Unpainted lab, Art Karlsruhe, Arco Madrid

exclusivities and differentials of the three different Art Fairs

February 2016 seems to be dedicated to contemporary art, as three very different art fairs herald the new year: happening simultaneously from the 18th until the 21st February there are the unpainted lab. 3.0 Munich as well as the art Karlsruhe, and then from the 24th until the 28th February we can expect the Arco Madrid. The Artsation team reports about the highlights of the past fairs and will give an outlook on Arco Madrid.

The unpainted lab 3.0 Munich is probably the most contemporary of the three fairs as it deals with the highly topical issue of digital art. An interdisciplinary team of curators has invited over 30 national and international artists to showcase their work accompanied by an eventful framework program consisting of performances, talks and workshops. The motivation behind the fair concerns questions about new emerging trends such as digital images, 3D sculptures, computer games and interactive worlds as art. The digital revolution not only offers new possibilities to create and produce art, but also new ways to absorb and present it. unpainted lab 3.0 explores these new “art worlds” and wants to introduce new artistic positions and young artists next to established ones.
The work Ecce Homo by renowned media artist Arent Weevers is one of the highlights of the fair. The artist cleverly combines a profoundly classical art historical theme of Christian iconography with the technology of a 3D hologram of an innocent naked youth floating upside down in a dark room. Also worth mentioning is the elaborate video installation Polar Circles by Munich based artist Betty Mü: Three circular video projections depict fragments of human perception – impressions of light (titled Pure Color), time (Pure Time) and contrast (Pure Contrast).
The unpainted art fair is a young, impressive and ambitious project, which receives an unconditional recommendation for collectors of new and unconventional art.

Also taking place from the 18th to 21st February is the art Karlsruhe featuring the slogan “Human. Market. Art.” This well-structured anti-elitist fair spans four thematically arranged halls: Hall 1 offers photographs and original editions. Hall 2 and 3 accommodate the royal disciplines of art: painting and sculpture. The fourth and last hall is completely dedicated to contemporary art. Compared to the unpainted fair art Karlsruhe presents itself as a more conservative art fair with a strong focus on classical modernism. Lovers of paintings will find a great selection at the art Karlsruhe. In addition to galleries from Berlin and abroad you can find many regional institutions such as the renowned Meyer Riegger Gallery from Stuttgart.
Amongst others Riegger exhibits Franz Ackermann, a professor at the Art Academy Karlsruhe, and his powerful painting My House, which has to be one of the most dynamic pieces on display. Neon color panels compete with fragments of an objective reality for the attention of the viewers thereby creating an intriguing interplay between traditional painting and the flashy aesthetics of the 1990s techno culture. Another crowd puller at the fair are the life-size ceramic figures of Stuttgart based sculptor Dora Várkonyi. The female figures are part of a series (2013 – 2014) and have to be understood as respective personifications of their highly symbolic titles: justice, courage, suffering etc.
The art Karlsruhe provides a good insight into the lively local art scene and beyond. For lovers of classical modernism and more conservative art this is an excellent tip.
The upcoming Arco is the first of the major art fairs this year with more than 200 participating galleries and it is also the pride of Madrid’s art scene. This year’s Arco Madrid celebrates its 35th anniversary therefore the initiators decided to take the history of the fair itself as the theme for the curated sections. They recollect the galleries and artists who were instrumental in making it the successful art fair it is today. The renowned gallery Sprüth Magers (Berlin) exhibits Richard Artschwager and Analia Saban for example while Marian Goodman (London) shows works by John Baldessari.
In addition to a balanced range of established and young galleries, Arco Madrid also convinces with a wide range of art forms: editions, paintings, sculptures, installations, photography are represented as well as performance art for instance Mercedes Azpilicueta with her work „Un Mundo Raro” (2015) at gallery Mirta Demare (Rotterdam). Besides well-known artists such as Julian Opie, who can be found at Krobath gallery (Vienna) and who is also represented on Artsation, the art fair has further highlights in store. Ángela del Cruz’s Painting with a Plastic (Homage to Burri) from 2016 (Krinzinger Gallery, Vienna) combines a humorous appropriation of abstract painting with a perfect and new aesthetical approach: A monochrome red pictures that is covered by a transparent and artfully torn plastic sheeting, which of course is part of the work. The Arco Madrid 2016 offers even further strong positions within the field of abstract painting including Bernard Frize and his colorful work Abrupt (Nächst St. Stephan Rose Marie Schwarzwälder, Wien).
It can be anticipated that the Arco Madrid will live up to its 35th anniversary with an aspiring and varied program. Art lovers and collectors could not ask for a better entry into the new art year 2016!