The cool kids flocked downtown to Spring Studios yesterday to attend the VIP/Press preview of the eight year old Independent art fair. Just under twenty of the fifty exhibiting galleries were new participants this year which kept things fresh and exciting, and the uber-chic crowd looking for deals and constantly on its toes.
Both Marc Spiegler and Noah Horowitz from Art Basel were spotted perusing the tightly packed booths- always a good sign for up-and-coming artists and young galleries. In fact, multiple curators from well known museums and institutions could be seen browsing the offerings, surely on the lookout for the next big thing.
The Canvas doesn't like to play favorites. Be it The Armory Show, NADA, Spring/Break, Volta, or even Scope, each fair has its fans as well as its fair share of detractors. But the scene at Independent yesterday far surpassed the atmospheres of the competing fairs that we attended this week. It was a mix of established and young galleries that brought a thought provoking selection of both older and about-to-be-big artists with dealers actually selling their pieces to a crowd of collectors, curators, and art lovers. After all, what more can you really ask of an art fair? Actually, some more seating/lounge spaces would be nice, but we'll leave that for next year...
Many of us are skeptical of Frieze's plans to launch a Los Angeles based version of the fair in February of next year. But in an illuminating and wide-ranging piece for Artsy, Nate Freeman takes us step by step through some of the factors that may end up helping Frieze where others (FIAC, Paris Photo, etc...) have failed. From Jeffrey Deitch's soon-to-arrive 15,000 square foot gallery, to the continued blockbuster success of The Broad, to the proposed timing of the fair right before the Oscars, and the increasing presence of tech billionaires, Frieze has a lot of things going for it. It also doesn't hurt that the fair is 70% owned by Endeavor(the mega Hollywood talent agency).
TEFAF has a new chairman- and with his appointment, a new PR push. Yesterday's New York Times had an article about the fair's attempts at becoming a global brand. Throughout the week, numerous outlets published pieces about what it takes to keep fakes out of the Maastricht based fair. Artnet news has a cool interview with the Dutch architect and designer Tom Postma who's tasked with creating the look and feel of the fair in both the Netherlands and New York. And The Art Newspaper has a great piece about how the fair is using the newest technology available (think big data, blockchain, and A.I.) to help modernize the art world.
Alex Greenberger of ArtNews gives a necessary and worthwhile look into Sotheby's quarterly financials. While obviously not exhaustive in nature, Sotheby's financial reports usually provide a helpful glance at the overall strength of the art market. The fourth quarter resulted in a net income of $118.8 million- a 60 percent jump from the previous year. But the real stars at the auction house were the venerable team at Art Agency Partners.
Must See Booths at The Armory Show (Part Two)
The Party Circuit
The Armory Party at MoMA
1STDIBS Dinner with Sarah Harrelson of Cultured Magazine (Spotted: Mera Rubell, Anne Pasternak)
The Armory Show "VIP" Preview (Spotted: JR, Paul Rudd, Steve Martin, Sophia Coppola, John Waters, Raf Simons, Ryan McGinness)