This year, ART COLOGNE is presenting an extraordinary collector and his passion for art with the Archivio Conz in the entrance area. The Italian publisher Francesco Conz worked together closely for more than 30 years with many artists of the avant garde movements of the 20th century, including Fluxus. His collection, which is now housed in Berlin, encompasses more than 3,000 pieces by more than 150 artists. One area of focus is on editions and prints. At ART COLOGNE, parts of the collection, as well as documents and photographs, including a 40 meter long edition by Eric Anderson, will be exhibited on a stage-like installation. "Editions enjoy special importance on the art market. Many artists have consciously concerned themselves with these, and explored the possibilities of the various media and techniques. In addition to this, editions are an opportunity for young collectors and art beginners with a modest budget to acquire good art at affordable prices," according to Daniel Hug, Director of ART COLOGNE, in advance of the art fair. The show in entrance area is flanked by the edition programs of six publishing houses.
The collection of the Archivio Conz demonstrates the fascination that editions prompted in the artists of the avant garde. Publishing-related activities were thus typical for Fluxus and other artists located close to Fluxus. In his conception of Fluxtopia, for example, George Maciunas imagined art that was industrially produced, and could thus be made broadly and democratically available.
Under the name 'Edizioni Conz,' Francesco Conz published hundreds of editions, books and portfolios, sometimes in close cooperation with the artists, and at the same time collected silkscreen prints and original photographs for more than 30 years.
The Archivio Conz, which is home to the collection, also contains photographs, letters and many other documents that trace the path of Franceso Conz' passion for collecting and his incomparable publication work. Thousands of writings, drawings and photographs bear witness to the continuous, virtually feverish and absolutely unique approach of Conz' in his work, as well as his uninterrupted, intensive dialogue with the artists.
Francesco Conz (1935 – 2010) began to establish his collection in Asolo, Italy in the 1970s and, together with various artists, made the little town a meeting place for the art world. He later moved to Verona, where he expanded his collection outside of the city in the "Secret Museum." He worked with the important artists of the avant garde: Fluxus, Viennese Actionism, ZAJ, Lettrism, Concrete Poetry, Visual Poetry, Sound Poetry and Gorgona.
Francesco Conz was a very special collector. On the one hand, obsessed, on the other hand, a catalyst, who also lived together with many artists. His collection encompassed more than 60 artist pianos, several music machines from Joe Jones, paintings and sculptures, the remains of performances and artist meetings, prints and multiples, which document Conz' publishing passion. All of the works of art taken as a whole form the so-called 'Fetish Collection' and the 'Edizioni Conz'.
Archivio Conz, Lise-Meitner-Straße 39-41, 10589 Berlin- firstname.lastname@example.org
Edizioni Conz Raum, Auguststraße 69, 10117 Berlin – email@example.com
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