Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Organizers, curators call Art Market Budapest 2011 'unexpected success'
"Lenin" by Sam Havadtoy B55 Galeria
Art Market Budapest´s  (AMB 2011) first international art fair's organizers and art professionals said the four-day contemporary art fair (27 - 30 October) at the city´s Millenaris Park was an "unexpected success."

More than 10,000 viewers saw works from scores of Hungarian and international artists from 42 galleries.

“We are very happy and´s an unexpected success in every aspect,” said international relations manager Dr. Zoltan Somhegyi, an independent curator and PhD university lecturer-art historian, also AMB 2011's international relations manager.

Most galleries sold at least one or two works. "It´s really difficult when you consider the financial crisis, especially in Eastern Europe," Somhegyi said this week in a phone interview.

"From the organizer´s point of view this is a long-term investment," he added. 

But most galleries offered excellent value.

Curator, museum director and art editor Peter Fitz, a foremost expert on Hungarian contemporary art, saw the show on Saturday. He said the quality of works displayed was consistently high. 

"It was a good show."

"There weren´t any Hungarian buyers there, though," he added, again stressing the financial crisis in Hungary and elsewhere.

Fitz, however, said he was disapointed that the Hungarian Varfok Galeria was not represented. "It´s one of the oldest contemporary galleries."

Also missing--Kisterem Gallery  of Budapest (which means "Little Room".

When asked about these galleries, Somhegyi agreed it was unfortunate they were not in the show, but perhaps next year, he said, hinting there may have been some backstage difficulties. 

One of the highlights of the show for Fitz and Somhegyi: two Dutch-Hungarian galleries: one is Pleureka Gallery, owned by Johan van Dam, a Dutch art consultant and collector living in Szentendre for more than 20 years, showing primarily works by Hungarian artists. 

The other gallery--Eurart Project--run by a young Hungarian woman living in Rotterdam offered moderately priced limited edition signed prints by well-known Hungarian and Dutch artists. 

"This is a good idea for getting people involved in collecting," Somhegyi said.

Another feature of AMB 2011 that Fitz appreciated, the Videospace Gallery with "three very good video installations on large screens, works from Hungary and Bulgaria."
Videospace Gallery at Art Market Budapest, photo: Zoltán Kerekes
The Videospace Gallery at AMB 2011
Fitz also said The Gaudens Pedit Collection made a positive impact on the art fair.

The collection contains 300 Hungarian works dating from the beginning of the 1980s up until the middle of the 1990s.

Christoph Achammer, Michael Neubauer, Gaudens Pedit, Kurt Sailer and Alexander Svoboda built the collection between 1988 and 1994.
Millenaris Park, Budapest

AMB 2011´s primary mission, to gain international recognition, appears accomplished.

"I am particularly happy with a huge 25 percent gallery representation from outside Hungary,” Somhegyi emphasized.

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

Another feature: The Hungarian Museum of Photography displayed part of its vast collection along with fine art photography from participating galleries and the Moholy-Nagy University of Art & Design.

The Art Market Budapest 2011 jury included: 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.

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

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. 

See: and

Nancy G. Brinker, former U.S. Ambassador to Hungary, AMB 2011's patron, who collects contemporary Hungarian art

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