Now in its second year, the Budapest Art Market promises to build on last year’s event. “The market is designed to act as a gate opening up Western European markets to artists and exhibitors from Eastern Europe, while also making contemporary art accessible to a wider public,” its director, Attila Ledényi, says.
The first art market exceeded the expectations of the organisers. Despite the relatively short planning phase, the market had some 80 exhibitors and attracted over 12,000 visitors during the weekend. “Nobody had expected that but it showed us clearly that Budapest is the perfect location for such an event,” Ledényi said. This year he is hoping for 15,000 to 20,000 visitors.
In 2011 interested amateurs and experts came from around the world to view art from Central and Eastern Europe. “We registered particular interest from Western European countries and the USA last year,” Ledényi says. “We believe that people who are interested in Eastern European art should certainly visit Eastern Europe.”
Ledényi describes Budapest as the perfect link between the East and the West. “It’s relatively easy to reach but also clearly bears the hallmarks of an Eastern European city. From the architecture and culture to influences on politics, everything in Budapest reminds visitors that they are in Eastern Europe, rather than Milan or Florence.
Romanian art sought-after
“The Eastern European art scene has really exploded in recent years. Artists from Romania in particular have become very popular with Western European collectors.”
Art from the Romanian city of Cluj in Transylvania, for example, is extremely popular and is represented in Budapest again this year. “Cluj has become a phenomenon on the art scene and the works of artists from there are now also displayed in New York and London,” says Ledényi. Those artists alone are expected to attract many visitors, which also benefits other artists.
The Budapest Art Market is an opportunity for Hungarian artists and exhibitors to present themselves to the international public. “It will be exciting to see how our Hungarian exhibitors can build on last year’s success,” says Ledényi. “I’m expecting a lot and don’t think that we’ll be disappointed.”
The market believes it can hold its own internationally. Contemporary art from Hungary, as well as Germany, Romania and Turkey, will be shown. Entry is free.
Exhibition and sale
Art Market Budapest 2012
8 to 11 November
Millenáris Park, District II, Kis Rókus utca 16-20
www.artmarketbudapest.hu (in English)