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THE TIME OF FAIRS [Art Fairs in Europe; from October to mid November]

Six international art fairs in less than two months. Six weeks, to be precise, from the beginning of October to mid November. It is definitely ┤fair-time` in Europe, especially in those cities having contemporary art at heart: Berlin, London, Paris, Cologne, Turin. No rest, then, for gallerists, artists, collectors, art lovers, publishers, critics, and whoever is related to the art scene.

Stefan KŘrten, Red Flag Oil/Canvas, Galerie Michael Cosar, 45 x 58, 2002

Art Forum Berlin

It all starts in Berlin. ART FORUM BERLIN, the International Fair for Contemporary Art, celebrates this year its 8th edition. It will take place at the Berlin Exhibition Grounds from 1st to 5th October. Born from the joint effort of Messe Berlin GmbH and an international galleries' advisory board, ART FORUM aims -once more- to be innovative and experimental. It defines itself as ┤one of the most courageous and focused fairs [...] not to be missed in the international art calendar.` 100 galleries from 25 countries -all selected by the international jury- will make use of new compact halls meant to supply the participants with ideal exhibiting conditions. A thorough gamut of side events -involving museums, galleries and clubs- have been planned too. Among the exhibitions running parallel to the fair (and in the frame of the Kunstherbst Berlin), the highlights are ┤Berlin-Moscow/Moskow-Berlin`, at the Martin Gropius Bau; ┤Nutsy's World` by Tom Sachs at the Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin; ┤Private/Corporate: a Dialogue of the Collections Ileana Sonnabend and DaimlerChrysler` at the DaimlerChrysler Contemporary; Sue de Beer at the Kunst-Werke Berlin; the group exhibition ┤Australian Standard` and the solo exhibitions by Ron Mueck and Dayanita Singh at the Hamburger Bahnhof. A series of evening discussions are planned too.
Exhibition Grounds
Messe Berlin, Halls 18-20
Entrance 19 (Hammarskj÷oldplazt - Masurenallee)

Vanessa Beecroft, VB51.106, 2002, photographie couleur fuji crystal archive, Courtesy Cosmic Galerie, Paris

Fiac (Foire Internationale d'Art Contemporain

Next stop is Paris. FIAC (Foire Internationale d'Art Contemporain) is at its 30th edition. As pointed out in its colourful web page, FIAC has been around since, ┤The age of happenings: Warhol signing his posters, Orlan dressing as Saint Theresa and offering kisses for 5 francs. ` It will take place from 9th to 13th October at the Paris Expo, Porte de Versailles. This year, the fair will cover a wide span of time: contemporary art in the 20th and 21st centuries, from the historical avant-gardes to the latest in art. It will gather 174 galleries (for both modern and contemporary) representing 22 countries. It will have three special sections: Prints, Perspectives, and VidÚo Cube. ┤Prints` is a space for fine art publishers favouring a creative approach and new techniques in printing. ┤Perspectives` gives space to young artists and enables the viewers to read new trends and moving themes in art. ┤VidÚo Cube` is, as the name already says it, entirely dedicated to video art. It is at its 3rd edition and its committee of experts (among them, Mr Muir, curator of the Tate Modern, London; and Mr Weil, curator of the new media for the MOMA, San Francisco) awards the ┤VidÚo Cube Prize` to one of the thirty emerging video artists in the short-list. Very rich is, as well, the exhibition calendar in Paris during the fair.
Paris, Porte de Versailles
Hall 4, Paris Expo

The Affordable Art Fair

The AFFORDABLE ART FAIR will present the autumn collection from 9th to 12th October (basically, at the same time of FIAC), at the Battersea Park, this time in London. It is its 5th year, it hosts 130 galleries, dealers and studio groups, especially from the UK. All artworks are priced under 2,500 pounds because AAF focuses on the fact that ┤the event is a must for anyone wanting to make owning original artwork a reality.[...] Works can be purchased, courtesy wrapped and taken away the same day.` Printmaking and Sculpture workshops will be held to look and learn or, even, to actively participate.
Battersea Park

Michael Elmgreen & Ingar DragsetLandslide, 2002, Klosterfelde

Frieze Art Fair

The ┤fair fever` will keep on striking London. The next event to be held will be the FRIEZE ART FAIR, from 17th to 20th October, in a structure designed by award-winning architect David Adjaye, in Regent's park -one of the most beautiful green spaces of the UK capital. Much attention surrounds this fair, as it is at its first edition and it has set itself rather high standards. Much has already been said and written about Frieze's alleged intention to become the main competitor of Art Forum Berlin. That does not interest us much, as we prefer to consider the event as yet another chance given to contemporary art to exhibit itself on an international platform. Moreover, as stated by the fair organisers themselves, London has developed over the last decade into one of the world's leading cities for contemporary art and -maybe, we would like to add- the one thing that was lacking was an event of this magnitude. Around 125 galleries will participate; they are ┤the most dynamic generation of galleries working today,` as stated in the fair's web page. A full talks programme is scheduled too; it has been specifically thought for art professionals; still, it seems to have a certain appeal for the general audience too. Artists projects have not been forgotten and they will be staged in- and outside the fair ground. (for the magazine)
Regent's Park (Outer Circle - Broad Walk)

Art Cologne

Nine days of rest and then the ART COLOGNE will open its gates in the exhibition area of the K÷lnmesse. Founded in 1967, it is probably the oldest European art fair. It will take place from 29th October to 2nd November. Its standards are kept by an international selection committee and the number of participants is restricted to 250 galleries known in the international art scene. It offers a thorough overview of the art in the 20th century but specifically focuses on art of the '60s, '70s, '80s, and '90s. Thanks to national and international sponsorship programmes, both up-coming artists and young galleries have been invited to take part to the fair.
K÷lner Messehallen


Last stop of this long ┤fair month` is ARTISSIMA. Again, an international fair; this time, held in Turin (Italy) from 6th to 9th November, at the Lingotto Fiere -a ground created at the beginning of the century and brought back to life by the widely-known Italian architect Renzo Piano. The fair focuses on contemporary art and up-coming tendencies with special emphasis on experimentation. Three are the special sections in the fair frame: Present Future (15 up-coming artists, all under 40, to be checked and remembered), New Entries (young avant-guarde galleries founded after 1998 and at their first participation in Artissima), and Video Arte (20 videos, previously selected by experts, on competition.) Talks programmes are very rich and the seminar of this year will tackle the subject ┤Local and global: the museum in the time of internet and new technologies.` There is as well a collectionists' programme that will allow 200 among the most famous collectionists to visit the fair ground before its inauguration.
Lingotto Fiere/Fiera di Torino
Via Nizza 294
10126 Torino

Text: M. Cecchinato
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