The New York Times reviews the Art Cologne art fair and finds “galleries and artists and individual works became visible that tended to be obscured by the razzle-dazzle of the boom years.”
Though one could hardly speak of a dramatic turnaround, there was little satisfaction for those prophets of doom who saw the contemporary market as particularly vulnerable. In the 43rd installment that closed on Sunday, Art Cologne made clear that the first order of the day was to create a sleeker, leaner profile after years in which the fair had become so bloated that many gallerists and collectors honored it more in the breach than the observance. Last year such leading lights as London’s Annely Juda Fine Art, Düsseldorf’s Galerie Hans Mayer and Cologne’s own Galerie Michael Werner simply stayed at home, while attendance slumped by more than 5,000 visitors. The pace-setting trio returned this year, proudly occupying the first row and setting the impeccable professional standards for which they have so long been known. Nonetheless, attendance remained static, and there is plainly much work to be done if Cologne is to reposition itself successfully within the extended family of fairs it has spawned over the last four decades.
Art Cologne Hangs On (The New York Times)