Early sales indicate East End an underserved market for high-quality contemporary art
(Southampton, NY) Following an invitation-only preview reception that drew over 3,600 collectors and art enthusiasts, Art-Miami’s inaugural Art Southampton fair saw brisk sales on Friday and Saturday as well, with many substantial sales from some of the most notable collectors in the area. The art fair runs through Monday, July 30.
Dealers and artists alike were thrilled by the presence – and interest – from notable collectors including Beth Rudin De Woody, Michael & Seren Shvo, Ted & Ruth Baum, Wilbur & Hilary Ross, Harvey Manes, Frank Wyman, Steven & Nan Swid, Lawrence Benenson and Henry Buhl, who were unanimous in their raves for not only the art but the sophisticated and stylish presentation at the pavilion. It was clearly a well-heeled crowd, evidenced by sponsoring partner Maserati having to expand its exclusive corral parking for Maserati owners.
From the outset, it was abundantly clear to both dealers and attendees that the level of quality of international contemporary art that Art Southampton offers – and in an extraordinarily elegant setting that allows each gallery’s work its own spotlight –was the major draw as word of mouth spread quickly among the Hamptons cognoscenti. Local media was quick to add their praise for the amazing assemblage of works some, like Eric Fischl’s new glass sculptures, being shown for the first time.
A quick survey of the gallery owners indicated unanimous delight in being part of what has been cemented as a new annual tradition.
Hollis Taggart of Hollis Taggart Galleries, New York, noted how sophisticated both the fair and the clientele were compared to previous Hamptons’ offerings. “Everyone is giving it an A+. It’s the best art fair production there is.” Among the sales recorded by Taggart were a George Rickey for $80,000, a Yajoi Kusama for $35,000 and a Richard Pousette-Dart for $30,000. He also received tremendous interest in a rare Nicholas de Stael titled, Fleurs au pot bleu, 1954.
Frej Forsblom of Gallerie Forsblom, Helsinki, noted “lots of activity and interest,” particularly for his galleries exquisitely modern and abstract HC Berg pieces, as well as a piece by Jacob Hashimoto. He sold two sculptures by Veikko Hirvimaki for $30,000.
“This is the way to show high-quality art. I feel people here are willing to spend,” said Wilhelm J. Grusdat of Terminus Gallery, Munich, which as of mid-day Saturday had a total of six sales, including a $250,000 John Chamberlain sculpture titled Sparkle Party, for which the buyer flew in by private jet and helicopter to personally pick up. He added: “I am very happily surprised by the quality of the audience.”
Other brisk activity came to Ascaso Gallery, Miami, which sold a Tomesello for $80,000, Vincent Vallarino of Vincent Vallarino Fine Art, New York, which reported several “major sales” of significant works including a large Sam Francis, and Tom K. of KM Fine Arts, Chicago, which sold an exceptionally beautiful and sensual Botero for $390,000 and received “several expressions of interest” in the gallery’s displayed works of Hans Hoffman. “You can tell if you have seers or academia or real buyers, and there are definitely real buyers here,” he said.
James Cavello of New York’s Westwood Gallery, a regular exhibitor at Art Miami, had “quality collectors” through his exhibit of Boris Lurie and unique ensemble of works from On the Bowery, of which were assembled as a collective for prospective buyers for the first time ever. “Absolutely stellar – quality, integrity and real.”
And Nikola Rukaj of Nikola Rukaj Gallery, Toronto, sold a remarkable Jerry Schatzberg print, Bob Dylan thumb and eye, for $30,000 as well as a Victor Vaserely lenticular piece of Queen Elizabeth II for $16,000. “This has been a serious art fair with some very serious buyers who know what they are looking for,” noted Rukaj.
Daniella Mercuri of UNIX Miami, which sold three pieces during Thursday’s VIP preview, noted interest from additional collectors who undoubtedly would venture back to the massive pavilion. “I’m so very happy to be here at Art Southampton. In addition to already selling several works, I had visits from several very serious collectors, which is a statement to the caliber of the clientele.”
“We had many very knowledgeable collectors visit as the fair progressed” noted Anita Shapolsky of Anita Shapolsky Gallery & AS Art Foundation. “We sold a Rauschenberg collage print, a Beaufort Delaney paper piece, one Andy Moses concave acrylic painting and one commission, and we have three pieces on hold (an Albert Kotin, an Ernest Briggs and a Seymour Boardman). In addition, we have appointments this week in our NYC Gallery with several collectors from the Fair. It was highly productive.”
