TEFAF New York Opens with Strong Sales and an Exuberant Atmosphere

May 13, 2023 New York, NY

TEFAFNY opening Press release image

New York (NY) — May 13, 2023: A line around the block signaled the start of a well-attended TEFAF New York, which opened at the Park Avenue Armory with an invite-only Preview Day on Thursday, May 11 followed by a public opening on Friday, May 12. The 91 international exhibitors, including 13 new galleries, greeted visitors with exceptional artworks from modern and contemporary art, antiquities, jewelry, and design objects. Sales were robust with institutional acquisitions, reserves, and conversations continuing as the fair goes on.


TEFAF New York attracts leadership from more than 90 museums across the globe, and these institutions were active in early sales. Di Donna (Booth 334) sold multiple works on the first day of the fair from its solo presentation of Meret Oppenheim, including a sculpture that was sold to a major American institution and three works on paper. David Zwirner (Booth 347) sold multiple works by Josef Albers including several to an Asian museum from their solo presentation of the artist focusing on paintings from his Variant/Adobe series. A museum also purchased Matt Mullican’s Untitled (Man and His Symbols) (2016), a collage and ink on paper with an asking price of $185,000, from Peter Freeman (Booth 306)—which additionally sold works by Charles Ledray and Mel Bochner.

Design is a cornerstone of TEFAF NY, and significant sales were made in the first days. Galerie Mitterrand (Booth 205) sold François-Xavier Lalanne’s eye-catching sculpture of a monkey, Singe Attentif SI (1992) for $1.7 million as well as additional objects of design by Claude Lalanne ($20,000-$650,000). Galerie Patrick Seguin (Booth 331) sold several objects designed by Jean Prouvé, including a lighting ramp from 1954 of which only 12 were made, two sideboards, and an additional lamp as well as bookshelves by Charlotte Perriand. Also in design, Modernity (Booth 204) sold a table lamp by Axel Enoch Boman (asking price: $38,500) and a pair of Aarhus City Hall ceiling lamps (asking price: $50,000).

A significant interest in female artists was demonstrated by multiple sales on the VIP preview day and the first day of the fair. Tina Kim (Booth 354) sold work by Pacita Abad priced at $50,000-100,000, among multiple artists from their roster; Nathalie Obadia (Booth 362) sold several works on paper by Shirley Jafffe; Galerie Gisela Capitain (Booth 315) sold works by all its female artists to private collectors including works by Gillian Carnegie, Isabella Ducrot, Jadé Fadojutimi, and Laura Owens; Galleria Continua (Booth 323) sold Empath 026 by Kiki Smith; Almine Rech (322) sold two works by Chloe Wise priced at $40,000-55,000; White Cube (Booth 355) sold works by Marlene Dumas and two Tracey Emin paintings; Hazlitt Holland-Hibbert (Booth 311) sold two works on paper by Bridget Riley for $200,000 each and a large gouache and pencil on paper mounted on canvas work by the artist to a private collector, and LGDR (Booth 305) sold three works by Lynne Drexler.

Solo presentations saw additional success. Gladstone Gallery (Booth 337) sold out its solo stand dedicated to Robert Rauschenberg’s Thai drawings from 1983, priced at $90,000 each. Fergus McCaffery (Booth 318) is presenting alternating solo presentations of Reinhard Pods and Patrick Hall and nearly sold out its first hanging at the VIP preview.

Jewelry continues to shine at TEFAF New York with Hemmerle (102) and FD Gallery (352) making multiple sales. Didier LTD (Booth 105) made sales to both American and Middle Eastern collectors of a double-headed gold, enamel, and gemstone bangle by Franco Cannilla from c. 1950, a gem-set gold brooch with an abstract landscape with palm trees by Afro Basaldella, and a pair of white and yellow gold kinetic earrings by the outsider artist Sebastiano Balbo. It also sold a unique necklace with a lupin flower designed by Claude Lalanne in 1972 and cast in solid 18ct gold by the Greek jeweler Zolotas.

Charles Ede’s (Booth 356) first sale was a Roman marble head of Zeus Serapis within minutes of the opening, and the second sale was a Roman bronze statuette of Mercury soon after, both made to established New York clients. An exceptional Roman bronze of Mercury was sold for a six-figure amount.

Lisson Gallery (Booth 342) made an important sale of a new Sean Scully work, Wall Dark Blue (2022) on the VIP preview day. This work continues the artist’s Wall of Light series and was sold to a private collector in Asia. Richard Green (Booth 324) sold a painting by Sir Winston Churchill and a sculpture by Henry Moore. Perrotin (Booth 327) sales included historical artworks from Lee Bae's Issu du feu series priced at $100,000-200,000 and Johan Creten's Odore di Femmina series from $25,000-60,000—both iconic series by the artists. Edward Tyler Nahem (321) sold work by Roy Lichtenstein and Josef Albers to private collections. Offer Waterman (Booth 351) sold an untitled ceramic work by Magdalene Odundo and an oil on canvas by Frank Auerbach to private collections.


Notable VIP Preview attendees included Woody Allen and Soon-Yi, Joseph Altuzarra, Emily Blunt, Anderson Cooper, Princess Firyal of Jordan, Thelma Golden, Agnes Gund, Max Hollein, Scarlett Johansson, Colin Jost, Alex Katz, Arie and Coco Kopelman, John Krasinski, Amy Lau, Aerin Lauder, Don Lemon, Adam Lindemann, Glenn Lowry, Peter Marino, Sienna Miller, Bernard Picasso, Renee Rockefeller, Sarah Suzuki, Jamie Tisch, Stanley Tucci, Durek Verrett, and Joel Wachs, among others.

On Thursday evening, the ambiance was animated at The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Opening Night Benefit, the proceeds of which support patient care, research, and education programs at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

TEFAF Programming also kicked off on Friday with talks on the Asian art market, succession plans for art collections, and the art of connoisseurship. Fair entry grants access to a dynamic roster of programs fostering conversations between some of the world’s most illustrious minds, covering industry insights and inspiring new and experienced art collectors and lovers. A full schedule of events can be found here.


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TEFAF is a not-for-profit foundation that champions expertise and diversity in the global art community, evidenced by the exhibitors selected for its two fairs, which take place annually in Maastricht and New York. TEFAF acts as an expert guide for both private and institutional collectors, which inspires lovers and buyers of art everywhere.


TEFAF New York was founded in early 2016, originally as two annual art fairs in New York at the Park Avenue Armory. Today, TEFAF New York is one singular, annual fair that encapsulates modern and contemporary art, jewelry, antiques, and design, featuring around 90 leading exhibitors from around the globe. Tom Postma Design, celebrated for its work with leading museums, galleries, and art fairs, is responsible for the fair’s innovative design which has reimagined the spectacular spaces at the historic Park Avenue Armory, giving them a lighter, contemporary look and feel.


TEFAF Maastricht is widely regarded as the world's premier fair for fine art, antiques, and design, bringing together 7,000 years of art history under one roof. Featuring over 260 prestigious dealers from some 20 countries, TEFAF Maastricht is a showcase for the finest artworks currently on the market. Alongside the traditional areas of Old Master paintings, antiques, and classical antiquities that cover approximately half of the fair, you can also find modern and contemporary art, photography, jewelry, 20th-century design, and works on paper.



Sharp Think | [email protected]


Magda Grigorian, Head of Communications, TEFAF | [email protected]