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viennacontemporary unveils its maze of gallery stands 0

Report from the viennacontemporary international contemporary art fair

Photo: Agnija Grigule

Vienna, as always, is a vast spectrum of sensations and experiences: for someone, the name of this city evokes the sounds of Mozart’s ‘Die Zauberflöte’; someone else immediately sees the playful kaleidoscope of Hundertwasser’s colours and asymmetric shapes; someone is reminded of Freud’s theories of the human personality; someone feels Klimt’s ‘Kiss’, while others relive the flavours of the apple strudel tasted in one of the city’s countless charming cafés… Of one thing we can be sure, though: from today, 22 September, through 25 September 2016, many of the city’s residents and visitors will turn their thoughts towards contemporary art and, accordingly, they will be drawn towards the 19th-century Marx Halle in Vienna’s 3rd District – home to the viennacontemporary international contemporary art fair.

The central axis of focus of the art fair runs through the art scenes of Austria and the Central and Eastern European regions, with an additional laconic insight into the Western European, Nordic and South-Eastern European art territories. In all, 112 art galleries from 28 countries are represented at this year’s art fair. As in the previous years, the Vienna Chamber of Commerce continues to support the art and gallery scene in the framework of viennacontemporary. The Gallery Prize of the Vienna Chamber of Commerce 2016 is divided into two categories, each endowed with 5000 euro: the Austrian Gallery Prize and the International Gallery Prize. A jury comprising renowned members of the art scene has selected the two winners:  the Austrian Gallery Prize goes to Galerie Lisa Kandlhofer (Vienna) and the International Gallery Prize goes to Fold Gallery (London).

At the press conference dedicated to the launch of the art fair, Dmitry Aksenov, Chairman of the Board of viennacontemporary, makes no secret of the fact that five years ago, when a common cause, the idea of founding a contemporary art fair based in Vienna, brought together the Artistic Director Christina Steinbrecher-Pfandt from Germany, Managing Director Renger van den Heuvel from the Netherlands and himself, hailing from Russia, the challenge in front of them had seemed like a giant task. Today, Dimitry Aksenov is willing to claim that the work done over these past five years has resulted in a new contemporary art event that has found its place on the map of international art fairs. Aksenov admits that the dynamic cultural environment of Vienna provides the perfect hotspot for increasingly active processes of contemporary culture and exchange of ideas.

Read in the Archive: Highlights of the viennacontemporary Art Fair

Aksenov’s words are confirmed by this year’s edition’s close interaction with a number of significant Viennese art institutions and museums, including the Museumsquartier culture space and the Vienna Albertina Museum. During the art fair, these institutions are hosting a special programme, the highlights of which were covered by in late August.

The presentation stand at the viennacontemporary Media Zone. Pictured: the English Editor Agnese Čivle