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Reflecting on the Development of a Digital Platform for the Analysis of Fairs for Modern and Contemporary Art—Approach, Challenges, and Future Perspectives Using the Project ART|GALLERY GIS|COLOGNE as an Example

Kunsthistorisches Institut, Universität zu Köln, 50923 Köln, Germany
Received: 21 January 2019 / Revised: 28 June 2019 / Accepted: 3 July 2019 / Published: 10 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Art Markets and Digital Histories)
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Abstract

Founded in 1967 under the name Kunstmarkt Köln, today’s ART COLOGNE was the first art fair worldwide to specialize in contemporary art. Its primary objectives were to further the art trade in Germany, promote German artists, and establish a new center for the art trade in post-war Germany. Since then, the model of a ‘fair for modern and contemporary art’ has become a globally prosperous format. The starting point of this article is a discussion of an approach to establishing a digital platform for the analysis of the development of the composition of exhibitors at ART COLOGNE during its first 30 years. Its aim is to provide a useful model platform for future research into other art fairs worldwide. The project entailed locations of the participating exhibitors during the first three decades being gathered from the fair’s catalogues, georeferenced, and visualized in a digital, interactive online map named ART|GALLERY GIS|COLOGNE. Through a reactive environment, the online map with open access has, in a second phase, been embedded with further information (e.g., special exhibitions, square meter prices) from other sources. The paper considers what contextual information is required for an adequate analysis of maps, which parameters may exist (e.g., in terms of copyright laws), and what routes could be followed in terms of method (e.g., deep mapping) in contributing to the exploration of the structures of the art market through a primarily visual approach. View Full-Text
Keywords: art fair; ART COLOGNE; galleries; art market studies; spatial art history; digital art history; digital mapping; deep mapping art fair; ART COLOGNE; galleries; art market studies; spatial art history; digital art history; digital mapping; deep mapping
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Oberste-Hetbleck, N. Reflecting on the Development of a Digital Platform for the Analysis of Fairs for Modern and Contemporary Art—Approach, Challenges, and Future Perspectives Using the Project ART|GALLERY GIS|COLOGNE as an Example. Arts 2019, 8, 88.

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