Public Service Announcement
This edition of The Canvas was put together Friday afternoon and scheduled for release the next day. If for whatever reason some breaking art news occurs within that 24 hour span, we apologize for not including it in this edition. Rest assured that Sunday's edition of The Canvas- our final newsletter for Frieze/TEFAF- will be written in real time and include all the relevant news and coverage from this past week.
It will also feature our own answers to the recent chatter about the viability of fairs and the role that small and midsize galleries can play in the coming years. We'll examine David Zwirner's suggestions that larger galleries help subsidize their smaller brethren. We'll provide some counterpoints to Jerry Saltz's arguments in his New York Magazine piece. And we'll take a close look at how galleries should approach the various fairs and what clearly works and doesn't work at each.
In the meantime, seeing as Frieze is officially the one year anniversary of The Canvas first being published, we've been contemplating our own existential position in the art world. As you know, we currently publish The Canvas during the weeks of the major fairs and auction sales throughout the year. But we've been wondering- and we hope our loyal readers will help us answer- whether we should begin publishing The Canvas on a weekly basis to provide more context and news from the gallery side of the business. Please feel free to reply to this email or email us at email@example.com to let us know your thoughts and where you think we could improve on our coverage.
The Three Things People are Talking About
At first the air conditioning problems at Frieze seemed relatively benign. After all, there are plenty of opportunities to get a cold drink at the fair and be distracted enough by the exceptional art that you almost forget the record setting temperatures outside the tent. However, now according to Nate Freeman (writing in his recap of TEFAF for Artsy), there are rumors that some dealers are asking for full refunds from the powers-that-be at Frieze. While The Canvas doesn't buy into the idea that any legitimate sales were lost due to the cooling problems of the tent, it does raise some valid concerns about next year's iteration of the fair. May in New York is not October in London after all. And if the organizers of Frieze can't figure out a way to properly cool and seal the tent (both from potential heat and from rain), then they need to take a serious look at moving to a more normal venue. The Canvas gets that the white tent is a central part of Frieze's brand, but it's already a pain in the neck to get to Randall's Island for most people. If we can't be guaranteed to be cool (and dry) when we're at the fair itself, then perhaps we're being asked to sacrifice a bit too much in the name of art that we can mostly see at other fairs throughout the year...
Here at The Canvas we frown upon internal family strife. After all, why can't parents, children, siblings, and cousins all just learn to get along? And yet, in the Upper East Side sitting rooms of New York's elite, it is sometimes understandable why forces conspire in just the right way to foster a pressure cooker like atmosphere. Hence how we came upon the strange tale of Hubert Neumann and his wonderfully ominously named middle child, Belinda. Details are a bit hazy (read the full piece if we've sufficiently piqued your interest), but the gist of the article is that Mr. Neumann is suing Sotheby's to block the sale of a Basquiat slated for auction in the house's Contemporary evening sale on May 16th. In the lawsuit, Neumann claims that Sotheby's "botched" the marketing of the piece and violated an agreement he claims to have with the house that would give him approval on “all matters relating to cataloging, placement, and exhibiting each and every work consigned.” This is despite the fact that "Flesh and Spirit" is featured on the catalogue's cover, received a multiple-page spread within said cover, and is being offered in the prime spot of lot 24, with an estimate of $30 million.
The New Yorker released a delightful quiz where readers can match themselves to New York museums as if they were on first dates. We're not embarrassed to tell you that here at The Canvas we've spent a not insignificant amount of time comparing ourselves to the various museums and then analyzing what the results say about us as human beings. And while we'd like to think of ourselves as a Whitney- or even the Cloisters- deep down we know we're more of Tenement Museum; or even god forbid, the New York Transit Museum. *Shudders at the thought*
Five Satellite Fairs Worth Visiting
The Party Circuit
The Society of MSK Hosts Opening Night of TEFAF Spring New York (Spotted: seemingly the entire Lauder family)
Michael Rovner Opening at Pace
Garden Art and Antiques Fair: Preview Party