a 'must see' art fair for your busy schedule

Art Herning

For the uninitiated international visitor, Art Herning is an important fixture on the Scandinavian art calendar every year. The 17th of its kind takes place between 24-26 January this year at the HMC Congress Centre.

What you will find is the work of 250 Danish and international artists in a blend of established names such as Tal R, Kvium and then emerging talent that is always exciting to discover. On balance, though, it is more home-grown talent. However, in a world of globalisation the fact might actually offer an exotic flavour to visitors from abroad, who are increasingly getting accustomed to seeing all the same names on all major art fairs.

Having said that, you would encounter several of the usual suspects from the international art world. E.g. the Icelandic Olafur Eliasson is on display as is the German Daniel Richter. They go along the perhaps less obvious choices such as Leonard Cohen, who until recently was better known for his music. Nevertheless he has painted for more than 40 years, and it shows. Hence 68 of his works are on display as represented by Gallery Poulsen.

Art Herning is gaining both in quality and momentum. In the aftermath from both international recession and the burst of the art bubble in 2009, the fair has bucked the trend and grown from a list of 30 exhibiting galleries to 40. That is no mean feat, and the visitor numbers have followed suit, which is a always a win-win scenario for everyone concerned.

Part of the success is that there is no fluf here. The fair owes much of its presence to DGS, Dansk Galleri Sammenslutning (Danish Gallery Association), who together with the skilled venue MCH are responsible for the event. Many of the exhibiting galleries are members of the said association, which in turn makes it a unique and democratic co-operation between galleries. It suggests that the galleries consider the other exhibitors colleagues who offer something slightly different from themselves, rather than them being competitors.

On face value, that all sounds very cosy. However, there is of course always indirect competition that dictates better art and a healthy adjustment of prices to fit the prevailing market conditions. So rather than the co-operation extending to a price cartel between gallery chums, the art collectors benefit from great offers instead. In addition, the collectors benefit from the overview of having many galleries in one place, and talking to gallery owners who share a passion for art. In some instances, they may even meet the artists being represented by the galleries.

Last year the fair offered quality but entry-level pieces of art in a campaign to bring across the fact that art collecting need not be an expensive pursuit all the time, and to illustrate the inclusive nature of the art world. As a sequel to that, this year’s initiative is aptly termed ‘Continue Your Art Collection’ and also includes some enticing offers for collectors at decent rates.

Art Herning is open to the public on:
Friday 24 January 14:00-19:00
Saturday 25 January 11:00-17:00
Sunday 26 January 11:00-17:00

Admission is the nominal fee of 80DKK (approx €11,£9 or US$15), and the nearest airport is Billund followed by Hamburg and Copenhagen respectively.

To find out more or to purchase tickets, please visit the official event website of Art Herning.