In case you thought we maybe glossed over the epic amount of blood sweat and tears that went into last week’s art fair extravaganza, I thought I’d repost a few articles that came out in the last few days including this one from Art in America:
Strong Sophomore Outing for Expo Chicago
byÂ Brian Boucher
“I’ll tell you what distinguishes this year from last year,” Expo Chicago director Tony Karman toldÂ A.i.A.Â at the fair’s sophomore outing on Saturday, “and I’ll tell you in one wordâ€”sales. It was very important that big dealers like David Zwirner and Marianne Boesky do well, and they have.”
Featuring over 120 international galleries at the capacious Navy Piers (up from 100 last year), with views of Lake Michigan, Expo Chicago (Sept. 19-22) represented dealers from 17 countries and 36 cities. Some were returning, like Zwirner (New York and London), Matthew Marks (New York and Los Angeles), and Kavi Gupta (Chicago and Berlin). There were also many first-timers, including Marianne Boesky (New York), Cabinet (London), Massimo de Carlo (Milan and London) and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects.
While almost every exhibitor acknowledged that sales were little to none in 2012, nearly all said that business was better this year. Dealers reported a range of sales, starting as low as $4,000 for works on paper by Chicago’s own William J. O’Brien at Boesky. Works in a modest price range found the most ready buyers, but there were outliers. Boesky toldÂ A.i.A.Â of serious interest in an assemblage by Salvatore Scarpitta,Â Drummer SeargeantÂ (1963), which was tagged at $750,000, and one dealer who declined to be named toldÂ A.i.A.Â that he had sold a million-dollar artworkâ€”and to a walk-in customer, no less.Â read more
A handful of additional EXPO 2013 accounts can be found here:
Paul Klein onÂ The Huffington Post,Â with some lovely installations shots to boot:
This is the second year of this wonderful mid-sized art fair, with substantial galleries bringing some A quality art and almost enough cutting edge galleries showing off exciting artists to watch.There are some gorgeous treasures to be seen.Â
Many reports via Art Fag City over the course of the week/end, beginning with from Paddy Johnson’s mixed reaction:
Importantly, the fair seems an enormous step up from anything Merchandise Mart offered, a mega-fair corporation thatâ€™s been largely unsuccessful at handling art. Much as the company does for Volta in New York, Merchandise Mart used their own real estate to house Next Art Chicago, even though its low ceilings were unsuited to showcasing art. Last year,Â when they closed,Â the organization claimed that collectors were only purchasing art on the coast lines.
A photo collection courtesy of Paddy Johnson, with “the good, the bad and the ugly:”
And AFC’a closing word from Robin Dluzen:
A main concern for EXPO and the exhibiting galleries was last yearâ€™s absence of collectors and museums from the wider midwest region and beyond, and this year, EXPO managed to draw them in. William Lieberman ofÂ Zolla/Lieberman GalleryÂ (a veteran Chicago dealer, first time EXPO exhibitor) saw his clients from St. Louis and San Francisco;Â Monique Meloche, also exhibiting for the first time at EXPO and the founder ofÂ Gallery Weekend ChicagoÂ running concurrently with the fair, had museum groups from Kentucky and Denver buying for themselves and buying for the museums. â€œMoMA is not going to buy here,â€ she explains, â€œBut this can be a strong regional place.â€ Itâ€™s not just the out-of-towners making themselves known, but also the more reclusive local collectors. â€œI hadÂ Sanford BiggersÂ in my windows for months,â€ said Meloche of the artistâ€™s recent exhibition at her eponymous gallery, â€œI brought him here to the fair and there are Chicago collectors discovering the work for the first time.â€
Dmitry Samarov writes inÂ Art on its Own Terms:
My strategy at these fairs has always been to run through the entire thing quickly, then return to anything that made my eye stop. Most years that amounts to four or five paintings or drawings and this year was no different. There was a good corner where a David Park portrait was next to an Elmer Bischoff figure painting, with a Richard Diebenkorn drawing round the corner. I was also happy to see a Leon Kossoff painting along with a couple of drawings. There was an Alice Neal childrenâ€™s portrait too, that made all the work around it look like newspaper clippings. The thing I liked best though were a couple small Harold Haydon cityscapes.
And finally â€” Artslant Thomas Connors interviewed Tony Karman:
TC: A fair of modern and contemporary work must be something of a balancing act. Youâ€™ve got the de Kooning collector on one hand and the Simon Starling fan on the other. And Iâ€™m guessing the blue chip collector isnâ€™t looking to acquire an emerging artist.
TK:Â Let me disagree with you. To some extent, there are certain collectors who will only want to buy that de Kooning. But other lifelong collectors want to be in the vanguard; they are going to look to the younger work because that is equally exciting to them. Thatâ€™s probably more the norm. A great collector likes to have a balance of contemporary work and historical material.