TEFAF New York Spring 2018 Draws Impressive Crowds and Artworks

TEFAF New York Spring 2018
Source: TEFAF

Last week the European art fair, TEFAF, launched its spring edition at the Park Avenue Armory. Now in its second year, the TEFAF New York Spring 2018 show drew impressive crowds and galleries from across the globe. This year’s fair featured a mix of contemporary and modern art, mixed in with antiques, furniture, and jewelry.

As you entered the fair you were greeted by gorgeous floral arrangements suspended from the ceiling. But on second glance there was also a distinctive piece of art hanging as well– a sculpture by the artist Alexander Calder.

During TEFAF New York Spring 2018, Calder seemed to definitely be having a moment. Pieces of his could be found throughout the fair in different booths, and having a sculpture hanging over the entrance of the main space only served as a reminder of the timelessness of his art.

TEFAF New York Spring 2018
Cy Twombly, Thyrsis, 1976; Source: Galerie Karsten Greve AG

Despite Calder’s undeniable popularity, there were other works featured at the fair that also seemed to capture this moment in the art world. American painter Cy Twombly’s work was very apparent in this year’s fair as well. There were several noticeable pieces of Twombly’s work sprinkled throughout the different booths which were another delight to see in the context of this fair.

TEFAF New York Spring 2018 featured 90 galleries and vendors from across the globe and the works ran the gamut. It was held from May 4th to the 8th, and it’s hard to believe with the huge crowds that this year’s fair drew that it’s still only in its second year in NYC.

There were some new additions to this year’s fair including Gagosian, Gladstone Gallery, Hauser & Wirth, Marian Goodman Gallery, Lévy Gorvy, and White Cube among others.

Other notable works included Robert Gober at Matthew Marks Gallery. Gober who is primarily a sculptor, works with a variety of materials from plaster to wood and plays with everyday objects that are altered in funny and unpredictable ways.

The Gober works in the Matthew Marks booth featured a series of plaster cast hearts that were encased in glass and made to look like small light boxes that hung from the walls. There is also a Gober show that is currently on display at Matthew Marks through May 13.

In an unprecedented move, Matthew Marks also showcased the “White Yellow” by Ellsworth Kelly which was the first time the painting had been on view to the public in close to 60 years. The painting made its original debut in 1958 through Kelly’s then gallery Galerie Maegh in both New York and Paris.

TEFAF New York Spring 2018
John Armleder, Bon Vivant, 2017. Source: Massimo de Carlo

Massimo de Carlo, an international gallery based in Milan, London and Hong Kong also brought some whimsy to the fair this year with works by John Armleder. MDC featured works by the Swiss painter and performance artist that were a series of paintings.

On large canvases that measured roughly 3′, x 4′, Armleder used various colors of paint that he splattered onto the canvas resulting in controlled, long streaks that coat the surface at different lengths and create different forms.

The artist then applied a thin layer of glitter to the paint giving it a level of sheen. These paintings which play on chance, have been created in various contexts and draw on the artist’s interest in both performance and composition and his interest in a what Armleder calls a “supermarket of forms.

TEFAF New York Spring 2018
Zoe Leonard, Albert’s Beauty (From the Series Analogue). Dye Transfer Prin t50 x 40 cm (19.7 x 15.7 in.) Source: Galerie 1900-2000.

The German-based art gallery Galerie 1900-2000 featured the work of a number of great artists including photographer Zoe Leonard and Marcel Duchamp among others. The work from Leonard was also a bright spot within the fair. Galerie 1900 displayed works from Leonard’s “Analogue series” which she photographed between 1998-2009.

Within this series of photographs, Leonard took a total of 412 images which was a huge achievement for the artist. The images depict scenes of urban and domestic spaces are from all over the globe from Africa to Asia. They featured 40 photographs in total from Leonard.

The original work was also featured in an installation at the Museum of Modern Art in 2015, and Leonard is also fresh off her retrospective at the Whitney Museum.

TEFAF New York Spring 2018
A geometric tired ring with three pyramidal hematites, Suzanne Beleperron. Silver and hematite Diameter 1.7 cm (0.8 in.) Circa 1930s. Source: FD Gallery

Despite an emphasis on fine and contemporary art, there were also several exhibitors who had jewelry, furniture and other luxury items. New York based FD Gallery brought a beautiful selection of vintage jewelry.

Their art deco rings were a sight to behold with gems that ranged in shapes, sizes, colors, and cuts. One unique piece featured was the tired geometric art deco ring by designer Suzanne Belperron from the 1930s. The ring features three pyramid shapes made from hematite that sits on a tired silver base.

This year’s spring fair also featured a series of lectures from contemporary art experts, art historians, as well as top conservators, and academics. Some notable speakers included Beth Wees, curator of American Decorative Arts at the MET, Christopher Apostle of Sotheby’s, and Michael Gallagher Conservator in Charge, Department of Painting at the MET, among others.

Although TEFAF New York Spring 2018 is still young, it is making its mark on the contemporary art world and art fair circuit. With this spring’s impressive showing people are excited to see what the fall and future fairs will bring.

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About the Author:

Anni Irish has been a contributing writer to several online publications including Boston based publication, The Dig, New York Arts Magazine, and ArteFuse among others. She holds a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts University, an MA in Gender and Cultural Studies from Simmons College, and an MA in Performance Studies from New York University.