Ready for another art fair? Art Southampton arrives this week to present the third art fair in the Hamptons summer season. Art Southampton opens on Thursday night with a pair of consecutive party previews with two beneficiaries sharing proceeds from the first event. Art Southampton officially opens to the public on Friday, July 25 and continues through Monday, July 28, giving visitors an extra day to take in the art.
In case art fair confusion has set in, here’s the skinny on Art Southampton.
1. Art Southamton positions itself with the luxury market. Expect to find a Maserati outside near the entrance and displays by GRAFF Diamonds inside the fair.
The first fair goers gain entrance during the Platinum VIP Preview with proceeds divided between Southampton Hospital and the Parrish Art Museum, a new beneficiary for the art fair. The Platinum VIP Preview is held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and is sponsored by GRAFF Diamonds, Ruinart Champagne, Maserati North America, Luxe Interiors + Design and Saunders & Associates. Expect champagne and hors d'ouevres.
Immediately following, a VIP Preview will be held from 7:30 to 10 p.m. for VIP cardholders and media. Art collectors can apply for VIP status by clicking here.
In an art twist, there will be a spray-painted 2005 Ferrari F430 inside the fair. Painted by graffiti artist Crash (John Matos), the art car is the result of a collaboration between car collector Joe "Mac" LaPadula of Martino Auto Concepts and Dorian Grey Gallery, who's tapped into street art, graffiti and the New York emerging scene.
2. A walk alongside a highway might be in the cards for the Previews held on Thursday night.
If history repeats itself, the parking lot fills up early and many cars might be forced to circle around Sunrise Highway (Route 27). The advice: Get there early or wear comfortable shoes. There was plenty of police support last year to direct traffic so the search for parking spots along the highway didn't turn dangerous.
That said, the back-to-back VIP openings may help stagger attendance so parking may be available on the Elks grounds for everyone. Self-park and valet services will be available.
3. Art Southampton decidedly presents a beautiful fair.
There's no question about it - The Art Southampton producers know how to stage a beautiful art fair that's enjoyable to attend. From the carpet to the wide aisles and vaulted tent ceiling, it's an upscale presentation that's conducive to really seeing and enjoying the art exhibited.
4. Art Southampton presents a large art fair.
Art Hamptons is giving Art Southampton a run for its money this year regarding size and international pull. Art Southampton will present around 83 galleries in a 100,000-square foot tent. Around 25 exhibitors come from the international community including London, Paris, Hong Kong, Beijing, Berlin and others, according to the Art Southampton website.
In case you're counting, Art Hamptons presented around 87 galleries in a 50,000-square foot tent. Around 35 came from around the world with special focus on Korean galleries. Art Market Hamptons has a ceiling of 40 galleries for inclusion. The 2014 fair presented around 39 exhibitors. All were national.
5. Expect to find Hamptons Galleries and Artists at Art Southampton
Like the first two art fairs, a bit of the Hamptons art scene can be found at Art Southampton. Hamptons galleries include East Hampton galleries Lawrence Fine Art, Gallery Valentine, Eric Firestone Gallery and Birnam Woods Galleries; Gallery 125 from Water Mill (summer gallery space with main location in Bellport), and Keszler Gallery of Southampton. Southampton art dealers McNeill Art Group and Peter Marcelle Projects will exhibit at the fair.
6. Price tags of some artworks stretch into six-figures. And they sell.
With past sales logged in the six figures, Art Southampton is justified for having the confidence to present secondary-market art that might be at home at the auctions. Arguably presenting the priciest art of the trio of fairs, Art Southampton's confidence is grounded by 25-years of art fair producing. Starting with its flagship art fair, Art Miami, they now produce seven art fairs. The latest fair, Downtown Fair in NYC, launched in May, was timed to Frieze New York and the new Frieze Art Fair Week.
Producers of Art Hamptons and Art Market Hamptons are no slouches. Both produce five national art fairs each.
7. If you're looking for Jeff Koons, you'll find him.
Jeff Koons is all the rage with his two-story retrospective occupying the Whitney. Sponder Gallery of Miami is presenting limited edition prints of Koons's iconic sculpture Split Rocker. A champagne reception will take place on Friday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the gallery's booth (#AS78).
The Split-Rocker vase was inspired by rocking toys for children and is split thematically into dinosaur or rocking horse sections.
8. A highlight may be the New York Academy of Art exhibition curated by artist John Alexander
Returning to Art Southampton, a curated exhibition by New York Academy of Art students (former and present) was a hit of the 2013 edition. It was curated by artist Eric Fischl. This year's exhibition is curated by artist John Alexander who selected art that "...the range and complexity of the Academy’s philosophy – a testament to the results of a rigorous, skills-based education – one that empowers an artist to take this time-honored knowledge and run with it in the pursuit of vital, contemporary art," according to an exhibition description.
The exhibition will include works by Zachary Brown, Megan Ewert, Elizabeth Glaessner, Angela Gram, Nicolas Holiber, Yunsung Jang, Christian Johnson, Will Kurtz, Bryan LeBoeuf, Michael Meadors, Alyssa Monks, John O’Reilly, Guno Park, Nicolas V. Sanchez, Holly Ann Scoggins, Stephen Shaheen, Aliene de Souza Howell, Maria Teicher, Phillip Thomas, Melanie Vote, Annie Wildey, and Lucy Winton.
A portion of sales will go directly to scholarships for Academy students. New York Academy of Art is one of the preeminent school of figurative painting, drawing and sculpture in America. John Alexander is a visiting critic, lecturer and longtime affiliate with the Academy.
On Saturday at 5 p.m. Academy President David Kratz and John Alexander will host cocktails and conversation at the exhibition booth (@AS10). Alexander will present a guided exhibition tour and will be available to sign copies of his book John Alexander A Retrospective.
9. The art fair offers events after the Preview Parties
After the VIP Previews, there are still events to attend. They include book signings, art fair tours and daily lectures on art topics led by One Art Nation. Click here for the full list and details.
10. Will the Third Time be a Charm for Art Southampton?
By all reported accounts, Art Southampton has established itself as presenting an art fair worth going to. Now in its third year, the fair’s arrival is expected and an upscale vibe anticipated. The question that remains is will they hold their position for the third time around?
If the pairing of Art Hamptons and Art Market Hamptons is considered as a mini Hamptons Art Fair Week, Art Southampton could be considered a destination art fair.
As the 2014 editions of Art Southampton and Art Market Hamptons have demonstrated, anything can happen and editions of the same fair vary from year to year. The bottom line? Visit the fair to draw your own conclusion, have an art experience, and take in art that may not typically be found in the Hamptons.
BASIC FACTS: Art Southampton 2014 takes place from July 24 – 28, 2014 at Southampton Elks Lounge, 605 County Road 39, Southampton, NY 11968. Two VIP Previews will be held on Thursday, July 24. They are by invite only. www.art-southampton.com.
IF TRAVELING BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: The easiest way to arrive at Art Southampton is via car. That said, it is reachable from NYC by Hampton Jitney or the LIRR. Stops in Southampton are the closest to the fair with a cab ride required to complete the journey.
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