TEFAF NEW YORK SPRING OPENS TO RECORD CROWDS AND SIGNIFICANT SALES
(New York, NY) MAY 5, 2019: Record crowds, a buoyant atmosphere, and robust sales marked the opening days of TEFAF New York Spring 2019. From the VIP Preview Day on Thursday, May 2nd, through the first few public opening days, it is clear the Fair has made its mark on the international art community. Now in its third year at the Park Avenue Armory, TEFAF New York Spring has quickly established itself as an unrivalled Fair in North America for blue-chip modern and contemporary art and design.
Visitors to the Fair were greeted by Beck & Eggeling’s (Booth 201) ethereal floating neon-pink installation, entitled Bioethical Transsubstantiation II that hung above the entrance by the Ukrainian artist, Aljoscha (b. 1974). The artist was present at the Fair to oversee the installation, which attracted serious interest from potential buyers. He also sold a smaller piece from the same series on the opening day.
Single artist displays proved a popular feature at the Fair. Examples included an homage to Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985) at Pace (Booth 344), which resulted in three major sales within the first few hours – a ceramic piece, Personnage (1965), a painting, Fait Divers (1981), and two of his black and white works-on-paper. These sales ranged from $600,000 to the multi-millions. Pace entertained throngs of visitors with a character from Dubuffet’s theater piece Coucou Bazar, which forms part of his famous L’Hourloupe cycle. The performer – or “animated painting” – wandered about the Fair bringing the artist’s work to life.
Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac (Booth 353) sold its entire collection of 39 pieces by Georg Baselitz (b. 1938) early on in the Fair. The sale comprised a set of 38 drawings (1984), purchased for close to $1.12 million, and a large painting titled Blaueur Elkekopf (1979-8) that sold for an undisclosed amount to a separate buyer.
New York City gallery Lehmann Maupin (Booth 104) presented an impressive curated exhibition of pieces by Hernan Bas (b. 1978), whose signature paintings and sculptures of flamingoes have gained critical acclaim. The gallery sold several of these paintings within the first hour of the preview and has all the remaining works on reserve.
Also reporting early sales were London based gallery Cardi (Booth 377), which sold Concetto Spaziale (1962) by Lucio Fontana (1899-1968) for $2 million, Mnuchin gallery (Booth 342), which sold Beige and Gray Movement (2005) by Ed Clark (b.1926) for an undisclosed amount, and Hammer Galleries (Booth 324), which sold Buste d’homme (1969) by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) for an undisclosed amount. This disguised portrait of Picasso himself was painted on corrugated cardboard immediately preceding his famous 1970 Palais des Papes exhibition in Avignon, a characteristic piece from one of the artist’s most inspired periods.
Leon Tovar (Booth 313), a gallery dedicated to presenting remarkable examples of Modern Latin American Art, sold Topología Erótica by Zilia Sanchez (b. 1926), Untitled by Carmelo Arden-Quin (1913-2010), and Paper Shape (1969)by Agustin Fernandez (1928-2006) for undisclosed amounts.
Upper East Side works-on-paper specialist David Tunick (Booth 371), who is a long-term exhibitor at TEFAF Maastricht made three notable sales on opening day, which included a painting by Paul Klee (1879-1940) entitled The Singer L. as Fiordiligi (1923) and two watercolors by Sam Francis (1923-1994), with prices ranging from the low six-figures to high seven-figures.
Stockholm design gallery Modernity (Booth 308) cemented the sale of six “Poem” chairs by Erik Chambert (1902-1988) and a sofa by Kaj Gottlob (1887-1976) went for an asking price of $55,000. The gallery also reported the sales of a number of paintings.
London gallery Charles Ede (Booth 356), one of the world's leading dealers in antiquities, enjoyed mulitple sales over the first two days of the Fair to a variety of new and estalbished collectors, including those with a contemporary background.
From the museum community, representatives that attended the Fair included curators from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Neue Galerie, The Frick Collection, High Museum of Art (Atlanta), Brooklyn Museum, Hispanic Society Museum & Library, American Folk Art Museum, The Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), The Barnes Foundation, Museo Nazionale Delle Arti Del XXI Secolo, Magazzino Italian Art, Reggia di Monza, Bard Graduate Center, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum.
Notable attendees included collectors, Ronald and Jo Carole Lauder; the businesswoman, Aerin Lauder; fashion icon, Lauren Santo Domingo; real-estate tycoon and collector, Aby Rosen; investor and art collector, Leon Black; Anne Bass; architect Peter Marino; art advisor, Sandy Heller; Scarlett Johansson; John McEnroe; fashion designer Wes Gordon.
The opening celebration on Thursday, May 2nd also included The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s third annual Opening Night Benefit, the proceeds of which will support The Society’s patient care, research, and education programs at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, as well as the acclaimed cultural programs produced by the Park Avenue Armory.