Art Forum Berlin '00 fair report: Where Gagosian and Jeffrey Deitch go, will other US dealers follow?

The art fair is 63% non-German this year


Established in 1996, Art Forum Berlin 2000 celebrates its fifth anniversary this year in bigger and brighter premises; the naturally lit fifteen-metre-high halls in the Berlin Exhibition Grounds. More than 63% of the exhibitors this year are non-German galleries and of the German ones 67% come from Berlin.

The organisers, European Galleries, see Berlin-based galleries playing an even more substantial role in shaping the event in the future, emphasising the growing importance of Berlin as an emerging centre for contemporary art. Consequently, four Berlin art dealers were elected as spokespeople for the organisation: Nicole Hackert, Contemporary Fine Arts; Max Hetzler, Galerie Max Hetzler; Martin Klosterfelde, Galerie Klosterfelde; Barbara Weiss, Galerie Barbara Weiss.

Many Berlin galleries will open their stands early, offering breakfast to visitors. Art Forum continues to encourage an Eastern European presence and this year five of the 27% first time exhibitors are from Russia, including one from Vladivostok.

The vetting committee is an international mix of two curators and four art dealers (see below). The jury was chaired again by Thomas Schulte of Galerie Franck + Schulte, Berlin. Art Forum Berlin is keen on raising its profile as a contemporary art fair, making an original gallery programme one of the main criteria for participation. The committee has selected 160 galleries from twenty-three countries, with big names such as Gagosian (London) and Deitch Projects (New York) participating for the first time and others returning after a year away such as Rafael Jablonka (Cologne) or Hauser & Wirth & Presenhuber (Zurich).

Art Forum Berlin encourages galleries to join forces in larger booths, a practice evident last year, when some of the Scandinavian galleries decided to present their artists in a combined stand. This year there are twenty-two shared booths and as initiated last year there will be “Young galleries” in twenty-square-metre niches sandwiched between the larger and more established exhibitors.

The five-day fair has lowered its admission fee from DM30 for a day ticket to DM20 and there will be a special evening ticket for DM15 (after 6 pm).

Those among us who have already spent a lot more money on art may be among the happy few invited to Berlin in this year’s three-day “Collectors’ programme”, courtesy of Art Forum’s main sponsor, the Bankgesellschaft Berlin. The bank also supports the annual awards for best booths in the categories of “Established galleries”, won last year by the stand shared by c/o Atle Gerhardsen, Casey Kaplan and Nicolai Wallner, and “Young galleries”, which was awarded to Green Naftali in 1999. The Deutsche Klassenlotterie (German State Lottery) has granted the necessary funds for the acquisition of works of art for the Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin’s museum of contemporary art, and the Kupferstichkabinett (Department of Prints and Drawings).

There will also be a series of talks given in a lounge in the centre of the exhibition hall throughout Art Forum’s opening hours. These are open to the public and the collectors’ forum berlin sees them as a continuation of “Biennales in dialogue”, an international conference held at the Museum Fridericianum, Kassel, last month.

The first talk on 27 September will be co-hosted by Saskia Bos, the curator of the second Berlin Biennal which will take place next spring, and René Block, an ex-curator of the Sydney Biennial and curator of the Museum Fridericianum. Topics on other days include the contemporary East European art scene, presented by David Elliot, director of the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, and co-curator of its recent exhibition, “After the Wall” which is travelling to the Hamburger Bahnhof.

This contemporary art fair continues to grow, albeit slowly, with North American gallery participants on the increase. The three-day collectors programme should bring in around 100 collectors, including international curators, but it is the ones who stay behind after the organised programme has finished that are most courted by the exhibitors. The invited foreign guests get a fantastic preview of exhibitions, Berlin collectors’ homes and the Reichstag but unless they return in 2001 under their own steam, Art Forum will not build up the loyal clientele it needs to be successful.

Vetting committee

Emma Dexter curator, Tate Modern, London, Nicole Hackert Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin, Claes Nordenhake Galerie Nordenhake, Stockholm, Eckhard Schneider director of the Hanover Art Association, Mario Teixeira da Silva Modulo Centro Difusor de Arte, Lisbon, Bob van Orsouw Galerie Bob van Orsouw, Zurich, Thomas Schulte European Galleries (chair)

Fact sheet

Dates 27 September-1 October

Number of exhibitors: 160 galleries from twenty-three countries, 73% repeat exhibitors, 37% German galleries

Basic cost of stand: E141 (£86; $128) per square metre, includes electricity, at least five lights, carpeting or floor paint and 3.5m solid walls

Size of stands: 20 square-metres (young galleries), 40-180 square-metres

Number of years operating: Five

Opening hours: 12am-8pm

Professional preview: 26 September 2-4pm

Vernissage: 26 September 4-9pm

Location: Halls 21-23 Berlin Exhibition Grounds, Entrance Hall 21 Masurenallee, Berlin-Charlottenburg

Admission prices: full day ticket DM20, reduced ticket DM10, groups (of more than five) DM15, evening ticket (after 6pm) DM10, vernissage (for two people) DM50

Catalogue available two weeks in advance, DM30 at the fair, DM39 in bookshops

Guided tours run by artberlin Tel: +49 30 28 09 63 90

Further information European galleries Tel: +49 30 55 16 44, fax +49 30 88 55 16 45,,, Messe Berlin Tel: +49 30 38 20 76/77, fax +49 30 38 20 60,

