Originally founded in 1967 by the gallery owners Hein Stünke and Rudolf Zwirner as the 'Kunstmarkt Köln '67', ART COLOGNE is today one of the most important international addresses for exceptional and high quality art of the 20th and 21st centuries. Around 200 leading international galleries from more than 20 countries come together annually and present a broad offering of modern and contemporary works in all price segments and movements by more than 2,000 artists.
ART COLOGNE presents art lovers and collectors with the most varied offering segments, including the GALLERIES section with modern and postwar art and extending to the modern and contemporary art of established galleries. This also includes the NEW POSITIONS section, a sponsorship programme that makes it possible for young artists to present their works in their own promotional booths next to the stands of their gallery owners. In addition to this, with the NEUMARKT section, ART COLOGNE presents the central platform for the "cutting edge art" of young galleries that have existed for no more than ten years. Curated presentations and special projects from galleries of all age classes are also found in the NEUMARKT section.
A supporting programme of exhibition openings and events in museums and institutions throughout the Rhineland, as well as integrated services, pleasant lounges and the best food service round off the trade fair and make ART COLOGNE one of the events of this year in Germany that you shouldn't miss.
Dialogue on the concept of the Absolute.
Giorgio Griffa, Tomas Rajlich, Nanni Valentini
ABC-ARTE presents the recent gallery programme with a high-quality synthesis of works by the artists Giorgio Griffa, Tomas Rajlich and Nanni Valentini. The affinity between these three major artists lies in the very conception of the Absolute.
After a primarily linguistic early period, Rajlich turned to finding a fundamental reason in painting. Valentini too (whose Garze [Gauzes] from 1976 are also a painterly start of reasoning on light) sought to go beyond the strictly formal questions of sculpture to inquire into its ultimate substance, a plastic absolute that recognises its own foundations. And Griffa’s differentiated and modulated repetitions are very close to the conditioned reflex and practical habitude whose roots lie in the very physiology of painting.
The solo exhibition by Giorgio Griffa Esonerare il mondo [To relieve the world] in 2015 marked the beginning of the gallery’s collaboration with this artist from Turin. The association was consolidated with the most recent solo exhibition Un mondo astratto non basta [An abstract world is not enough] in 2021. On this occasion the ABC-ARTE gallery produced a catalogue with an appraisal by Alberto Fiz and an interesting interview between Giorgio Griffa and the philosopher Leonardo Caffo.
The association of ABC-ARTE with Tomas Rajlich goes back to his first solo exhibition in the gallery Fifty years of Painting, followed by the joint exhibition Absolute Painting | Giorgio Griffa, Tomas Rajlich, Jerry Zeniuk, and the solo exhibition dedicated entirely to his Black Paintings 1976-79. In 2021 ABC-ARTE has been the main sponsor of the exhibition held in the Museo di Arte Contemporanea Villa Croce in Genoa entitled MAKE IT NEW!. Where Rajlich works are shown in dialogue with some key works of Italian abstract art selected by the artist himself.
For ArtCologne 2021 ABC-ARTE, will exhibit a selection of Rajlich small paintings from the book Tomas Rajlich 100 Small Paintings. Curated by Luuk Hoogewerf (whom co-curated the 2018 Rajlich solo exhibition at Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam) with the contribution of Tomas Rajlich himself and published by KANT, the book introduces the general public to the fifty-year career of Tomas Rajlich with paintings from 1966 to 2018.
ABC-ARTE’s presentation of the work of Nanni Valentini (1932-1985) began with the large-scale exhibition in 2019 curated by Flaminio Gualdoni and entitled L'interspazio tra il visibile ed il tattile [The space between the visible and the tactile]. The project continues with an important volume entirely dedicated to Valentini’s Trasparenze [Transparencies] from 1976 with an essay by Flaminio Gualdoni and texts by the artist, to be published by Silvana Editoriale.