BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors

Nanna Hjortenberg

Director at CHART

Nanna Hjortenberg
Nanna Hjortenberg

Tell us a little bit about the history of the fair

CHART was founded in 2013 by five leading Danish galleries: Gallery Susanne Ottesen, Andersen’s, Galleri Bo Bjerggaard, David Risley Gallery and V1 Gallery, all with the dream to gather the Nordic art world in Copenhagen and to create a presentation on ‘home soil’ as well as attracting an international audience to experience the Nordic. Another central part of the dream was to challenge the concept of an art fair and doing so by creating a social experience across interest and age groups as well as exploring the artistic crossovers between various artistic practices.

Looking from the outside, and I think I almost can since I only joined CHART as director in May of this year, I believe CHART has been very successful in both its artistic content and in creating a hybrid event which combines the best of an art fair with a more festival approach that has a strong focus on the collective and social. In Copenhagen, the opening night has become the event to go to, and I think it is genuinely positive that the contemporary art scene, which for many can seem exclusive, is associated with openness and fun. I also think that it is of value for our many international guests who not only get to see presentations from some of the best Nordic galleries, but also get a genuine experience of what Copenhagen has to offer as a city.

CHART ART FAIR, 2017. Photo: David Stjernholm
CHART ART FAIR, 2017. Photo: David Stjernholm
CHART ART FAIR, 2017. Photo: David Stjernholm
CHART ART FAIR, 2017. Photo: David Stjernholm

How do you, as fair director, ensure that the event stays contemporary and current in the fast-paced world that is the art market?

Well, one of the things I do is to focus on the cross overs that no one else is looking at. Rather than growing bigger and bigger, I much prefer to look to the side and present new tendencies and new ways of engaging both our public and our professional. And basically it is quite simple, as it is what so many artists do. Exploring the boundaries between art and design, and architecture. To change the scene, to go back to the starting point…

Is there something in this year’s program that you are particularly looking forward to?

Most importantly we are introducing CHART DESIGN as a new fair and exhibition platform at Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art. Twelve galleries from the Nordic region will present a curated selection of unique design, spanning from classic design pieces from the 20th century to experimental contemporary collectibles and crafts. It is something that has been prepared over the last years and I am hugely proud that we are making it happen and look forward to developing CHART DESIGN even further in the upcoming years.

At the Art Fair at Kunsthal Charlottenborg our thirty-two art galleries will exhibit artworks specially produced for this edition of the fair. As always, we encourage our galleries to do co-presentations with their neighboring galleries and I look forward to seeing how they have taken this challenge upon them, as it is not something you often experience at art fairs.

Together the two venues will present a strong cohesive selection of Nordic galleries for CHART 2018.

CHART ART FAIR, 2017. Nils Stërk. Photo: David Stjernholm
CHART ART FAIR, 2017. Nils Stërk. Photo: David Stjernholm
CHART ART FAIR, 2017. Nicolai Wallner. Photo: David Stjernholm
CHART ART FAIR, 2017. Nicolai Wallner. Photo: David Stjernholm

What do the artworks being presented at this year's fair reveal about the current trends and market?

Our main aim in terms of curating the fairs is to present galleries who are committed to showing work of high quality, who have either shown a continuous solid profile or a vision to expand and challenge the field. CHART is based on the Nordic tradition of collaboration, which is why presenting our galleries in unison, as mentioned above, is important to us and why we work with galleries who are interested in cooperating with their peers. We also collaborate with institutions and partners outside the fair, among others, Designmuseum Denmark and SMK. An international perspective is also key: we work with international curators on our public program, for example with London-based ArtReview on our talks series and Helga Christoffersen, Associate Curator at New Museum, New York, on our ‘Emerging’ exhibition.

What advice do you have for the collectors that will be attending the fair this year?

My advice would be to join the casual public program we are presenting in conjunction with the fair. I think it is half the experience of CHART. Also not to be missed will be British/ French artist Alice Anderson’s installation CONNEXIONS (2018), which will be exhibited in the central room in Den Frie. The piece will completely immerse its audience through large Internet cables interwoven with copper thread, and the comments on human interaction in a ever more digitalized world is highly relevant. It will be Alice Anderson’s first presentation in the Nordics before her next solo show which will be at Palais de Tokyo in Paris towards the end of this year.

CHART ART FAIR, 2017. David Risley. Photo: David Stjernholm
CHART ART FAIR, 2017. David Risley. Photo: David Stjernholm
CHART ART FAIR, 2017. Nicolai Wallner. Photo: David Stjernholm
CHART ART FAIR, 2017. Nicolai Wallner. Photo: David Stjernholm

In addition to CHART, what exhibition or event is on your “must-see” list?

