Art Cologne: the 56th anniversary of the German art fair

One of the world’s oldest art fairs held in one of the world’s largest exhibition centers—to say Art Cologne is a staple event in the global art scene is an understatement. Starting as a trade fair in 1967, Art Cologne was conceived to reinvigorate an otherwise humdrum art market in West Germany. While expectations settled on creating something temporary, participation in Art Cologne bloomed. This past November, they celebrated their 56th anniversary. And, returning to its pre-pandemic size, Art Cologne showcased over 160 galleries from countries across the globe. 

Art Cologne Participants 

Boasting the return of major galleries such as Michael Werner and Karsten Greve, the fair aims to support younger galleries. Namely, Art Cologne categorizes young galleries by age groups. Their support for lesser established artistry goes further: Art Cologne’s “New Positions” section includes young artists selected by a jury and represented by a gallery. Those selected young artists get to display their work in a 25 square meter section of a gallery’s booth. Art Cologne’s eclectic curatorial technique manifests also in their temporal approach: contents of the fair range from classical modernist to post-war to contemporary art.  

While Art Cologne is mainly a fair for Germanic nations, several galleries hailing from Turkey, South Africa, South Korea, and China were also present. And, like many of the world’s most prestigious art events, Art Cologne did not go by without a few .ART adopters present.   

W&K Gallery

.ART Adopters at Art Cologne Fair 

The story of Ebi Kohlbacher and Lui Wienerroither’s gallery, W&K (, begins in the 1980’s with a sale of an Attersee landscape and meetings held in a student flat among young artists and collectors. The company was officially founded in 1993. Just four years later, the gallery moved to Palais Hardegg in Vienna’s city center, flawlessly blending the exquisite high arches with the exquisite, classical modernist art. Beyond their exhibiting focus on classical modernism, W&K also publish scientific exhibition catalogues and monographs.   

W&K Gallery

The Voloshyn Gallery (, founded in 2016 by Max and Julia Voloshyn, specializes in contemporary art. Part of their mission is to propel Ukranian art into the greater, global art culture. At Art Cologne, they exhibited a solo project from artist Lesia Khomenko. In this remarkable series, Khomenko deconstructs narrative images and paintings, and reconfigures them into objects, installations, and performances. New pieces entitled “Nomadic Self- Portrait With Rolled Canvas” and “Explosion in the trench” were made specifically for Art Cologne. They evoke Khomenko’s experiences with evacuation and ultimate migration–both consequences of war. Inspired by the digital photography of militant subject matter, the artist reimagines the appearance of explosions and abstracts the concept of identity. The results oscillate between boundless and claustrophobic, with discomfort being the through line.  

Image via Voloshyn Gallery website

We’re always happy to see our extraordinary adopters at such an extraordinary show. And, as always, we look forward to seeing more at next year’s event.  

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Featured Photo: Koelnmesse / ART COLOGNE / Galerie Karsten Greve, Halle 11.2