Art preferences throughout the changing times
The ART Innsbruck celebrates its fifteenth anniversary
The preparations for the anniversary fair are running at full speed. On the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the ART international fair for contemporary art innsbruck, which will take place from 3rd to 6th February at the Innsbruck fair hall 4, Johanna Penz, the foundress and director of the longest lasting modern art fair in Austria, deliberately wants to revitalize the spirit of the origin.
In 1997 the ART Innsbruck was, as Johanna Penz recalls with a smile, not only a novelty, but also a sort of oddity to some people. "No one could imagine that an art fair in the Tyrol would be able to attract thousands of people year after year." However, this was exactly the point which allured her, says Penz. "We then thoroughly investigated the local scene of galleries and very quickly understood that people who were just beginning to get interested in art, hesitated to visit a gallery without engagement and to mingle with all those would-be insiders and adapted there." Therefore, the slogan right from the beginning of the ART Innsbruck has been "art for beginners and collectors". First of all, the ART Innsbruck is supposed to be an unpretentious platform for all people interested in art.
The dedicated fair foundress, who in 2009 was decorated with the international award "Art Mediator" by the IG Galerien Wien (Association of Art Galleries in Vienna), has in fact achieved this ambitious aim. In the last 15 years of its existence, the ART Innsbruck has developed into a veritable social major event. "The ART Innsbruck has become a venue for art friends in the Tyrol, the entire Southern German region and the neighbouring countries," remarks Penz delightedly. As a matter of fact, the ART Innsbruck has gained the audience's sympathy. Therefore, it is of great importance to display a correspondingly wide range of art. A lean assortment would be totally counterproductive, underlines Penz, who rejects any kind of dictatorship of taste. "Those who want to enthuse the audience for art have to meet people where they stand, and then have to attend them in their progressing interest," expresses Penz.
This is the reason why the transfer of knowledge for prospective collectors has been an important anchor in the fair's program for years. Besides workshops on assessment criteria and mechanisms of the art market, Penz also focuses on the exchange between exhibitors, art market experts and visitors within the framework of the ART expert discussions.
On the occasion of the ART Innsbruck´s anniversary edition, Penz wants to reinvite some stars who were present at the very beginning. Especially in our fast moving time it is immensely delectable to pause in order to contemplate own as well as foreign developmental proceedings. "Not only the art market is constantly changing, but also our own art preferences use to alter. Many things disappear, whereas some things persist, and yes - they gain even more importance in our memories throughout the years," says Penz. An anniversary fair is therefore an appropriate occasion to examine this inner and outer shift in values.
The 15th ART international fair for contemporary art innsbruck will open its gates on 3rd February 2011. Once again, 70 exhibitors from 10 nations have signed up for this anniversary edition. Programmatically, Penz wants to focus on graphic prints and editions to bring back the spirit of the fair debut 15 years ago. Since the premiere of the Innsbruck art fair was then called ‚editions of Art'.