We have spoken to Jacqueline Uhlmann, Head of Fair Management at LISTE art fair about her job, the status of art fairs in today's art market and their influence on emerging artists.
What does a day in the life of Jacqueline look like?
I have two little girls at home who need to be woken up, dressed and made ready for the day. Then I run on the train to Basel and my partner accompanies the children. I am commuting to Basel, that is my time for myself and the moment I can prepare the daily business. In Basel we are a small team, which organizes a great fair every year in June. Many decisions are made day by day and many inspiring conversations accompany us through these months. In the evening I return to my family in Zurich.
What status do art fairs have compared to exhibitions?
We attach great importance that our fair shows high quality of art and outstanding booths presentation! All of our galleries attach importance to bring exciting and promising art to Basel - one may even say that a curatorial claim exists. However, we are still a commercial platform on which art can be seen and purchased.
What are the criteria for young galleries to participate at LISTE?
What counts for us is the gallery's commitment to emerging artists (over years) - including loyalty and support. Our selection committee attaches great importance to solo or 2-3 person exhibitions. LISTE would like to introduce a new generation of artists and their galleries. We have a large international network of consultants who report to us on the most interesting galleries and their activities.
How does LISTE influence/help the market for young artists and gallerists?
We show galleries at the fair for years and thus guarantee continuity and at the same time give an introduction to the art market. It is like a family business. We have a personal relationship to each of gallerist of the year and accompany them for years. LISTE promotes performances, outstanding presentation and the new generation of artists. Since last year there is also Friends of LISTE, which supports the galleries financially.
Why is emerging art interesting to collectors?
Collecting emerging art has many enrichments: you can grow with young artists and will be part of their one day success! Emerging art reflects the current zeitgeist, new tendencies and new directions and from the perspective of a fair: emerging art can be affordable.
Who are your favourite emerging artists and why?
I love all of them. Every year I am surprised and excited about the presentation of our emerging artist from our galleriest. For the last years I find it very interesting to see painting and painting again. The traditional medium, is still so present -although everyone's talking about post-internet and digital natives.
What can we expect from LISTE this year?
As always, the highest quality of emerging art and many new discoveries. Since a few years we have also opened our age limit and galleries can also show older, still unknown positions.
Where do you see the art market going in the future?
The art market will continue to establish itself and will remain powerful. Speaking about some art fairs have established themselves as major brand – and sell the brand pretty well. LISTE itself is also a brand and will in future be a non-profit institution and thus further expand its mission as a promotional art fair and strive for further cooperation with other partners.