HIT LIST // Our Picks: Top 6 Booths at Art Cologne

Article by Alison Hugill in Berlin // Friday, Apr. 22, 2016

Art Cologne celebrated its 50th anniversary this year, making it the world’s oldest fair for modern and contemporary art. While in many ways quite conservative in its offerings, the spatial configuration of the event—taking up three floors of the Koelnmesse—invited a wide range of positions. The top two floors presented comparatively more experimental works, while the basement housed a well-known selection of modern art collectables by famous artists. Berlin Art Link chose six booths that pushed the envelope of this year’s expo.

Constant Dullaart at Future Gallery

After the unexpected success of its Kickstarter campaign last year, tech start-up DullTech was launched by Berlin-based artist Constant Dullaart. The product is described by the artist as “a smart, hassle-free, plug-and-play USB-friendly media player that works on all screens and syncs without problems or cables.” DullTech Media Player was conceived in 2012 during an artist residency in Shenzhen, China and is now manufactured there. At Art Cologne, Dullaart presented a tongue-in-cheek advertisement for his product, making fun of the jargon of start-up culture in advanced capitalism.

Always a Dull Moment, DullTech™ from Dull Tech on Vimeo.

John de Andrea at Galerie Perrotin

American artist John de Andrea’s hyperrealist sculpture ‘Lisa’ (2005) attracted a lot of attention at the fair: the body of a naked young woman, lying on a pedestal, in the middle of the crowd. The woman lounged languidly at the edge of Galerie Perrotin’s booth, inviting a certain uncomfortable voyeurism. While the interest in the piece certainly did not concern its shock-value, the proximity to the human form drew uncanny comparative analyses.


John de Andrea, Lisa, 2005, Installation view at Art Cologne

Melanie Bonajo at Akinci Gallery

Melanie Bonajo’s photo and video works document performances that employ household objects in a close relationship to the body. Bonajo explores paradoxes inherent in ideas of comfort, strapping objects to her body in ways that highlight the physical toll of domestic labour and question the idea of the home as a space of leisure.

Night Soil-Fake Paradise Trailer from Melanie Bonajo on Vimeo.

Lynn Chadwick at Blain|Southern

Established British sculptor Lynn Chadwick is well-known for his metal abstractions of the human and natural world. The small-scale iron figures presented centrally in the Blain|Southern booth at Art Cologne this year formed a kind of army of benign soldiers. Sharp lines punctuate his works, which stood out among paintings lining the walls.


Lynn Chadwick, Three Standing Figures, 1989 // Courtesy of the artist and Blain Southern, Photo by Todd White

Chun Kwang Young at Pearl Lam Galleries

Chun Kwang Young’s sculptural works made of mulberry paper, a uniquely Korean material, are employed in his search for a culturally authentic mode of artistic expression. Wrapping individual triangular pieces of polystyrene in hand dyed mulberry paper, Chun creates the textured surfaced of his wall-hung assemblages.


Chun Kwang Young, Aggregation 15 MY027Star // Courtesy of the artist and Pearl Lam Galleries

Christian Jankowski and Juergen Teller at Contemporary Fine Arts Berlin

The corner installation of the CFA Berlin booth was an eye-catcher, with a life-sized pin-up photograph of Kim Kardashian, scantily clad, climbing a small dirt hill. Juergen Teller’s piece, entitled ‘Kanye, Juergen & Kim’ has been making the art fair rounds, with a recent appearance at Art Basel Hong Kong. The refreshing frivolity continued with Christian Jankowski‘s immersive installation ‘The Day We Met’ — a replica of a small karaoke room, featuring video clips made in collaboration with a professional karaoke camera team.


“Kanye, Juergen & Kim, No.70, Chateau d’Ambleville”, 2015 and Christian Jankowski, “The Day We Met”, 2003, Installation view at Art Cologne // Courtesy of CFA Berlin

More information about Art Cologne: www.artcologne.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.