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Art Market Budapest is a maze of aesthetic attractions

Photo: Norbert Juhász/We Love Budapest

Thursday, October 8, 2015 — Petra Berende

Towering statues and tiny drops of paint are now fascinating viewers at the annual Art Market Budapest expo of diverse contemporary artworks from Hungary, Central Europe, and beyond. Around 100 exhibitors from 25 countries present their best works in the vast viewing space of Buda’s Millenáris Cultural Center during October 8-11, and the event also serves as a unique meeting spot for collectors, artists, and creative minds alike – with all visitors welcome to enter free of charge.

Art Market Budapest 2015

Thursday, October 8, 2015
Sunday, October 11, 2015

@ Millenáris Park

1024 Budapest, Kis Rókus utca 16-20.
+36 1 336 4000

Since the foundation of Art Market Budapest in 2011, this annual expo has evolved to become the region’s leading showcase of contemporary artworks. From avant-garde paintings to eccentric sculptures to progressive photography, visitors admire and acquire a great range of works by well-known artists through renowned galleries, along with pieces by up-and-coming visionaries. Showcasing precious pieces from Osaka through Tirana to Berlin and New York, the expo’s labyrinthine layout encourages guests to enjoy stimulating strolls throughout the colorful displays, or to sign up for guided walks around the exhibitions, all while immersing in the present-day world of creative and nonconformist art.

Photo: Norbert Juhász/We Love Budapest

Every fall season for five years now, Millenáris Cultural Center – Buda’s funky event hub near Széll Kálmán Square – connects the regional cultural cosmos by hosting an astonishing collection of innovative artworks from near and far. This year three entire halls within Millenáris and the parkland in front of the building is filled with vibrant art installations, creating an inspiring communal space amid intense hues and multiple materials.

Pleasant light infiltrates the steel-framed glass walls of this giant exhibition hall, illuminating various works from the Baltic States to the Balkans, and from Central Asia to the Western world. Apart from admiring the stunning attractions, visitors can join various panel discussions with industry insiders addressing topics like art forgery, new-age photography, and much more; the fair also offers assorted performances and free English-language guided tours (Thursday and Friday at 4pm, and Saturday and Sunday at 2pm) throughout the indoor and outdoor exposition spaces.

Above all, the fair aims to educate a younger generation of art-lovers through this sensory feast, and to introduce lesser-known emerging artists and galleries to experts and the general public. Along with a carefully selected collection of international art spaces, Art Market Budapest naturally hosts a variety of leading galleries from the Magyar metropolis, like the Brody ArtYard, Chimera-Project, neon, acb, and the Erika Deák Gallery, to name a few.

Photo: Norbert Juhász/We Love Budapest

Art Market Budapest allows emerging stars of often-overlooked European regions to get some exposure in the international art scene. During this four-day extravaganza, Western Balkan countries are in the spotlight with a focus on artistic collections from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia. Exhibitors from the Balkan countries include the Avantgarde Museum from Zagreb, the Gallery on the Move from Tirana, Made in China from Ljubljana, and the U10 from Belgrade. Beyond these exhibitors, ten spectacular stalls boast dynamic displays of Berlin-based galleries, and we can come across a number of stunning installations from Italy, Switzerland, Japan, and the United States as well.

Another exciting highlight of the event is the Art Photo Budapest exhibition, filling a section of the expo with evocative photography and video installations as Central and Eastern Europe’s only international art-photography fair. During the show, several roundtable discussions provide insight about the meaning and value of art photography, tackling its Eastern European development, and highlighting the new generation of contemporary imagery.

Outside of the Millenáris Cultural Center, the fair’s alfresco sCulture Zone boasts unconventional sculptures of varied sizes, including this year’s headliner, a curvaceously huge metal installation by Bernar Venet. (As a preview for Art Market, a set of Venet's sculpture was also exhibited for a few months in downtown Budapest’s Március 15th Square by the Danube and Elizabeth Bridge.) Adding to the international prestige, visitors can spot some stars from the Venice Biennale that are available for purchase in Budapest at this event.

Photo: Norbert Juhász/We Love Budapest

However, Art Market Budapest offers more than modern masterpieces – several related after-parties are happening in many Budapest locales: we can dance the night away to Balkan tunes at Esernyős Gallery (tucked away amid Óbuda's cobblestoned streets) on Thursday night, or guests with a VIP pass are welcome at KIOSK Bar on Március 15th Square in downtown Budapest.

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