“The opening preview was spectacular,” noted Beth McNeill of Southampton’s McNeill Art Group, which brought several notable pieces including new works by artist Jeff Muhs. “The amount of leads I generated last night was more than four days at Art Hamptons – there was genuine interest in the works, and the quality of the collectors, particularly some newer and younger ones, was impressive.”
Muhs, who had just returned from delivering one of his sculptures to be auctioned at Robert Wilson’s Watermill Big Bang Benefit, was equally impressed by the fair’s world-class nature and the level of interest from serious international collectors. “I feel very well represented here, and I’m so excited. There’s a great vibe.”
Elizabeth Hazim Castillo of Miami’s Art Nouveau Gallery said, “We’re very happy – we had sales of over $200,000 already”. Fred Dorfman of New York’s Dorfman Projects saw major movement of works by Alejandro Diaz from the artist’s Resins 2012 series selling some six of his social commentary pieces.
Internationally recognized painter and sculptor Eric Fischl a Hamptons resident was the subject of a one-man show by the Hexton Gallery of Chicago. Bob Chase was delighted that they sold two of the artist’s bronze works “Congress of Wits” for $85, 000 each and several of Fischl’s watercolors.
Cynthia Corbett of the UK sold two of Tom Leighton’s oversized multiple cities collages.
International galleries participating include Allan Stone Gallery, New York, Antoine Helwaser Gallery, New York. Arcature, Miami, Gallery Valentine, Easthampton & Bridgehampton, Ascaso Gallery, Miami, Cynthia Corbett Gallery, UK, Dai Ichi Arts, Ltd, New York, David Findlay Jr Gallery, New York, De Buck Gallery, New York, Dean Project, New York, Dillon Gallery, New York, Dorfman Projects, New York, Edelman Arts, New York, The Elkon Gallery, Inc., New York, Galerie Forsblom, Finland, Galerie Terminus, Germany, Hackelbury Fine Art, UK, Hexton Gallery, Chicago, Hollis Taggart Galleries, New York, Jenkins Johnson, New York, Jerald Melberg, New York, Leila Heller Gallery, New York, McNeill Art Group, Southampton, Nikola Rukaj Gallery, Toronto, Now Contemporary Art, New York, Robert Klein Gallery, Boston, Scott White Contemporary Art, La Jolla, Vincent Vallarino Fine Art, New York, Waterhouse & Dodd, New York, Westwood Gallery, New York, Witzenhausen, Amsterdam and many others.
Artists works on display include Milton Avery, C. Berg, Ross Bleckner, Fernando Botero, John Chamberlain, John Clement, Hans Cotter, Eric Fischl, Andrew Grima, Hans Hoffman, Kaarina Kaikkonen, Roy Lichtenstein, Li Liong, Jane Manus, Eugenio Merino, Robert Motherwell, Jeff Muhs, Harumi Nakashima, Louise Nevelson, Julian Opie, Alfonso Ossorio, Tony Oursler, Pablo Picasso, Larry Poons, Gerhard Richter, Larry Rivers, Jesus Rafael Soto, Theodoros Stamos, Donald Sultan, Norman Bluhm, Luis Tomasello, Victor Vaserely, Bernar Venet, Andy Warhol and many more.
Art Southampton is generously supported by: Southampton Hospital; Ross School, The Watermill Center, The Art Newspaper; ARTLOG; Art + Auction; Blouin ARTINFO; Art Nexus; VOSS Artesian Water; Bootlegger 21 NY Vodka; Heineken; Gallerist; NY Observer; Art Circuits; arte al dia, Mutual Art, ArtFacts.net; Bourlet Art Logistics, Southampton Chamber of Commerce,
Southampton Fresh Air Home and Maserati North America, with Maserati the Official Luxury Automobile of Art Southampton.
For more information, please visit http://www.art-southampton.com.
About Art Miami, LLC
Art Miami, LLC is a partnership consisting of art and media industry veterans Nick Korniloff, Mike Tansey and Brian Tyler. Art Miami, LLC also produces Art Miami (www.art-miami.com), Miami’s longest running contemporary art fair, CONTEXT (www.contextartmiami.com) and Art Wynwood (www.art-wynwood.com).