By Eileen Kinsella & Henri Neuendorf, May 3, 2017
Who says New York has too many fairs? When the Netherlands-based TEFAF fair announced last year that it would expand to New York with not one, but two, annual events—one in the fall and one in the spring—some wondered whether the additions would overload the city’s intensely competitive fair landscape. But it appears that New York has not hit its fair saturation point just yet.
The newest arrival to New York’s fair circuit, Spring TEFAF New York, opened at the Park Avenue Armory on Thursday to eager hoards of VIPs. The aisles were packed with collectors jostling for a look at the wide range of top-flight modern and contemporary art on view—along with a healthy dose of other collectible genres such as tribal art and jewelry. Like the debut fall edition, the fair spread out across the massive Armory space, filling both the drill hall and the period rooms on the first and second floor, which are not always open to the public.
Below, we survey some early highlights of the inaugural spring fair.
On the second floor of the Armory, the New York-based Di Donna Galleries transformed its booth into a “Surrealist Banquet,” complete with pastel-pink walls, a ceiling painted with Magritte-style clouds, and food- and drink-inspired works. The gallery sought to recreate the atmosphere of the legendarily hedonistic group dinners attended by Surrealist writers and artists in the late 1920s.
A long table was packed with small sculptures and assemblages, including a light-blue baguette sculpture by Man Ray and a lobster telephone by Salvador Dalí. The walls were lined with paintings and drawings by the likes of Dalí, René Magritte, Pablo Picasso, and Max Ernst.
“This room was the inspiration,” dealer Emmanuel Di Donna told artnet news. “I was given this historic room and I thought paneling it white would be a shame. It reminded me of a banquet hall, so I thought this theme would bring out the best in these beautiful works.”