Among neighbors: Belgian galleries at ART COLOGNE
Cologne and Belgium have a special friendship—and not just because one of the cathedral city’s trendiest districts bears the name of the neighboring country.
In the Belgian Quarter around St. Michael’s church, the streets are named after Belgian cities like Brussels and Belgian provinces like Liège. The area feels a bit like the fashion capital Antwerp; and the residents, like those in Belgian city, exude a creative and cosmopolitan flair. So it’s hardly surprising that ART COLOGNE is an event whose dates many Belgian gallery owners mark in their calendars months in advance.
"We will be participating for the first time at ART COLOGNE - the mothership of all global art fairs—and sharing a booth presentation with Cologne based gallery Clages”
Jannis Marwitz, 6 drawings, 2021, ink on paper (framed), 35 x 72 cm, Courtesy Damien & The Love Guru
Gallery owner Priya Shetty is traveling to Cologne from Brussels, where she runs one of the city's most exciting venues for young art, the gallery Damien & The Love Guru. Clever curation and room for the experimental are the hallmarks of the exhibitions Shetty is now presenting at her second location in Zurich.
"We will be participating for the first time at ART COLOGNE - the mothership of all global art fairs - and sharing a booth presentation with Cologne based gallery Clages,” says Shetty.
With Jannis Marwitz, Christiane Blattmann, and Jasmin Werner, she will show three young artists, all of them born in Germany.
After years of focusing on the French market, Albert Baronian returns to ART COLOGNE
Exterior view of the joint exhibition rooms of Gallery Sofie Van de Velde and PLUS-ONE Gallery, Antwerp, Courtesy Gallery Sofie Van de Velde
Artists with a connection to or roots in Germany are also represented by Albert Baronian, who has locations in Brussels and Knokke. He is showing works by Max Frintrop, Olaf Holzapfel, Imi Knoebel, and Thomas Zipp, among others.
The Belgian opened his first gallery in 1973 and focused on representatives of Arte Povera. So it’s no wonder that you will also find works by Jannis Kounellis at his booth. “We have decided to come back to Cologne to strengthen the bond with our German collectors and meet new ones. After some years of doing mostly fairs in France, we are very happy to come back to Cologne and bring homage to the oldest art fair in the world.”
Rodolphe Janssen, who joined the Art Cologne advisory board this year, is traveling from Brussels. He is also bringing names that are well known in Germany. For example, in addition to the twin brothers Gert & Uwe Tobias, who both live in Cologne, he is presenting the sculptor David Adamo and the Cornelia Baltes, both of whom now reside in Berlin. Baltes’ minimal painting fits well with the graphic works of American Alice Tippit, whom Janssen is also showing.
Gallerist Quentin Grosjean of QG Gallery is coming from Knokke. He is showing works by Bernd & Hilla Becher, Hanne Darboven, Martin Kippenberger, Imi Knoebel, François Morellet, Georg Karl Pfahler and others in a collective presentation. “The idea is to create a conversation between postwar abstract painting, minimalism, and German icons of figuration”, he says. Edouard Simoens is also from Knokke. He is presenting works by Hermann Nitsch and A.R. Penck, among other artists.
“We will show more minimal works with a clear reference to the basic components of painting, photography and cinema.” Astrid Vereycken, Gallery Sofie Van de Velde
The three artists that gallerist Sofie Van de Velde is bringing to the fair from Antwerp are in the middle of their careers. The spherical oil paintings by Stef Driesen of Beligum are reminiscent of lonely bodies and deserted corridors. They will be exhibited in dialog with collages by John Stezaker and abstract wooden panels by Willy De Sauter.
In Antwerp, Van de Velde has two exhibition spaces. The gifted networker runs one of them together with the gallery owner Jason Poirier dit Caulier from Plus-One, with whom she is also sharing a stand at ART COLOGNE.
“For us it is a great opportunity to show our collaborative model in Antwerp to the public at the fair”
Mevlana Lipp, Thief, 2022, wood, velvet, sand, Acrylic, ink on aluminium stretcher, 80 x 60 cm, Courtesy PLUS-ONE Gallery
“For us it is a great opportunity to show our collaborative model in Antwerp to the public at the fair,” says Poirier dit Caulier. “Both our galleries are growing strongly and our network among German collectors is growing as well. Within the gallery we already collaborate with some German artists or artists based in Germany.” One of them is Cologne-born Mevlana Lipp, whom Plus-One will introduce at the fair in a solo presentation. “What is so fascinating about Mevlana Lipp's work is the layering and precision that goes into it. It explores the boundary between sculpture and painting,” explains Poirier dit Caulier. Since it is less than a two-hour drive from Antwerp to Cologne, he sees the fair as the perfect place to make new acquaintances, both collectors and other gallerists.
Jason Poirier dit Caulier
Collaboration instead of competition: Keteleer Gallery look forward to their debut in situ at ART COLOGNE
Exhibition view of the solo show „Pacific“ by Mevlana Lipp at PLUS-ONE Gallery 2021, Photo: Axelle Degrave
Frederick Keteleer also relies on collaboration rather than competition. Together with his parents, he runs the eponymous Keteleer gallery in Antwerp. Founded in 2012, the family business specializes in modern and contemporary art. After being represented virtually at Art Cologne 2021, Keteleer can finally be there in person again in 2022.
This may also be due to the fact that Keteleer represents five contemporary German artists as well as three others who live and work in Germany. Among them is the sculptor Stephan Balkenhol, who will be showing a new bronze sculpture at the fair.
In all, Keteleer will present works by nine artists. Highlights include a museum-worthy painting by Imi Knoebel, but also works by newcomers such as the painter Floris Van Look, who was born in 1990.
Three years ago, the Keteleer gallery merged with the collector and gallerist brothers Bart and Gerald Deweer. The duo began presenting artists such as Georg Baselitz on the Belgian market in the late 1970s, earning themselves cult status. Keeping the legacy of the two pioneers alive, the Deweers’ impressive exhibition halls in Otegem, West Flanders, have been part of Keteleer’s gallery universe since the merger. In 2019, Keteleer Gallery opened an additional location: Their fourteenth-century manor house, situated in the middle of Peerdsbos Forest, about a thirty minutes drive from Antwerp, is well worth a trip. Bringing people together in special places is especially important to Frederick Keteleer - also in Cologne.
“This year a lot of our Belgian collectors will join us, some of them for the first time, and we are looking forward to showing them the fair and Cologne.”
Text: Laura Storfner