In conjunction with the two fairs, CHART offers an extensive public program that aims to engage the whole of Copenhagen in contemporary artistic practices across the three days of the fair. The program includes a series of talks, performances, art films, five architectural installations and an extensive music program, as well as other highlights which will include two curated exhibitions “Emerging” and “Curio” promoting new Nordic talents in visual arts and design.

More Information on CHART

Insiders (67)

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Founder of BiTHOUSE Projects - BAAR Art Journey


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Sandra Guimarães

Director of Museum of Contemporary Art Helga de Alvear

Grazyna Kulczyk

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Interview with Georgie Pope and Eleonora Sutter, Co-founders

Kamiar Maleki

Director at VOLTA

Gallery Weekend Berlin 2022

Tokini Peterside

Founder and Director, ART X Lagos


Founding Director of the Athens Biennale

Boris Ondreička

Artistic Director of viennacontemporary

Maribel Lopez

Director of ARCO

David Gryn

Founder and Director of Daata

Fondation Beyeler Audiovisual Broadcast

Fondation Beyeler and Nordstern Basel present Dixon x Transmoderna

Gary Yeh

Founder of ArtDrunk and Young Collector

WATCH: The Best of the BMW Art Guide

Where will you travel next to explore art?

Maike Cruse

2020 Gallery Weekend Berlin

Touria El Glaoui

Founding Director of 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair

Johann König

Messe in St. Agnes

PArt - Producers Art Platform

A crisis initiative to help artists directly affected by the pandemic

Barbara Moore

CEO of Biennale of Sydney

Unique Collector’s Item

by Independent Collectors

Alix Dana

Fair Director at Independent

When Collectors are Able to Commission

by Nicole Büsing and Heiko Klaas

Juliet Kothe and Julia Rust

Initiators of Collection Night, Berlin

Marie-Anne McQuay

Curator of Wales in Venice, 58th Venice Biennale 2019

Dorothy and Herb Vogel

Two extraordinary art collectors

Heather Hubbs

Director at NADA

Every Art Collection Needs Space

by Nicole Büsing and Heiko Klaas

Collecting Art with François Pinault

Rudolf Stingel at Palazzo Grassi

A Common Ground

by Silvia Anna Barrilà

Caroline Vos

Director at Amsterdam Art Weekend

Hidden Collections

by Nicole Büsing and Heiko Klaas

Nicole Berry

Executive Director of The Armory Show

Daniel Hug

Fair Director at Art Cologne

The Role of the Art Fair

by Silvia Anna Barrilà

Peter Bläuer

Director at LISTE

A Brush Against Nature

by Nicole Büsing and Heiko Klaas

Ilaria Bonacossa

Director of Artissima

Excessiveness, the Latent Danger of Collecting Art

by Independent Collectors

Jo Stella-Sawicka

Artistic Director at Frieze

Florence Bourgeois

Director at Paris Photo

Where Artists Can Work More Playfully

by Christiane Meixner

Specifically Commissioned

by Silvia Anna Barrilà

Manuela Mozo

Executive Director of UNTITLED, ART Miami and San Francisco

Important Museums and Private Collections

by Christiane Meixner

Susanna Corchia

Director of the Barcelona Gallery Weekend

Emilia van Lynden

Artistic Director at Unseen, Amsterdam

Carlos Urroz

Director at ARCOmadrid

Shoe Smudges Streaked Across the White Walls

by Christiane Meixner

Amanda Coulson

Director at VOLTA Basel

Douwe Cramer

Director at Singapore Contemporary

Art and Architecture – Attractive Allies

by Nicole Büsing and Heiko Klaas

Jo Baring

Curator of Sculpture Series, Masterpiece London

Bidders and Buyers

by Christiane Meixner

Anne Vierstraete

Managing Director at Art Brussels

The Crucial Role of the New

by Independent Collectors

Makers and Believers

On Art History’s Most Famous Patrons

The Past is Back

And collectors are buying it up

Are Artists the Better Curators?

On the diminishing boundary between professions in the art world

The Digital Museum

On the importance of the museum’s web presence

The Man in the Middle

On the curator’s private and public engagements

A Private Matter?

On the importance of physical space for the value of art

Off the Wall

How museums contribute to the worth of artworks

Where to Go Next?

The fragmentation of Manhattan’s gallery scene

To Buy or Not to Buy

Collectors on their experiences of letting an artwork slip away

How to Pass On a Passion

On long-term challenges for new private museums