JUNE 11-16, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BASEL (June 12, 2012). Fascinating discoveries fuel VOLTA8 day one. The combination of international flair, Central European style, and North American muscle -- that last bit resonating from Jason Gringler's limited edition silkscreen, featured with Cologne's Galerie Stefan Röpke -- culminated in a solid opening day for VOLTA8.
Touch-and-go weather did nothing to stymie the morning collectors crowd, evinced by some very early sales. Espaivisor - Gallery Visor (Valencia) checked off a Hamish Fulton photograph (6,500 Euro) barely half an hour into the day, following with a Nil Yalter on reserve (33,000 Euro). Practically simultaneously elsewhere in the halls, Jarmuschek + Partner sold Patrick Cierpka's massive, gauzy-colored canvas Zoom (10,000 Euro) for a Basel fashion studio's entryway piece. As dealer Christian Jarmuschek recounted, "her eyes clicked, and she said 'I found what I'm looking for'," just like that. He noted strong interest in a regal Marc Fromm Faun carved-wood sculpture as well.
VOLTA8 Limited Edition by Jason Gringler (Galerie Stefan Röpke, Cologne). In foreground: dealer Jiri Svestka (Jiri Svestka Gallery, Prague/Berlin) with a collector.
A theme of the day was quality collectors. As Nathan Engelbrecht of London's EB&Flow commented, people were coming through not just to look, but to buy. The gallery sold several paintings by William Bradley (2,000-4,000 Pounds). Fiona Mauchan of Cape Town gallery Brundyn + Gonsalves expressed an "amazing response, with very good interest, quality people coming through" to gaze at Matthew Hindley's emotive figurative scenes. They sold his monumental oil A Brief History of the Spirit World (approx. 12,000 CHF). A few aisles over but on the other side of the globe, Steve Turner Contemporary (Los Angeles) counted keen interest on their booth concept Five Card Stud of five very-LA artists.
This year's fair treated young artists well. There was a constant stream of visitors to Levi van Veluw's enveloping multimedia installation at Galerie Ron Mandos (Amsterdam). The gallery sold a large-format charcoal drawing (14,000 Euro) to the Hugo and Carla Brown Collection, plus the Automata Installed sculpture (15,000 Euro) to another collector. Program Gallery (Warsaw) sold selections from first-time art-fair artist Bartholomij Gorny's Use as Intended drawings series (250 Euro each). They also reserved a large United Networks pen drawing by Maess and noted strong interest in her related works. Meanwhile, balzerARTprojects (Basel) sold four comic book cut-out pieces by Academy of Fine Arts, Stuttgart, artist Andreas Bauer.
Erika Deak Gallery (Budapest) moved several dramatic figurative canvases by Moldovan artist Alexander Tinei for total of 16,000 Euro, while London's Post Box Gallery held multiple reserves on Alastair Levy's abstract paintings. Across the aisle, LARMgalleri (Copenhagen) noted new clients while selling several paintings from Bagnacavallo-based artist Nicola Samori (2,500-8,500 Euro). Palpable intrigue was also expressed on Christian Achenbach's monumental flowery painting Vanitas Fair. Meanwhile Ana Cristea Gallery recorded several sales, including a mammoth moody oil by Zsolt Bodoni ($21,000).
Left: Hall A thoroughfare, showing Jiri Svestka (Prague/Berlin), Nusser & Baumgart (Munich), and LOOCK Galerie (Berlin)
Right: Collectors Susan and Michael Hort at Erika Deak Gallery (Budapest), with works by Alexander Tinei, Vitaly Pushnitsky, and Atta Szücs. In foreground: sculpture by Shapour Pouyan (Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai)
David Risley Gallery (London) sold Graham Dolphin's weathered sculpture Jim Morrison (12,500 Euro) to a Danish collector, plus sold Robert McNally's graphite on paper Uncle Muckle's social networking knuckles (10,000 Euro) to the Obricht Collection in Berlin. In the next hall, Conner Contemporary Art (Washington DC) sold several editions of Leo Villareal's mesmerizing Target ($20,000-$30,000 each) light piece, plus expressed strong interest in Katie Miller's photorealist paintings. Valencia's Valle Ortí were quite successful, selling one Maximo Gonzalez (13,500 Euro) sight unseen, plus a Troels Carlson on view (5,700 Euro, to Geneva) and sight unseen (1,500 Euro, to Norway). As dealers Nacho Valle and Alejo Negro effused simultaneously: "If all days are like today, the world will be a richer place. Four years in, and we're definitely coming back to VOLTA next year."
Many esteemed international art-world figures visited VOLTA8's opening day, including Joel and Sherry Mallin (New York), Joel and Zoe Dictrow (New York), Michael and Susan Hort (New York), Ole Faarup (Copenhagen), Antonio Coppola (Vicenza), Benedikt Van der Vorst (Belgium), Mimi Dusselier (Belgium), Frederic de Goldschmidt (Belgium), Jeffrey Grove (Dallas Museum of Art), Wendy Fisher (South Africa/New York/London), Lothar Tirala (Kunstraum Innsbruck, Austria), Daniel Hug (Director, Art Cologne), Carole Server and Oliver Frankel (New York), curators Kunsthalle Krems (Austria), Christian Fluri (BZBasel), German radio station WDR5, plus local and international news journalists and esteemed guests.
And despite Tuesday's chilly, rainy start, day two opened with success and sales. TEAPOT (Cologne) sold drawings by Thomas Palme (1,400 Euro each), metal sculpture Kanon by Christian Keinstar (1,800 Euro) and two resin and concrete heads by Oliver Czarnetta (2,500 Euro each). Glorious weather or not, this bodes well for a fantastic week for VOLTA8.
Left: Leigh Conner (foreground, of Conner Contemporary Art, Washington DC) speaks to collectors. In background: dealer Nathan Engelbrecht of EB&Flow (London), with works by William Bradley
Right: Ursula Sullivan of SULLIVAN + STRUMPF (Sydney) showing paintings by Sam Leach to a collector