viennacontemporary, artistically directed by Christina Steinbrecher-Pfandt and organized by managing director Renger van den Heuvel, closed its premises with excellent sales and 30.863 visitors. The fair, mostly focused on a dialogue with countries belonging to East Europe, has hosted four Italian galleries: Alessandro Casciaro (Bolzano), Doris Ghetta (Ortisei), Private View (Turin), Michela Rizzo (Venice). The galleries represented a number of artists among whom few Italians, in particular we undeline the presence of Antonello Viola (presenting suggestive and lyrical works) for Alessandro Casciaro and Silvano Tessarollo (presenting ironical and “cartoon inspired” works) for Michela Rizzo.
We talk about viennacontemporary with Christina Steinbrecher-Pfandt.
How did viennacontemporary project start?
We took the license to organize the fair in 2012 from Reed Exhibitions. Three years later, in 2015 we decided to move to Marx Halle due to problems getting a fixed date from Reed Exhibtions. We moved and wanted to buy the name but since Reed Exhibitions didn’t want to sell the name we started viennacontemporary. The idea is to do an international fair with the focus on Eastern Europe.
What are viennacontemporary goals compared to other European art fairs, like Frieze or Art Basel?
We are a specialized fair and we take care of educating our visitors about our focus.
Why Marx Halle can be considered a good site for an art fair?
Beautiful grand palais like metal structure: it has high ceiling with day light flooded windows.
Can you give us some hints about this 2018?
We have a stunning ZONE1 (curator Victoria Dejaco) with young Austrian artists and a convincing explorations section with international positions. The 2018 edition showcases artists with the ability to look closer at the stories of everyday life, political situations, materials and the human condition. Also, check out the Armenia Focus (organizer Armenia Art Foundation; curator Sona Stepanyan; artists: Ayreen Anastas & Rene Gabri, Mher Azatyan, Arman Grigoryan, Piruza Khalapyan, Rebecca Topakian, Mika Vatinyan), we really go far to show interesting art scenes from CEE. Armenia went through a peaceful revolution this year and artists feel the need to present their work internationally.
How many gallerists will partecipate this year?
118 galleries and institutions from 27 countries.
What is your opinion on Italian galleries low participation?
We are working to establish strong links. All takes time.
Any forcast about 2019 edition?
I can give you the fair dates 2019–2022: 26–29 September 2019, 24–27 September 2020, 23–26 September 2021, 22–25 September 2022.
Christina Steinbrecher-Pfandt, ph A. Murashkin, courtesy viennacontemporary
Fair view, ph Niko Havranek, courtesy viennacontemporary
Fair view (Six ways from Sunday makes for a full week, 2018, work of Alexander Viscio, Galerie Michaela Stock), ph Niko Havranek, courtesy viennacontemporary
Elisabetta Bacci is visual artist and curator. She lives in Triest and Vadarci.