: Ursula Usakowska-Wolff wrote about the exhibition when it was in Berlin and Sarah Kirk Hanley wrote some very interesting stuff about Kentridges prints: ArtPrintSA shows a few pieces on their site which could also be seen at the Kunsthalle

So, in case this exhibition will move on to your place, don’t miss it!

(No, this article is not sponsored, I really loved it!)


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Looking back at art KARLSRUHE

13 years ago I was at an art fair for the very first time: art KARLSRUHE 2004. I still remember how I went through the exhibition, too shy to talk to the gallerists and artists. I was afraid I’d make a fool of myself when they’d ask me something I didn’t know or when they’d notice that I wasn’t a buyer.

I made notes and collected the names of all artists I liked. Later on I googled them and printed all pictures I found online and liked. I made a photo album which I kept and still love. It’s a treasure of inspiration for me. Unfortunately I didn’t write the names of the artists next to the pictures, so there are some of which I don’t have any clue on who the artist is.

One year later I was more courageous and I remember that I talked to Isa Dahl, a german artist. I was standing at a booth and admired her network paintings. I was working on something similar myself at that time, so I also wondered about the technical aspects and decided to ask her if she was willing to share her knowledge. To make it short: she was not and she was not very friendly (I remember that 12 years later, so you can imagine what a snob she was).

I went to most art KARLSRUHE fairs since that and I like the show. As the focus is on contemporary art, especially art of the 21st century, it’s perfect for me. I love diving into the exhibition, getting so many impressions in short time, which intensifies them for me.

For a couple of years now I’m visiting art KARLSRUHE as a buyer, not only as art lover. I inherited some money from a loved person and I decided to buy a piece of art as a souvenir of her. I searched for a painting which really reminded me of her. Well. I’m still searching. I found some paintings which I liked and which were in budget, but the dimensions were too big. I live in a quite big house, but I don’t have a wall where I could hang a 2x3m painting out of reach of my little children.

But it’s interesting how different the visit of an art fair is when you really want to buy something. You check all art pieces if they meet your criteria, ignoring all who obviously don’t. Last year this made me really disappointed, even if the exhibition itself was not bad at all.

So I’m looking for the fair next week. Maybe I find my souvenir. I hope I’ll have some interesting talks and get some more inspiration for my blog. I’ll take my youngest kid with me, so I hope that she’ll like it too. I already know that the place is not so kid-friendly.

I’m especially looking forward to the korean galleries which usually attend, as I was in Korea several times already. I have friends there, I love the country and I love korean art! I didn’t yet have a look at the catalogue, so I don’t even know if they’ll be here.

For those of you living in Brussels: next week it’s Affordable Art! I want to go there for several years now, but I always miss it, out of several reasons. At least this year it’s at the same time as art KARLSRUHE, so I won’t sit here and wait for my death out of boredom.

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