The Most Thriving Art Scenes According to Gallerist Hans Knoll

5 September 2021

The Most Thriving Art Scenes According to Gallerist Hans Knoll

Austrian art dealer Hans Knoll operates two gallery spaces, in Vienna and Budapest. The latter was the first private gallery opened before the fall of the communist regime in 1989. For decades, Knoll galleries have had a very international programme with a special educational focus through their art trips to the post-socialist countries.  We asked Hans about his opinion on current Central and Eastern European art scene:

"I have been active in CEE region since late 80s. It is difficult to say which art market I find the most progressive and thriving. During the last few years, I have been very impressed by Bulgarian contemporary art scene. Much has been achieved in big parts through initiatives and the work of female protagonists. Bulgarian art was not at the Venice Biennale until recently, there are now very good galleries, and some artists are doing well on the international stage.

Regarding the infrastructure, and by this I mean institutions, museums and galleries, Prague has certainly developed the most. The Polish art scene benefited greatly from the fact that, in addition to Warsaw's dynamic scene, other cities made their mark, which is an important difference to almost all other countries in CEE. I have the impression that this is now changing in favour of Warsaw, where especially galleries are growing faster. As for Hungary, the collector’s scene is still highly developed. However, the art market here has lost its initial edge as influenced by political decisions that are not necessarily always beneficial.

To make CEE art truly international, we should integrate the relatively small art scenes beyond their national borders and intensify exchange on many levels. The artists and galleries as well as museums of course need the international connections and interactions, without losing their own particularities. Regrettably, most museums in the region are still not prepared for this."

Hans Knoll is one of the lecturers on our EduArt Start programme launching on 30th September.