Opened on Wednesday (October 26th) with a special preview and the first public view, the ART.FAIR Cologne has proven its status of a collector's haven. In the vast, two-level fair space, a very diverse selection of exhibitors has found its 5-day home, presenting a wide range of artwork in terms of style, medium and even price. What emerges as the major impression after the first careful viewing of the exposition is the impressive amount of well-executed artwork, while painting still remains the dominant form of artwork on display, perhaps indicating that it is still the favorite form of collectible.
In this massive pool of art, predominantly of the painterly nature, it was very difficult to select only a few favorites. Truth to be told, many of the artworks are attention worthy regardless of their medium or size, but as far as the trends go, we’ve noticed a very clear proclivity for the large-size canvas. Big names stand alongside the younger art figures, as the love for the ample canvas makes the connection between them. Big canvas of 2016 in Cologne is the place of impactful close-up portraits, big nudes, portraiture in the broadest sense possible and decadent scenes. Even still life appears to be making its way back into the mainstream, primarily through photography and various vanities presented in a very contemporary manner. Figuration does seem to prevail, but abstract works are still going strong with several distinctive tendencies mirrored in the exploration of texture and optical illusion. A noticeable “return” of sculpture has not yet spread much further from London, as the German fine and contemporary art market has its own rules and preferences. Having said that, we must not overlook the notable presence of the urban art at ART.FAIR Cologne (which we will be featuring in a special feature), including many cross-over pieces and numerous references to the pop culture icons.
In search for our favorite picks, we focused on the strength of the impression a piece left. Having in mind that art should create its own reality that inspires and evokes various emotions and reminiscences, we focused on the element of drama an artwork emits, the so beloved format and the universal values it might possess. Not wishing to dismiss many of the brilliant small-sale gems one can find on the fair, we aimed to suggest additions to existing, sizeable collections, simultaneously representing the apparent trends in gallery art in Germany today. The only exception we made is with Banksy, since we find this art fair the unique opportunity for all the street art and stencil lovers to get their own version of the most popular art vagabond's print - with a certificate!
Reaching across the media of photography and print, pastel, watercolor and oil on canvas, we’ve hand-picked the following pieces that intrigued our collector’s spirit the most.
Medium: C-Print, Fine Art Paper
Size: 125 x 166.7 cm
Price: 4.975,00 EUR
All images Copyright Widewalls
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