Dynamic team builds on the quality image of the international fusion art fair held at Flanders Expo. New this year: the Lineart Gallery Award, the B-New Gallery Selection and a lecture programme with a difference. The team working on the 27th edition of Linear
is pulling out all the stops to ensure that art-lovers and collectors are in for a real treat when they step inside the central hall of the exhibition centre at Flanders Expo in Ghent as it hosts the international art fair for ethnographic, modern and contemporary art from December 5th to 9th 2008.
Particularly after the success of the last edition, Project Leader Ward Caes is determined to ensure that LINEART lives up to its reputation as a prime purchasing platform. His approach is to draw the attention of potential buyers to first-rate works of art by means of a series of prestigious projects.
The Belgium Calling project, comprising intriguing solo presentations by artists, has become a regular feature at LINEART, while the Young Ones competition in support of young artists adopts a novel way of focusing the public's attention on rising stars. This year the 'Showcase' concept introduced at the last edition is given a fresh interpretation, again in close cooperation with galleries and museum curators.
The rest of the exhibition world appears to be taking a close interest in LINEART. Indeed, other exhibition organizers have recently drawn inspiration from the Belgium Calling and the showcases initiatives. A brand-new feature of LINEART 2008 is the LINEART Gallery Award, presented to the five galleries judged to have the most original stands. Another novelty is the B-New Gallery Selection project designed to give young, home-grown galleries a helping hand. LINEART is going a step further. It will be publishing the second part of the book for the art collector (LINEART 09), following the success of the first, LINEART 08 launched at the last edition of LINEART.
Initial results of LINEART's new approach - The last edition of LINEART in 2007 was an out-and-out success! It attracted 24,561 visitors, the equivalent of a 50% increase on 2006, and art sales totalled 6,270,000 euros. Quite clearly these results reflected the change of tack which has put LINEART on a new and definitive course.
Fusion is the motto - The galleries at LINEART present mainly Belgian art from 1908 to the present day, alongside work by international artists. Besides the plastic arts, they also cover ethnic art, design, graphic art, photography and new media art. In this way LINEART has carved a niche for itself as a quality 'fusion' trade fair with broad appeal, quite distinct from other events such as antique fairs or fairs showing exclusively contemporary art.
Galleries and art dealers - In 2007 60% of the galleries came from Belgium and 20% from surrounding countries. 13% came from the rest of Europe and 7% from the rest of the world. Only professional galleries and established professional dealers /stand-holders qualify for inclusion; gift shops and individual artists do not. Pursuing this strategy is the real challenge for LINEART, which spares no effort in its endeavours to please visitors and participating galleries. LINEART is also involving more and more curators and opinion leaders from the art world by mounting a series of showcases and other projects.
Showcases as indicators - First and foremost LINEART projects its image as a fusion fair through a series of showcases. Each showcase presents museum-standard artworks which are for sale. The works of art are grouped around what is for LINEART a typical art discipline. Each showcase is strategically located in the 20,000-m˛ Hall 1 at Flanders Expo to attract the attention of art-lovers, collectors and connoisseurs. A professional art dealer acts as guest curator for each showcase, selecting artworks within a well-defined theme. Curators of museums and directors of influential art institutes are invited to become the patron or co-curator of a 'showcase'. Intrinsic quality and scholarliness go hand in hand here and provide the stamp of approval needed to win over potential purchasers and investors.
The 2008 edition of LINEART will present showcases which are totally new both in terms of their appearance and substance, under the following headings: Ethnic Art: Confrontations, Design: Contemporary Jewellery and Silverware, and Art after 68: Another Avant-garde: De Zwarte Panter 1968-2008.