Galleries, arranged alphabetically as in the fair itself

AC Project Room, New York, Aidan, Moscow, Helga de Alvear, Madrid, American Fine Arts Colin De Land Fine Arts, New York, Mikael Andersen, Copenhagen, Stefan Andersson, Umea, Andréhn-Schiptjenko, Stockholm, Anhava, Helsinki, ARKA Contemporary Art, Vladivostok, Ardnt & Partner, Berlin, ars Futura, Zurich, Art Affairs, Amsterdam, Edition Artelier, Graz, Asbaek, Copenhagen, Asian FIne Arts, Berlin, Prüss &Ochs, Berlin, banning+ associates, New York, Bo Bjerggaard, Copenhagen, Blum & Poe, Santa Monica, Lars Bohman, Stockholm, Rainer Borgemeister, Berlin, Patrick de Brock, Knokke, Spencer Brownstone, New York, Daniel Buchholz, Cologne, Buro Empty, Amsterdam, c/o Atle Gerhardsen, Oslo, Carmargo Vilaca, São Paõlo, Campana, Cologne, Pedro Cera, Lisbon, Chicago Project Room, Los Angeles, China Art Objects Galleries, Los Angeles, Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin, Barbar Claassen-Schmal, Bremen, Clinica Aesthetica, New York, Contemporary Fine Arts GmbH, Berlin, Christopher Cutts Gallery, Toronto, De Chiara/Stewart Gallery, New York, Deitch Projects, New York, Martina Detterer, Frankfurt, Diehl Vorderwuelbecke, Berlin, Dogenhaus, Leipzig, Anselm Dreher, Berlin, DV, San Sebastian, Dörrie + Priess, Hamburg, Eigen + Art, Berlin, L & R Entwistle and Co, London, Equrna, Ljubljana, Estrany & de la Mota Arte Contemporani, Barcelona, Fahnemann, Berlin, Feichther& Mizrahi, Vienna, Konrad Fischer, Düsseldorf, Franck + Schult, Berlin, Marlene Frei, Zürich, Marion +Roswitha Fricke, Berlin, Gagosian, London, Gebauer, Berlin, Gentili, Massa e Cozzile,Wolfgang Gmyrek, Düsseldorf, Goldman Tevis, Los Angeles, Greene Naftali, New York, GriedervonPuttkamer, Berlin, Griffin, Venice CA, Bärbel Grässli, Frankfurt, Haas & Fuchs, Berlin, Reinhard Hauff, Stuttgart, Hauser & Wirth & Presenhuber, Zürich, Masataka Hayakawa, Tokyo, Richard Heller, Santa Monica, Maz Hetzler, Berlin, Susan Hobbs, Toronto, Hollenbach, Stuttgart, Heinz Nolmann, Cologne, I-20, New York, Grita Insam, Vienna, Jablonka, Cologne, agnès b, Paris, Rob Jurka, Amsterdam, K, Oslo, Kapinos, Berlin, Bronwyn Keenan/, New York, Kenetti, Helsinki, Anton Kern, New York, Kicken Berlin, Berlin, Klosterdelde, Berlin, Kodama, Osaka, Leo Koenig, New York, Inga Kondeyne, Berlin, Eleni Koroneou, Athens, Tomio Koyama, Tokyo, Krinzinger, Vienna, Achim Kubinski, Berlin, Kuckei + Kuckei, Berlin, kunstbuero, Vienna, Anna Kustera, New York, Gebr. Lehmann, Dresden, Lindig in Paludetto Milchhof, Nürnberg, LOW, Los Angeles, Charlotte Lund, Stockholm, Tommy Lund, Copenhagen, Florence Lynch, New York, Philomeme Magers Projekte, Munich, Mai 36, Zürich, Hans Mayer, Düsseldorf, Mikro Mayer, Cologne, Karlehinz Meyer, Karlsruhe, Meyer Riegger, Karlsruhe, mezzanin, Vienna, MK Expositieruimte, Rotterdam, The Modern Institute, Glasgow, Módulo Centro Difusor de Arte, Lisbon, Christian Nagel, Cologne, NEU, Berlin, Neugerriemschneider, Berlin, Bodo Niemann, Berlin, Marco Noire, Turin, Nordenhake, Stockholm, Georg Nothelfer, Berlin, Giti Nourbakhsch, Berlin, nächst St Stephen, Vienna, Nathalie Obadia, Paris, OMR, Mexico, Bob van Orsouw, Zürich, Patrick Painter, Santa Monica, Photology, Milan, Regina, Moscow, Anthony Reynolds, London, Markus Richter, Berlin, Rocket, London, Rothamel, Erfurt, Sander, Darmstadt, Schipper & Krome, Berlin, A. von Scholz, Berlin, Christa Schübbe, Düsseldorf, Seitz & Partner, Berlin, Senda, Barcelona, Side 2, Tokyo, Sies + Höke, Düsseldorf, André Simoens, Knokke, Sollertis, Toulouse, Spinger &Winckler, Berlin, Michael Sturm, Stuttgart, Jiri Svetska, Prague, Taik, Helsinki, Barbara Thumm, Berlin, Trayecto, Vitori-Gasteiz, Vanguardia, Bilbao, Vedanta, Chicago, André Viana, Porto, Rafael Vostell, Berlin, Vous etes ici, Amsterdam, Elena Vrublevskaya, Moscow, Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen, Wang, Oslo, Barbara Weiss, Berlin, Brigitte Weiss, Zürich, Wiens Laden & Verlag, Berlin, Wittenbrink, Munich, Wohnmaschine, Berlin, XL, Moscow, Zinc, Stockholm, Zwinger, Berlin