The quickie spiel about the Dallas Art Fair, which previewed yesterday: low expectations on the parts of the dealers — perhaps higher expectations from the out-of-staters than the locals; a mixed bag with regard to the work on view, but overall better than I had expected, with some outstanding booths; and a friendly vibe. This last could have been due to desperation or to the fact that nobody feels they have to be too cool for school outside of Chelsea/Miami, or some combination thereof. Hopefully dealers won’t go home with everything they brought, and hopefully the organizers, who surely had to have given deep discounts to more than a few booths, won’t lose their shirts and will live to see another fair. Hopefully also it won’t completely cannibalize sales from the Dallas galleries that weren’t asked to participate (which is almost all of them). Hope.
So here are some highlights:
I liked the booth of San Francisco dealer Anthony Meier. Meier has Texas connections — he’s on the board at Chinati, which might have something to do with the fact that he shows John Chamberlain, and had a couple of small Chamberlains at the fair. Along with a hairy Donald Moffett (which reminded me of the old Angstrom Gallery, where I first saw Moffett’s work), Meier had this large Kate Shepherd:
Another dealer with roots in Texas, specifically Dallas, is James Kelly, who’s been in Santa Fe for over a decade. His first job out of college was at the DMA, and he worked in a now-defunct Dallas gallery before moving to the Land of Enchantment. His space is in the buidling across the street from Site Santa Fe, and he and his staff are always uniformly friendly and pleasant — even in boomtimes. He had a very solid booth, with a nice Darren Almond text piece as well as this Sol Lewitt print of Florence with part of the map cut out:
Scott also had very nice painted textile pieces by German artist Sati Zech:
Arthouse, one of two non-profits at the fair, showed the flag from Austin with their artist editions:
Also from Austin was Lora Reynolds, who had a nice Richard Prince dick joke…
… as well as this cut paper piece by Francesca Gabbiani.
Bill Campbell from Fort Worth had this corner piece by Tom Hollenback. I had seen a few Hollenbacks from this series at Joan Grona in San Antonio, and they are very well crafted:
Robert Kelly, Invisible Cities VII at Leslie Feely
N.C. Wyeth’s Massasoit, a study from 1945 at Bernard Goldberg
McClain Gallery‘s booth
David Bates was the unofficial "winner" of the fair, with at least two dozen works on view. This one was at Valley House‘s booth.
Finally, a surprising presence was Meredith Long, a gallery that one doesn’t normally associate with art fairs. They had this Mark Rothko from 1937 tucked around a corner.
I didn’t get images, but Pace Prints and Thomas Segal also had very nice booths. More on the fair to come.