240912: REED Messe Wien VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary: Wind from the East

REED Messe Wien VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary 20.09.2012 – 23.09.2012 Wind from the East By Margareta Sandhofer A fresh wind is blowing at the VIENNAFAIR – from the East. Under the leadership of Russian investors, headed by Sergey Skatershikov and two dashing young curators, Christina Steinbrecher and Vita Zaman, the VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary aims at attaining global significance with a straightforward marketing strategy. In numerous press conferences, the new organizers bluntly presented their concept: this is not about ethical values, but about the skillful manipulation of regarding art as merchandise and as a profitable investment. Dreamy idealists are disillusioned - educated, calculated market orientated intelligence replaced last year’s team that was driven by intellect and headed by Schöllhammer/Saxenhuber. Including the much discussed, almost lascivious and provocative poster, which has obviously reached its goal. Content-related, the VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary will be expanded into an international collecting point, and primarily into an interface of the Eastern art scene. Turkey should no longer be the focus, but an active partner. Extending the borders of Eastern and Southeastern Europe has already taken place with the presence of seven Russian galleries as well as the so-called “Vienna Quitntet”. The ambitions of the new leadership are transgressive, in a territorial sense as well as a disciplinary sense: art and industry should be economically used as unifying vectors. To help reach this goal “Vienna Click” was created as a digital platform. As aggressive as these ambitions may sound, the appearance of the VIENNAFAIR in the Messehalle remained rather familiar. The “new” Russian art scene doesn’t really stand out from the European one, the galleries in Istanbul present well-known artists. The number of Austrian galleries was reduced to enhance internationality, but they display the expected repertoire. The Vienna Chamber of Commerce again awarded a prize for the most outstanding fair-stand design to Austrian galleries. Hubert Winter was awarded the “Established Gallery Prize” for the presentation of Fred Sandback’s work. Viktor Bucher once again narrowly missed the “Emerging Gallery Prize” which went to the co-operation between Emanuel Layr and the New York-based gallery owner Simone Subal. All in all, the quality of the artwork presented is slightly better than what was presented last year. Yet there are no sensations, and even the odor of Christian Eisenberger’s horse manure paint in Philipp Konzett’s stand didn’t last long. The new leadership of the VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary and its progressive strategy offers both a challenge as well as a chance. REED Messe Wien 1020 Vienna, Messezentrum Wien Neu, Halle A http://www.viennafair.at Opening hours: Thu 11 - 19 h; Fri 11 - 21 h; Sat 11 - 19 h, Sun 11-18 h

Messe Wien
1020 Wien, Messezentrum Wien Neu, Halle A
Öffnungszeiten: Do 11 - 19 h; Fr 11 - 21 h; Sa 11 - 19 h, So 11-18 h

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