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Two decades of art | KARLSRUHE | 04.05.-07.05.2023

Editors’ Choice

From May 4 to 7, 2023, art KARLSRUHE will celebrate a special feast of art: for the twentieth time, the international fair will transform the four high, light-flooded halls of Messe Karlsruhe into a showcase and marketplace for the art industry.

Fig. above: Impressions art KARLSRUHE 2022 (Gallery Schlichtenmaier; Artist: Cornelia Schleime; Painting: I still have a trump up my sleeve). Credit: Messe Karlsruhe / Jürgen Rösner.

art KARLSRUHE as a marketplace of artistic diversity

“We have always made sure,” explains project manager Olga Blaß, “that art KARLSRUHE is a fair for all art lovers, because art itself also excludes nothing.” Thus, in 2023, the marketplace in Germany’s southwest will once again offer an exciting experience for all friends of art. 207 national as well as international galleries show the spectrum of the art market: from top-class paintings of the classical modern age to outstanding works of the present. The list of artists is filled with established positions such as Picasso and Miró, Nolde, Pechstein or Kirchner. In the field of Post War, among others, the representatives of the ZERO group (Mack, Piene, Uecker) can be seen at many exhibitors. And in the field of contemporary art, visitors to art KARLSRUHE can also look forward to big names such as Imi Knoebel, Karin Kneffel and Georg Baselitz.

However, the diversity of artistic positions is not only reflected in the different styles that come together at the fair, but also in the price ranges offered. Thus, art KARLSRUHE not only offers established collectors a suitable platform to expand their existing collections with new works. Exciting discoveries in all price classes are possible in each of the four exhibition halls.

Impressions art KARLSRUHE 2022 (Gallery STP; Artist: Francois Delebecque; Artwork: The Board -Corpus Project). Credit: Messe Karlsruhe / Jürgen Rösner

Exciting course through four exhibition halls

The round fair edition, says its founding father and curator Ewald Karl Schrade, is for him in retrospect once again a confirmation: “Our basic concept of carefully perceiving and taking into account both the interests of the exhibitors and those of the public has proven itself.” Schrade, who has now been working as a gallery owner for over 50 years and plans to retire as a fair organizer after the 20th art KARLSRUHE, was always concerned with creating optimal gallery neighborhoods in the course of the so-called Aufplanung. At the same time, he was concerned to have visitors build an exciting course through a total of four exhibition halls. In 2023, these will again be divided according to their traditional focal points: Hall 1 contains works of graphic art and edition objects, Hall 2 art after 1945 and contemporary art, Hall 3 captivates with works of classical modernism in interplay with contemporary art. Hall 4 – the dm-arena – is home to Contemporary Art21. But art can also be experienced outside the halls. The Sculpture Garden – sponsored by the Vollack Group – offers three-dimensional works in the open air.

Impressions art KARLSRUHE 2022 (Overhead Gallery (Münster); Credits: Messe Karlsruhe / Lars Behrendt

Sales fair, contact exchange and stage for award ceremonies

Among the unmistakable trademarks of art KARLSRUHE are not only the numerous one-artist shows of the participating galleries, but also the generously designed sculpture squares, which have been a fixed feature of the fair’s program since 2004.

A total of 26 of these large-scale installations, which interact with the gallery booths to create spaces for interaction between artworks and viewers, can be marveled at this year.

In addition to its focus on the art trade, art KARLSRUHE also serves as an important information and contact exchange. Thus, the art scene meets in Karlsruhe to talk about new projects, the next exhibitions or current challenges of the art market. “With art KARLSRUHE, we have succeeded in positioning the city as an important location for art in the German-speaking world. It is great to see how the fair has developed since its founding in 2004, steadily gaining in reputation and charisma and inviting the national and international art business to Karlsruhe, the UNESCO City of Media Arts, year after year,” explains the fair’s managing director Britta Wirtz. According to the fair’s director, the fair’s twentieth anniversary is a good indication of the importance of the Karlsruhe Art Fair. Having started with around 75 galleries in a single hall, two decades later art KARLSRUHE offers more than 200 galleries a platform to present themselves and their art. “The reliability and consistency of the fair naturally has to do with the clever and proven concept of its founder and mastermind, Ewald Karl Schrade, who has always been passionate about providing our exhibitors with the best possible fair experience,” says Wirtz.

For several years now, the award ceremonies have been an integral part of this trade fair experience, and they will once again take place at the 20th art KARLSRUHE. With the art KARLSRUHE Prize of the State of Baden-Württemberg and the City of Karlsruhe, the Loth Sculpture Prize (donated by L-Bank), and the Hans Platschek Prize for Art and Writing, three prizes will again be awarded this year at the Karlsruhe art fair.

Media art at art KARLSRUHE 2022 The city of Karlsruhe’s UNESCO City of Media Arts designation is also reflected at art KARLSRUHE 2022. Here, the media art work “footprint” by artist Jonas Denzel. Credit: Messe Karlsruhe/Lars Behrendt

Many exhibitors have been there from the beginning

It is impossible to imagine the German art fair calendar without art KARLSRUHE, says Berlin gallery owner Werner Tammen. He is not only a member of the currently active advisory board, but was already an exhibitor at the then founded fair in 2004. Like many of his colleagues, who plan to participate in Karlsruhe for the 20th time in 2023, he is convinced by art KARLSRUHE. The broad spectrum of offerings from classical modernism to the latest contemporary art, the spacious exhibition halls, and not least the public response are what keep Tammen traveling to the German southwest. “A duty gladly practiced,” explains the well-known gallery owner, “not least thanks to the fact that the collector density there is high – and consequently handsome sales are generated at this fair.”

Galleries such as Schwarzer (Düsseldorf), GNG (Paris), Brennecke (Berlin), Obrist (Essen), Rothamel (Erfurt) or the Galerie an der Pinakothek der Moderne (Munich) also enjoy participating year after year and are among the galleries that have accompanied art KARLSRUHE since its inception in 2004.

Impressions art KARLSRUHE 2022 The installation by Rosali Schweizer (presented by the Galerie an der Pinakothek der Moderne). Credits: Messe Karlsruhe/Jürgen Rösner

Mainz and Venice-based gallery owner Dorothea van der Koelen, also a participant since 2004 and active on the fair’s advisory board, has been able to set up regular sculpture spaces with her artists over the past two decades, including Lore Bert, Francois Morellet, Fabrizio Plessi, Günther Uecker and Bernar Venet. “We’ve always received a strong response,” she reports. “The popularity, of course, has to do with the art itself; nevertheless, the wonderful exhibition halls, flooded with light, have created optimal conditions.”


art Karlsruhe
Hallen der Messe Karlsruhe
Messeallee 1
76287 Rheinstetten


Thursday 4. until Sunday 7. Mai 2023

Individual days in the overview:

Preview for VIP + Press
Wednesday, May 3, 2023
14:00 – 19:00

Vernissage for guests with invitation or day ticket
Thursday, May 4, 2023
11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Friday, May 5 + Saturday, May 6, 2023
11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, May 7, 2023
11:00 am – 6:00 pm

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