America’s longest-running fair, the Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA)’s The Art Show, kicked off yesterday evening—a bit earlier than usual. Although the Park Avenue event normally coincides with the Armory Show, a scheduling mixup caused the two fairs to open a full week apart. The result was a less packed VIP preview and, some said, a slightly slower pace of sales. But there were plenty of heavyweights browsing the aisles, including Steve Martin, Woody Allen (with Soon-Yi Previn), and top local collectors such as Donald Marron, Peter and Jill Kraus, and Andy and Dana Stone.
“You have the honest-to-god collectors here,” Adam Sheffer, a partner at Cheim & Read and president of the ADAA’s board, told artnet News. “The flippers aren’t here.”
The fair’s 30th anniversary offered a mix of old and new, with 10 galleries that had shown at the original 1989 event mingling with first-timers including Altman Siegel, Chambers Fine Art, and Maccarone. “It’s an art fair put together by art dealers,” Sheffer noted. The result is an event less focused on Instagram photo ops and booths-by-numbers and more on art-historical deep cuts and new directions taken by established artists. It is very much a fair for grownups.
Below, we’ve picked six of the most fascinating works at the fair to give you a taste of the offerings.
Found at: Lehmann Maupin
Price: The artist’s sculptures are $8,000–12,000
Why It’s Fascinating: Famous as a photographer, Opie has been quietly experimenting in ceramics the past few years, taking advantage of the proximity of the dark room and the ceramics studio at UCLA, where she teaches. This is the first time she’s shown her sculpture in public, and she’s only done so at the insistence of her dealer, David Maupin.
“She actually uses real trees to make the imprints on the sculptures themselves,” the gallery’s director of communications, Marta de Movellan, said of the log-like works, which accompany the artist’s photographs of the forests in California’s Yosemite National Park. Another print, Stump Fire 1(2015), captures one of the ceramic works surrounded by a glowing flame. “Catherine wanted the sculptures to be displayed as kind of a charred, burned forest, because with fire there is the potential for regeneration,” De Movellan explained. – Sarah Cascone