From the category archives:

Art Fair

Brace Yourselves: Saatchi Art Is Bringing The Other Art Fair To Brooklyn

by Michael Anthony Farley on May 10, 2017
Thumbnail image for Brace Yourselves: Saatchi Art Is Bringing The Other Art Fair To Brooklyn

We hope you aren’t sick of art fairs, because Brooklyn is about to get another one. The Other Art Fair, to be precise, courtesy of Saatchi Art.

Read the full article →

We Went to Frieze, Part Two: Pussy Hat Show Flops, Anti-War Hard On Holds Up

by Paddy Johnson and Michael Anthony Farley on May 5, 2017
Thumbnail image for We Went to Frieze, Part Two: Pussy Hat Show Flops, Anti-War Hard On Holds Up

Yesterday we discussed the overall look and feel of Frieze and concluded that this iteration of the fair is far superior to previous years. Lots of lively inventive work and short on the kind of soulless work in a frame that can make these events so tedious. Today we take a deep dive into a lot of the art we saw. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty.

Read the full article →

Who’s Wearing the Pants at Frieze Week?

by Paddy Johnson and Michael Anthony Farley on May 5, 2017
Thumbnail image for Who’s Wearing the Pants at Frieze Week?

In which Michael Anthony Farley and Paddy Johnson nerd out and discuss Frieze and NADA and the changing art fair landscape.

Read the full article →

We Went to Frieze, Part One: Seagull Poop, People Poop, and Demon Poop

by Paddy Johnson and Michael Anthony Farley on May 4, 2017
Thumbnail image for We Went to Frieze, Part One: Seagull Poop, People Poop, and Demon Poop

Every year Frieze installs a massive tent on Randall’s Island and lures jetsetters from across the globe to its contemporary art fair. This year, the fair expanded its usual roster of contemporary art galleries to include a few secondary market stalwarts as well. Newcomers to the fair included Bernard Jacobson Gallery, Castelli Gallery, and Axel Vervoordt and Eykyn Maclean.

That’s not a huge change in the landscape of the fair, but notably the fair’s director, Victoria Siddall, told the Art Newspaper recently that there was a significant uptick in applications from galleries in this market. Is Frieze grooming the New York market for an edition of their London-based Frieze Masters (a fair focused on secondary market art works)? Only time will tell.

Meanwhile, Frieze New York is much better than usual. Art fair standards that drag these events down—geometric abstraction, process based abstraction, and assembly line art works by A-list artists—were few and far between. Overall, the work on view seemed unusually fresh and thoughtful. Neither are words we normally use to describe art fair art, let alone that at Frieze.

Read the full article →

Highlights From Brown Paper: a Zine Fest For Artists of Color

by Michael Anthony Farley on May 3, 2017
Thumbnail image for Highlights From Brown Paper: a Zine Fest For Artists of Color

Baltimore curatorial platform Kahlon and Brooklyn’s 3 Dot Zine teamed up last weekend to launch a DIY press fair focused on artists of color. Here are some highlights.

Read the full article →

Highlights From PMF VIII

by Michael Anthony Farley on April 4, 2017
Thumbnail image for Highlights From PMF VIII

BALTIMORE – The 8th Publications and Multiples Fair wrapped up Sunday at the Baltimore Design School, and as always, was awesome. The fair, organized by art collective Open Space, features DIY publishers, independent artists, and all manner of great weird stuff. Notably, it seemed this year had less “traditional” fares such as zines or screenprints and more odd small objects. With hundreds of surprisingly affordable vendors from across the nation, it’s always a serious challenge to not go on a mega-art-shopping spree.

A sampling of what I wish I had bought after the jump.

Read the full article →

Highlights From the Armory

by Molly Rhinestones on March 4, 2017
Thumbnail image for Highlights From the Armory

The Armory Show opened this week, creating a theme park for art collectors and lovers from across the globe. Over 200 galleries and site specific installations are on view at Pier 92 and 94 on the Hudson River. This year features a welcome overhaul of the fair’s floor plan, spearheaded by the new director, Benjamin Genocchio. The delineation of a “Modern” section, usually on view at Pier 92, has been phased out, relocating 17 dealers from the “Galleries” section and the “Focus” artists upstairs. In past iterations of the fair it seemed highlights were positioned in high traffic areas near the entrance and by the time the fair fatigue hit you found yourself stuck at a dead end inside labyrinth of the dullest booths. The new design features wider aisles and better traffic management, making for a vastly more pleasant experience. This year’s a hit folks—at least in terms of visitor experience.

