Art market - Issue 82 - Magazine | Monocle

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Nordic modern

Stockholm — AUCTION

Modern-art auction

21-22 April

Since its founding by Polish refugee Henryk Bukowski in 1870, Stockholm-based Bukowskis has become Sweden’s biggest independent auction house.

“We’ve always tried to be cutting edge,” says Carl Barkman, Bukowskis’s head of experts. The auction house was among the first to put estimates in its catalogues and removed the traditional dark curtains in the 1980s, allowing passers-by to peer in.

On 21 and 22 April, Bukowskis holds its 584th modern-art auction, with lots including Ytterhogdal-born painter Leander Engström’s oil-on-canvas work “Den givmilda gossen” (pictured, top). If the colour palette feels familiar it is because Engström was one of Henri Matisse’s students. The painting is expected to fetch a tidy SEK3m (€315,000).


Leander Engström
“Den givmilda gossen”, 1911,
oil on canvas, 105 cm x 83 cm.
Estimate: SEK3m (€315,000)

Bror Hjorth
“Ole oche Boy” (pictured, middle), 1945, oil on canvas, 99 cm x 81 cm.
Estimate: SEK1.6m (€170,000)

Gösta Adrian-Nilsson
“Blå husarer”, (pictured right, bottom), 1918, oil on paper,
46.5 cm x 32 cm.
Estimate: SEK1.2m (€130,000)

Rhine time


Art Cologne

16-19 April

Back in 1967, Köln-based gallerists Hein Stünke and Rudolf Zwirner launched Art Cologne in their city to revitalise the west German art market and drum up support for local creatives. It is now the longest-running modern and contemporary-art fair in the world, with its 49th edition due to run from 16 to 19 April at the Koelnmesse exhibition centre on the banks of the Rhine.

This year sees the expansion of Art Cologne, from two to three floors, with designated areas for modern and postwar works as well as contemporary and emerging art from Germany and around the world. “Although we have gone through many changes since 1967, the goal is the same,” says Art Cologne director Daniel Hug. “That is, an overview of progressive galleries presenting art from the 20th and 21st centuries.” Don’t miss Bookmarks, a survey of conceptual art from the 1960s to the present curated by three Hungarian galleries. Sample local artistic flair courtesy of Köln galleries such as Markus Lüttgen, Berthold Pott and Jan Kaps but seek out offerings from further afield, too. “Germany has the highest concentration of commercial galleries outside the US,” says Hug of the countless showrooms and exhibition venues in cities such as Berlin, Hamburg, Düsseldorf and, of course, Köln. “It makes sense to bring them all together once a year.”

Well hung

Embracing the contemporary

Edouard Malingue gallery

Hong Kong

When Parisian art dealer Edouard Malingue (pictured) moved to Hong Kong five years ago to set up his eponymous gallery, he opted for a decidedly international programme; his first show featured the largest Picasso exhibition the city had seen. In January, Edouard moved the gallery to a bigger location in the Central district in order to accommodate the growing ambition of his exhibitions and projects.

Beau Architects designed the new premises, which Edouard runs with his wife Lorraine (pictured). While the original metal-tiled floors were retained, the ceiling was removed to create a sense of space. The steel frames that support the gallery walls are a nod to that pioneer of modern architecture Mies van der Rohe, while a VIP room celebrates native materials such as rattan. “We wanted the gallery to feel ample and contemporary while reflecting our commitment to Hong Kong,” says Edouard.

The new space opened with a group show called Invisible Light, which featured contemporary artists from Hong Kong, Istanbul, Paris and New York incorporating and manipulating light in mixed-media works.

For March and April Beijing-based artist Wang Wei has transformed the entire gallery showroom into two “baboon rooms”. The immersive installation is inspired by the natural-looking but artificial animal enclosures that are favoured by Beijing Zoo. “Hopefully it will prompt viewers to question the nature of their surroundings,” says Edouard.

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