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ART | GALLERY GIS | COLOGNE. An Open-access Digital Mapping Project on the ART COLOGNE (1967–1997)

ART COLOGNE, formerly known as Kunstmarkt Köln, was the world’s first art fair to specialise in modern and contemporary art. The fair was originally set up and organised by the Verein progressiver deutscher Kunsthändler (the Association of progressive German Art Dealers) in 1967. Initially, the primary objectives of this temporary exhibition and trade platform were to further the art trade in Germany, promote German artists and establish a new centre for the art trade in post-war Germany. As the fair was originally only open to members of the above-mentioned association, it was soon confronted with the competition of different initiatives in the Rhineland area as well as internationally with rival events of different formats (e.g. Art Basel in 1970). Today, there is a global network of numerous more and less prominent fairs for modern and contemporary art.

Within the digital Mapping Project ART | GALLERY GIS | COLOGNE, the genesis of the formation of galleries exhibiting at Kunstmarkt Köln->ART COLOGNE will be examined empirically. Based on a data set of all of the exhibitors that participated in the fair from 1967 to 1997, the question of the internationalisation of Kunstmarkt Köln->ART COLOGNE will be assessed. Key questions here are:

  • When and during which periods specifically did international galleries start taking part in the event?
  • From which countries did they come?
  • What was the ratio of German to international participants during the first 30 years of the fair?

The starting point and central source of ART | GALLERY GIS | COLOGNE are the exhibition catalogues of the Kunstmarkt Köln->ART COLOGNE, which provide, among other things, location data of the participating galleries, art dealers and other exhibitors. These were processed and visualised in two ways to allow for different approaches. All locations of Kunstmarkt Köln->ART COLOGNE exhibitors worldwide for the period 1967 to 1997 were:

  1. geo-referenced and visualised in a digital map and
  2. grouped in bar graphs and visualised in tabular form according to city and country. The development of the number of participants in individual cities and countries can also be tracked via line graphs.

Find out on: www.aggc.uni-koeln.de

Information flyer about the project