The German city of Cologne has opened its doors to the 46th running of the oldest art fair of its kind in the world.
This year at Art Cologne there are 200 international galleries showing – and selling – classic modern, post-war and contemporary exhibits.
Spice work by the late Dieter Roth is available for 250,000 euros. His chocolate picture from 1968 is up for a far more reasonable 65,000 euros.
The most expensive works in Cologne are two paintings by the German Ernst Ludwig Kirchner – yours for more than three-million euros each.
The British sculptor Tony Cragg made “Round Block” on offer for almost 400,000 euros.
The portrait ‘First Lady”’ by the 80-year-old Colombian artist Fernando Botero, will set you back almost one million euros.
Perhaps the most seductive and expensive banana in the world is called ‘Chiquita’ by the American artist Mel Ramos. The price? An appealing 350,000 euros.
The director of Art Cologne, Daniel Hug, was upbeat: “The art market is doing very well – I would say the very young segment and the established artists. The blue chips, the big names and certainly the very young artists.”
One section of the art fair, called New Positions, is dedicated to 23 young artists, none of whom fits into any particular category. The installations range from work with vinyl discs to sculptures with media junk.
Art Cologne has launched a collaboration for the first time with NADA, the New Art Dealers Alliance, which already runs a fair in Miami. The alliance, based in New York, brings together American and European galleries concentrating on newcomers – none of the galleries has been open for more than eight years.
There is also performance art. ‘Five Drills’ is by two artists from Chicago and two competitive wrestlers from the North Rhine region providing 50 minutes of discipline from the wrestling ring.
Art Cologne’s organisers estimate 60,000 visitors will have browsed during the show and many, they hope, will have opened their wallets.