While Berlin is considered the art capital of Germany, Düsseldorf has an equally abundant art and cultural scene. Led by the Kunstakademie, a state-run art school which has an alumni list of the likes of Gerhard Richter and Anselm Kiefer, numerous exhibition spaces, museums and private collections, the city of Düsseldorf has a renowned global art culture, ripe with both traditional and new media. It is no surprise then that the city became the sight of the Art Düsseldorf in 2017, and in merely two years of operation has become one of the leading contemporary art fairs in Europe.
The fair exhibits both young and established artists, featuring participation from regional as well as international galleries. Mostly showcasing post-war and contemporary art, the art fair has managed to carve out an audience and clientele for itself in the two years of operation. The 2018 edition was visited by over 40,000 people. The numbers are only expected to further grow in this year’s third edition of the fair, which is taking place from November 15 to 17, 2019, at Areal Böhler. The location of the fair is a former steel factory complex in a prime location, an exceptional and non-conventional venue, perfectly suitable for the exhibition of art.
This year, around 100 artists and galleries are showcasing their work at the fair. The regional galleries mostly come from Rhineland, Germany and Benelux countries. Most of the international galleries are of European origin. In addition, around 10 per cent of the galleries for this edition are from the United States and Asia. Art Düsseldorf is dedicated to choosing galleries that will showcase art catered to collectors in the region, as well as educate international collectors interested in the history of Düsseldorf’s art scene and the regional ‘DNA’.
Nevertheless, Art Düsseldorf also sees itself as a fair for future generations of artists, gallery owners and collectors. Rsvp is a platform for galleries - no more than 10 years old - to showcase recent work from emerging artists. The presentations put the spotlight on the next generation of artistic talents, which visitors can discover in an in-depth and intimate setting. A jury of the following curators invites the galleries: Devrim Bayar (WIELS | Brussels, Belgium), Elisa Linn and Lennart Wolff (km temporär | Berlin, Germany) and Marianne Dobner (mumok | Vienna, Austria). In this third edition of the fair, a new format called Collector’s Private Tour also starts – here experienced collectors share their expertise in special guided tours with interested young collectors.
Walter Gehlen, the Director of the Festival, said, “Art Düsseldorf is in the right place at the right time. It combines the outstanding characteristics of the Rhineland as a location for art and meets the curiosity of the neighbouring regions. Düsseldorf has a unique location for many collectors from Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. With the third edition, we will promote greater internationalisation in terms of both content and structure.”
The fair has proven itself as a high-quality platform for collectors, gallerists and curators, its presence is expected to further strengthen the city’s existing art scene as cultural art hub for the region in fall-season. Art Düsseldorf provides a platform to foster existing and create new long-term relationships that flourish also outside the fair. Close collaboration between the fair director and the galleries, as well as regional art institutions, is its winning recipe.