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Review of the ARTMUC, Munich

Munich Praterinsel – 29.05. 2014 till 01.06 2014

The Schwalbe brothers, Marco and Raiko, who successfully run the annual STROKE art fairs in Munich and Berlin since 2009, have now created a new platform where artists can show their work directly to the public, building up their own network. The venue was well chosen, on the Praterinsel, an island on the Isar, in the middle of town. This space,  formerly a chocolate factory, is now being used for fashion shows, Stroke, and this time for ARTMUC.

web ARTMUC Poster copyright Artmuc

web ARTMUC Poster copyright Artmuc

Over 400 artists applied for the show and a jury selected 100 who represented different genres. This selection ensured a high standard and presented the visitor a broad and interesting insight into the local art scene.

The opening was on a public holiday and the Schwalbe brothers had done a good marketing job, so it drew crowds of a mixed audience of young and old. I spotted many knowns of the local gallery scene unassumingly making their rounds. But it was not only the middle aged and older crowd, who are interested in the arts anyways, who were present. I was happy to see almost fifty percent of a very interested  younger clientel. Quite a few artists seemed to be happy to “boast” red dots just one hour after the start.

Alex Katz, flatface,ArtMuc - copyright Sonia Böning, Munich

Alex Katz, flatface, ArtMuc – copyright Sonia Böning, Munich


On the beat: just a handful chosen out of the 100 artists showing:

Literature in art by an artist who studied literature, Ines Seidel, hollows out books, using wax, thread and cut out words to create her artworks. Specially successful, the altered book, “Aus der Verfassung”.


Book Ines Seidel copyright Sonia Böhning, Munich

Book Ines Seidel copyright Sonia Böning, Munich

Bianca Artopé, an architect, works with epoxid harz on old copperplates, using printed matter, gold leaf, with oxidation effects, creating whimsical objects with a cutting edge brilliance. Her atelier is at the Reismühle in Gauting.

Simona Petrauskaite, a Lithuanian metal designer and graphic designer now in Munich, works her white canvasses glued onto wood creating “balls of straw” with spiky gold-plated industrial staples.

Petrauskaite Sammy - copyright Simona Petrauskaite

Petrauskaite Sammy – copyright Simona Petrauskaite

People looking at Petrauskaite Stand, Artmuc in Munich - copyright Simona Petrauskaite

People looking at Petrauskaite Stand, Artmuc in Munich – copyright Simona Petrauskaite

I made it a point to look for Stefan Birkeneder, who caught my attention at the last Stroke Fair with his paintings of broken road surfaces exhibiting paintings of old electricity meters this time. I like his choice of subject and will be following his progress. This industrial realist from Regensburg worked as a church mural painter for 19 years before becoming a full-time artist.

Jadranka Kosorcic’s project “Blind Date” also caught my eye. She apparently has spent most of her career organizing blind dates in her studio. The artist makes open calls for sitters to pose for her collection of linear sketched portraits which are then exhibited coupled with the conversation during the sitting. The sitter is portrayed visually and with the voice and topic of conversation.

Ludwig “Wigg” Bäuml from Kallmünz exhibited pigment and earth-laden canvasses of remarkable depth which corresponded to his rusted iron objects.

WIGG Bäuml 3- copyright Sonia Böning, Munich

WIGG Bäuml 3 – copyright Sonia Böning, Munich

“limitless colour progression – letting oneself flow – going into ecstasy -…. all becomes one in a rapture of colour” could describe the large canvasses of Annette Werndl. She studied Interior Decoration, then art with Jerry Zeniuk and Markus Lupertz at Bad Reichenhall. The bold swirls of printing ink on paper, creating transparent veils with opaque contrasts, were fresh and determined works to enhance a modern space.


Annette Werndl - copyright Sonia Böning, Munich

Annette Werndl – copyright Sonia Böning, Munich

LOC, (Berlin) – Lukas, Olga and Christoph, architecture students in their fifth year, drew fine poetic lines with nails, depicting clusters of the people moving around a public space. Their exhibit at the fair was a portrait of Munich on white MDF board. I could connect the nails with their cast shadows and decipher a rough portrait of the city. A fascinating depiction and an interesting choice of drawing tools. - artmuc - copyright Sonia Böning, Munich – artmuc – copyright Sonia Böning, Munich

At the press conference on Friday afternoon the organisers introduced themselves. Marco Schwalbe spoke about his wish to create an affordable platform for independent emerging artists wishing to represent themselves in the market.

Mr. Schwalke with organizer of the ArtMuc press conference - copyright Sonia Böning, Munich

Mr. Schwalke with organizer of the ArtMuc press conference – copyright Sonia Böning, Munich

Dörthe Bäumer from the magazine ArtMuc, which also lent its name to the show, spoke about her focus on the local scene in her choice of artists.

We were given a short guided tour to MUCA’s art space in the former atelier house, a rough setting where Aiko and two others were working on their art in progress. Johnny Koch’s concrete diary entries combined with Tim Freiwald’s visualization of the thought process gave one ample food for thought whilst enjoying a “brezl”.

Johnny Koch and Tim Freiwald at the ArtMuc, copyright Sonia Böning, Munich

Johnny Koch and Tim Freiwald at the ArtMuc, copyright Sonia Böning, Munich


My personal highlight was the visit to VJane Betty Mü’s stand who projected her videos on 3-D screens of either netting thrown into folds, or the Parapluie installation which was a screen of umbrellas on which a potpourri of films were thrown. I could have sat there for longer watching, but had to get back to my desk.

Betty Mü 1's Video Parapluie - copyright Sonia Böning, Munich

Betty Mü 1’s  Video Parapluie – copyright Sonia Böning, Munich

The writer, Sonia Böning, is a jewellery designer and artist running her jewellery and art space in Munich.


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