Viennacontemporary will take place from September 22 to 25 at Marx Halle, Vienna, bringing together 112 galleries from twenty-eight countries. Flash Art spoke with artistic director Christina Steinbrecher-Pfandt.
Viennacontemporary is a gateway between eastern- and western-European art scenes. This year you will present a special focus on the former Yugoslavia and Albania. What are your expectations for this section?
The expectation is that, in the future, the artists, institutions and galleries from the Focus countries will be more visible in exhibitions, fairs and galleries across Europe and beyond. Through Focus we offer lesser-known art communities a presence on the international art scene.
What are some of the trends that you have noticed from participating galleries?
Vienna is becoming more and more appealing to foreign galleries. Vienna has many things to offer contemporary art galleries, collectors and institutions. We also see more and more groups of collectors from Germany, France, UK, US and Belgium each year. We can proudly say we put Vienna back on the map of international contemporary art fairs!
One of your goals is to reach out to the American public. How will you achieve this?
I spent quite some time this year traveling in the US, talking to collectors, galleries and the press in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. We need to better promote the full picture of Vienna — not only the fair and the rich cultural scene but also the Viennese way of life. In a way, we are becoming ambassadors for the city of Vienna. Viennacontemporary has a number of such “ambassadors” — friendly collectors and art professionals who promote the fair on their travels to various art events worldwide, including in the US. Our ambassadors and their enthusiasm tremendously support the fair and strongly contribute to the event’s international visibility.