Art Fair

The Restoration and Revival of Art Cologne

Daniel Hug Catrin Moritz Laif
Daniel Hug could use one after his efforts at Art Cologne.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Art Cologne is the oldest art exhibition of its kind in the world but was losing luster until Daniel Hug became director. The new-and-improved art fair opens its doors this week.

  • Facts


    • The origins of today’s Art Cologne as a trade fair and exhibition for classic modern art, post-war art and contemporary art date to 1967.
    • Artist and former art dealer Daniel Hug became director in 2008.
    • The show in Cologne runs through Sunday.
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Daniel Hug is conducing a daring experiment. For the first time, the director of the annual Art Cologne is spreading the fair over three floors of the Cologne exhibition hall, according to era. It’s nothing short of a minor revolution for the oldest art exhibition of its kind in the world.

When the Swiss-American started his job in 2008, Art Cologne was a mess and its demise almost a given. Berlin had replaced Cologne as Germany’s first city of art.

But Mr. Hug has brought back the good times. He has restored Art Cologne as Germany’s most important art exhibition. The event, organized for commercial dealers to exhibit and sell art, started this year with a preview Wednesday and runs Thursday through Sunday April 19.

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