Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Art Market Budapest 2011 signs 42 contemporary galleries, 32 Hungarian

A work by Tamas Dobos, courtesy of Erdesz Galeria & Design, Szentendre


Art Market Budapest´s curatorial team this week told ArtTraveler it will showcase 32 Hungarian and 10 international galleries at Hungary´s first international Art Market Budapest fair  26 – 30 October at the city´s Millenaris Park.

Admission is free. There is no government funding.

“We´re really satisfied with this year´s fair, our first international one after last year´s pilot edition,” said international relations manager Dr. Zoltan Somhegyi, an independent curator and university lecturer-art historian.

The contemporary art fair will include a range of works from installations, 2D and 3D works as well as a number of group and solo projects, Somhegyi added.

“It´s a real great achievement in this time of crisis, and I am particularly happy with a huge 25 percent from outside Hungary.”

Galleries from London, Austria, Romania, Estonia, the Czech Republic and Slovenia join the Hungarian galleries, all but three from Budapest.

Nancy G. Brinker, former US Ambassador to Hungary and Art Market Budapest 2011´s patron
One of the first Hungarian galleries to register is the internationally known Erdesz Galeria & Design in Szentendre, about 20 kilometers north of Budapest.
I wrote about this gallery and its artists before and after its 8 July opening of contemporary artists while living in Hungary for six weeks this summer.

“Most are welcoming the idea, if not this year then next,” Somhegyi said about his more than 200 direct contacts with galleries, another 200 by his team.

The Art Market Budapest 2011 jury includes: Soraya von Studenberg, advisor to Sotheby´s and Uniqua; Flash Art Magazine editor and Prague Biennale curator, Nicola Trezzi; Lorand Hegyi, director of Sant Étienne´s Museum of Modern Art, and Gabor Gulyas, director of Budapest´s Mucsarnok-Kunsthalle.

Somhegyi, curator for one of two featured Roma contemporary art exhibits--Roma Art Project--said his will display Roma works from private collections, the other, works from a Budapest gallery specializing in Roma art.
Panel discussions are also scheduled on Roma contemporary art.
Art Market Budapest 2011 succeeds a pilot endeavor launched in only six weeks last year in a new and vacant office complex.

Somhegyi said at the end of August 2010, a colleague of his received a call that an ideal space to show contemporary was available for free.

Could they quickly put up an art fair of new and emerging contemporary artists?

Work by Anthor Keszeg Nador, oil on canvas, 40 x 40 cm Photograph by Stefan van Drake (2011)
Why not?

In six weeks, 12 to 14 Hungarian galleries exhibited contemporary works.
“It was our pilot edition,” said Somhegyi.
As soon as the pilot ended, the international version entered planning stages, which picked up speed in March.

Serving as the fair´s patron, former U.S. Ambassador to Hungary, Nancy G. Brinker, provides high profile coupled with many international art connections.

Nancy G. Brinker, patron for Art Market Budapest 2011

Brinker collects Hungarian art.

Another feature of the fair is the role of the non-profit cultural engine based in Budapest, Igor Metropol.

It plans to show small format works (10 cm x 10 cm or 3D, 10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm) within an architecturally designed display for as many as 25 artists, said Igor Metropol co-curator Nora Lukacs. 

Her partner in this effort is Katja Melzer.

"Lenin" by Sam Havadtoy, courtesy of B55 Gallery, Budapest
Igor Metropol and UAA [Association of Anonymous Artists, Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina (] cooperate in promoting this project.

In our phone interview, curator and academic Somegyi said the booth spaces rent from 39 to 47 Euros a meter. Another 24 small booths will be occupied by publishers, magazines and museums.

He confirmed the fair is a private, for-profit affair. While this is 10 times less than in Paris or Dubai, he added, so far, Art Market Budapest 2011's backers are pleased with the results.

“We´re excited since we will be able to provide a better focus on Eastern European contemporary art,” Somhegyi said.

Rock on and practice peace and love.
Stefan, the ArtTraveler ™

ArtTraveler notes:

After living at the Hotel Queen Mary in Budapest (3.5 stars), I heartily recommend it: old on the outside, otherwise totally modern (23 rooms); 

The owner and staff are affable and speak English and German. Tel: 0036-1-413-3510;;

Visit Andalusia for a walking holiday or week-long sculpture or mosaics workshop. 

"Spanish Life Stilled," photograph by Stefan van Drake (2009)

You may reach me at or by calling (34) 915 067 703 or from the UK at BT landline rates, 0844 774 8349.

"Full Moon Porta-Potty" at Sziget Festival 2011 - Budapest Photograph by Matthew Z. Zomick

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