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Olaf Breuning. Impossible balance, 2008. Gallery Carbon12 (Dubai)

Mediator between East and West? 0

VIENNAFAIR starts on September 20!

“A few weeks ago VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary set out with the aim of developing an art fair for Vienna that is in keeping with the times. So I am very pleased that we have been able to convince so many important Austrian and international galleries with our concept,” says Vita Zaman, artistic director of VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary, summarizing the intensive work done since her joint appointment as artistic director with Christina Steinbrecher in April of this year. “The international art market follows changes in global geographies and thus the concept of an art fair has to be continually re-examined as well. Our aim at VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary is to construct a new and independent network of galleries and artistic positions which represents the changing perception of global art production and opens up new avenues of access to established and new art positions for international collectors. Our focus here is not on expanding the size of the art fair but rather to concentrate the program on key positions which make our concept accessible for the visitors,” continues Zaman.

“We would like to further develop the present, very successful regional focus of VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary on Central, Eastern and Southeastern European countries, encouraging an understanding of an expanded European economic area that includes Russia, the Caucasus, Turkey, and the Middle East. At the same time we would also like to emphasize the historical and present role of Vienna in the development of these regions. A dense network of events, both at the fair and in the city itself, will enable VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary to become a festival of contemporary art that increasingly includes more music, architecture and literature, talks, dialogues, and special presentations,” said Christina Steinbrecher, artistic director of VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary, detailing the present state of the program planning. 

The art marketplace for Austriaʼs gallery scene

Traditionally, Austrian galleries were pioneers in the establishment of a global understanding of contemporary art, and they have developed Vienna in particular into an important market and informational center for contemporary art production. Galleries such as Mario Mauroner and Galerie Nikolaus Ruzicska in Salzburg, Artelier Contemporary, Galerie Eugen Lendl and Zimmermann Kratochwill in Graz, and Bernd Kugler and Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman in Innsbruck will present established as well as more recent positions in their programs at VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary. Almost without exception, the most important proponents of the Viennese gallery scene will be present at VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary: the Charim Galerie, Heike Curtze, Kerstin Engholm, Ernst Hilger, Andreas Huber, Georg Kargl Fine Arts, Knoll Wien+Budapest, the Christine König Gallery, Galerie Krinzinger, KROBATH Wien | Berlin, Meyer Kainer, nächst St. Stephan, Gabriele Senn, and many others are taking advantage of the opportunities the new program of VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary offers.

Focus on Central, Eastern and Southeastern European countries with established and new positions

About 30 percent of the VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary participating galleries, are from the focus regions. Lokal_30, BWA Warszawa, Profile, Raster and ZAK | BRANICKA (Poland), 0gms Gallery (Bulgaria), Ivan, Jecza Gallery, Plan B and Sabot (Romania), acb Gallery and Molnár Ani Gallery (Hungary), Temnikova & Kasela (Estonia), and the Vartai Galerija (Lithuania) have already taken part in previous editions of the art fair. The seven Russian galleries that are coming to Vienna this year including, once again, the pop/off/art gallery, Regina and Marina Gisich Gallery form a new emphasis. For the first time 16thLINE (Rostov- on-Don), Anna Nova from St. Petersburg, as well as Gallery 21, the Pecherskiy Gallery, and the Triumph Gallery from Moscow will all be represented in Vienna. Also for the first time in Vienna will be the Latvian Alma Gallery, the Croatian Galerija Marisall, the Czech galleries Hunt Kastner and dvorak sec contemporary, the Slovenian P74 Gallery, and the Slovakian gallery amt_project. A number of galleries from the focus regions will be making special presentations in ZONE 1.

As in previous years, Erste Bank is facilitating the main focus on Central, Eastern and Southeastern European countries within VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary. “We promote artists and galleries from the East and South-East regions of Europe by supporting galleries that would not have been able to participate in the fair because of their economic situation. As a result of this strategy, VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary has developed a profile that we would like to continue to support under the new management,” states Ruth Goubran, head of Community Affairs and Sponsoring at Erste Bank.

Focus on Istanbulʼs emerging art scene once again

The successfully initiated dialogue between Vienna and the Bosporus will continue at the 2012 VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary in the special project “DIYALOG”: Art from Turkey. Co-initiated and supported by OMV for the second time, six galleries from Istanbul – The Empire Project, MARS İstanbul, Galeri Nev İstanbul, NON, Rampa İstanbul, Rodeo Gallery – will show a representative cross-section of the diversity of Turkey ́s emerging contemporary art scene. In addition there will be an information zone about the art scene in Turkey. This special project is being curated by art critic Nazlı Gűrlek who was born in Istanbul.

Viennaʼs art marketplace as mediator between East and West

VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary has not only been able to attract the participation of interesting and partly new gallery positions from the focus regions but also some from the Western hemisphere. Galerie Forsblom from Finland is in Vienna for the first time and together with TAIK represents the northern contingent. Among the presently confirmed German galleries representing newer positions are Aanant & Zoo, Galerie Patrick Ebensperger, and FELDBUSCHWIESNER (all from Berlin) as well as the Kai Middendorff Gallery (Frankfurt am Main), while the Klaus Benden (Cologne) and Michael Schultz (Berlin, Seoul, Beijing) galleries, for example, represent more established artists. The idea of extending the concept of the art fair to include expanding markets is reflected in the presence of Gallery H.A.N. from Seoul, Carbon12 from Dubai, and MERKUR / ISTANBUL – and also the AB Gallery from Switzerland, which is bringing important artists of the Islamic world to Vienna. IBID and Gazelli Art House (both London), Simone Subal (New York), and Orel Art Paris, and the Italian galleries OREDARIA, Wunderkammern and P420 bring additional international positions to Vienna.

Extensive visitor program with special exhibition, lectures, and information platforms

In addition to the presentations of the galleries, it is equally important to the artistic directors of VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary to offer the public further information about the focus regions and also to initiate new cooperations between the individual art branches. For this purpose, VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary offers an extensive supplementary program including a special exhibition, discussions, and a new online platform. The successful cooperation with departure, The Creative Agency of the City of Vienna, will also be continued in the framework of Vienna Talks. The detailed program for Vienna Quintet, Vienna Talks, Vienna Sonic, and Vienna Click is announced in August.

Key Visual of VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary 2012 by Gerwald Rockenschaub

Gerwald Rockenschaubʼs work is characterized by analytical thinking and the principle of reduction to a few but essential elements and structures, and he has employed this approach in the development of the multifunctional key visual for VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary. On the one hand, pictogram-like elements refer to the fair architecture and how it is depicted in the orientation plans of the halls for visitors. On the other, the outward thrust of the overall structure conveys the dynamic with which the new team of VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary aims to further develop the art fair.

New fair architecture by BWM Architects and Partners

The fair architecture will be redesigned by BWM Architects and Partners. A decentralized, open exhibition architecture creates attractive spaces throughout the complete exhibition area, integrating the diverse participants from different regions in the happenings on an equal basis and providing visitors with clear orientation points.