Marfa Invitational, the international art fair which was twice canceled last year due to the Coronavirus pandemic, is back on and will take place from April 22 – 25. To be renamed simply “The Invitational,” the 2021 fair, located at Saint George Hall in downtown Marfa, will include nine galleries representing the works of a dozen artists.
The 11,000 square-foot venue, part of the Hotel Saint George, has 8,000 square feet of exhibition space, and for the 2019 Marfa Invitational hosted ten invited galleries including Lora Reynolds Gallery, Austin; Vitrine, London + Basel; Nancy Littlejohn Fine Art, Houston; and other galleries from Miami, L.A., New York, and Dusseldorf.
Founder of The Invitational, artist Michael Phelan, announced last month that in the future the fair will have a new home — currently in the planing and fabrication phase. The plan: The Invitational will become a year-round, open venue featuring installations, performances, and more, and will be housed in twin steel structures with a total of 15,000 square feet of space. The project is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2021.
Even though in recent years some fairs have pared down, it’s unusual for an international art fair to be both so small and so remote. In a phone interview with Artnews in 2018, however, Phelan talked about why he feels it is appropriate for the West Texas town of Marfa to get its own art fair:
“I was really interested in seeing and viewing artists outside of the commercial context of New York and L.A. When you’re in Marfa, it’s really this kind of immersive experience where you have time to look at the works. What I wanted to create with the fair is a similar model.”
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