In particular, the Armory’s special “Focus” section, curated by Jarret Gregory, stood out. The section culled 10 artists from around the world together to examine a question taken from 19th Century Russian Socialist Writer Nikolai “Chernyshevsky, “What Is To Be Done?” (a breath of fresh air when at times the theme of the fair seems to be “How Many Yayoi Kusama and Marina Abramovic Works Can We Fit Into This Pier.”).

My highlights and commentary below.

Read the full article →

NADA Needs To Serve Its Exhibitors and Visitors Better

by Paddy Johnson on March 3, 2017
Thumbnail image for NADA Needs To Serve Its Exhibitors and Visitors Better

Back in October NADA explained that in response to their members, they decided to move their fair dates from May, when they showed alongside the Frieze Art Fair, to March,when they would open alongside the Independent, The Armory and the ADAA. Their members felt that more collectors were in town during Armory Week. That’s not wrong, but herein lies the problem of being beholden to a membership. They ask for dumb shit. Sure, more people are in town, but there’s five times as much competition from other fairs, making it difficult to attract quality exhibitors.

And that shows. This year’s iteration of NADA is by far the worst showing I’ve ever seen of the fair, in any location, in my 12 years of reviewing it. In this show, art stands out not for uniqueness of vision, but rather because it’s been placed on an unusually colored wall or within an immersive installation. Long time dealers showing subpar versions of art fair standards—minimalist squares, droopy ceramics, squiggly abstraction—sublimate the more adventurous work of struggling emerging art spaces. Vast amounts of space are left open for visitors, yet dozens of exhibitors, in row on row arrangement are given minuscule exhibition booths.

This last aspect of the fair I actually found offensive. It’s one thing for a commercial endeavor that exists for the purpose of making money to make the mistake of not sharing enough of its resources. It’s quite another for a non-profit like NADA to make the mistake, because its very existence can only be justified by its generosity. If NADA can’t demonstrate that, then what is its purpose anyway?

I suspect they’re aware of these issues and working on them, which is good and important, but in the short term they’ve got problems. The fair is a complete disappointment and were it not for a few stand out booths, hardly worth visiting. My advice to NADA? Move the event dates back to May when it has to compete with the giant island art fair, Frieze, and deal with the fact some collectors won’t get to the mainland.

Highlights after the jump.

Read the full article →

VOLTA: Skip The Booths, Head To “Your Body Is A Battleground”

by Emily Colucci on March 3, 2017
Thumbnail image for VOLTA: Skip The Booths, Head To “Your Body Is A Battleground”

Ten years ago, it seemed most fairs were moving away from the anything-you-can-hang in a booth model to solo show booths. The pinnacle of that movement can be seen as VOLTA, which trumpeted a model in which all booths were solo shows.

Ten years later, how is that holding up? If UNTITLED and SPRING/BREAK are any indication, a preference for curation is on the rise. That’s seen even at shows that boast solo booth models such as VOLTA NY, which is for its second year, hosting a curated section.

Read the full article →

We Went To SPRING/BREAK: Who Let the Dogs Out?

by Harrison Curley and Molly Rhinestones on March 2, 2017
Thumbnail image for We Went To SPRING/BREAK: Who Let the Dogs Out?

The curator-centric fair fair SPRING/BREAK is back. This time, they’ve moved to a Times Square office building with the theme “Black Mirror.”
That translates to plenty of identity-centric work. Molly Rhinestones and Harrison Curley went to check it out:

Harrison: This booth is an immersion to your favorite dreamgirl room from your favorite princess fantasy…

Molly: There is always a booth I walk in and think “I have a crush on this artist” and Ben Sisto’s was it this year…

Read the full article →