In the late 1960s, the Rhineland developed into a world-class art centre, with a high density of galleries. In 1968, Günther Engels thus titled a report in the daily newspaper Kölnische Rundschau ‘Köln, heimliche Hauptstadt des Kunsthandels’ (Cologne, the Secret Capital of the Art Trade). One important location factor in this process was the Kunstmarkt Köln (Cologne Art Market), founded in 1967 and known since 1984 as the Art Cologne. It was the world’s first art fair worldwide to specialise in modern and contemporary art. 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 Verein progressiver deutscher Kunsthändler (Association of Progressive German Art Dealers), it was soon confronted with the competition of different initiatives in the Rhineland, as well as internationally with rival events of different formats (e.g. Art Basel in 1970). The goal of ART | GALLERY GIS | COLOGNE is to shed light on the history of the Kunstmarkt Köln→Art Cologne during its first thirty years, with a focus on the gallery owners as one main group of protagonists of the art fair. The key questions are: Weiterlesen