Founded in 2012 by Thomas Hug who also created artmonte-carlo, artgenève is a contemporary and modern art fair, held every January in the magnificent Geneva Lake region. Year after year, the fair has grown to become a gathering point for art dealers, collectors, curators and the general public. It has thus extended the number of the art fields represented, with notably tribal art and design. artgenève tries to create a vibrant dialogue between institutions and international galleries. About 90 from Europe and the rest of the world participate every year. Alongside the trade exhibition itself, the fair offers as well an programme VIP and interesting talks and discussions. Genève is a city known for luxury tourism and therefore artgenève intends to become the premier artistic platform for both modern and contemporary art in Romandy.
Thomas Hug shares his views!
Route François-Peyrot 30
1218 Le Grand-Saconnex
January 2021: TBA
General Admission: CHF 20
Students/ Seniors: CHF 10
6 – 16 years old: CHF 10
Children Under 6: Free
Groups (+20): CHF 12
What would you say is the DNA of artgenève?
The « trademark » of our fair is its human scale. It creates a real comfort of visit and allows attendees to meet and discuss. Above all, we have thus been able to open a wide space entierely dedicated to non-commercial exhibitions from museum, fondations, art centers and private collectors. This is therefore this dialogue between the art market and the institutional setting that defines the DNA of artgenève.
What type of galleries are chosen to exhibit, and why?
The fair focuses on modern – 20th century abstract art – and contemporary art. Most of the participating galleries come from Europe but this is slowly changing as exhibitors from other parts of the world arrive. We invite every 1 or 2 years fairs and shows specialised in different fields to expand the offer. For example, after 2 years of Design with PAD, we collaborate for this 2020 edition with LOOP Barcelona, dedicated to art video.
What is the price range of pieces? Who is the average buyer?
The price range is very wide. Collectors can purchase artworks from less than 10k CHF but most of the pieces are sold between 10k and 80k CHF. Meanwhile, there are many commercial transactions over 100k CHF and always a few over 1 million CHF.
” This is the dialogue between the art market and the instutional setting that defines the DNA of artgenève.”
artgenève 2019 © Widewalls
Who is the typical attendee of artgenève?
artgenève was originally created for major local collectors and seasoned buyers from the city of Lyon, the ski resorts and the whole Lemanic Arc. Most of the galleries are international. As a result, we quickly have had collectors from London and Paris, then from North Italy and German-speaking Switzerland. But it’s not all about private collectors. Visitors also include professional of the art market, as press officers, journalists, curators and some artists themselves even though they don’t often show up in fairs. Finally, by its great diversity, artgenève welcomes as well the general public.
What makes artgenève so special?
In addition to my first answer about the DNA of the fair, I would say that we ensure a good quality visit by creating unprecedant exhibitions that cannot be seen in other art fairs. I’m thinking for example of the over 40 meter Wall Drawing by Sol LeWitt that has been drawn 5 weeks before the opening of the fair, or the light feature by Anthony McCall, as well as his exhibition in the Hamburger Banhof in Berlin. For the 2020 edition, we will highlight among others, massive architectures by Mario Merz. There is also the VIP programme which attests the pride and great involvement of local collectors. Geneva is well-known for its discretion. That is the reason why this programme is particularly attractive.
Alongside the show itself, artgenève continues to exist all year long through many different events all over the world, as musical encounters and artist performances. This really enforces our community approach. To conclude, even if artgenève is an international art fair, we aim to reflect the Swiss economic activity, perhaps better than Art Basel.
What are two other art fairs you would suggest?
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