Well-Heeled Visitors Are Aplenty at Art Hamptons 2016

Art Hamptons 2016. Photo: Annie Watt, courtesy Art Hamptons.

Source: Artnet | June 24th, 2016

Expectations ran high at this year’s edition.

Following record attendance at last year’s eighth edition of Art Hamptons, expectations ran high at this year’s edition.

Taking place in Bridgehampton, the fair attracted swaths of well-heeled visitors from around the region, and the so-called secondary home community—wealthy New Yorkers escaping the sweltering city over the summer months—was out in force.

Over the years the fair has established a reputation for primarily presenting accessible and uncomplicated secondary market works in the mid-market price range. And this year the offerings yet again fell comfortably into that category.

One of the best booths was Adamar Fine Arts from Miami, which stood out for the quality of the works on display. The gallery, which specializes in pop masters, showed a variety of original work and prints by Andy Warhol, Alex Katz, Keith Haring, Robert Longo, Donald Sultan, Helen Frankenthaler, and others.

“This is my fifth year,” owner and director Tamar Edberg told artnet News. “I’ve been doing it for a long time because I have a lot of collectors in New York so its a good opportunity to see them. And I sell,” she added, “In the past we’ve been very successful here.”

Another highlight at the fair was the booth Fernando Luis Alvarez Gallery. The centerpiece of the was an eye-catching installation featuring a large crate filled with shipping material, installation hardware, food and beer packaging, and 15 small works by gallery artists. Called Art Fair Crib: Death of a Salesman (2016) the work was created by gallerist and former artist Fernando Luis Alvarez. He explained that the work “speaks for the first time to the anticipation and uncertainty gallerists and artists face in art fairs.”

Nearby, Chase Edwards Gallery, which is based in Bridgehampton, was showing reverse paintings on glass by Christopher Martin. Bonnie Edwards told artnet News that the fair shines a light on the local art scene. “It brings art to the area for people to see who may not be able to travel, and brings work to a small area like this,” she said. “It becomes an event in the Hamptons because it brings culture to an audience that really respects it.”

The booth of Galeria Habana, one of three galleries making the trip from Havana, Cuba, was based around prints and original works by the late artist Belkis Ayón. Luis Miret Pérez, director of the first time exhibitor explained that the gallery has been coming to the US since 2001 because cultural goods were exempt from the trade embargo. Nevertheless he maintained that “problems and complications with collecting payments,” have been alleviated since US-Cuban relations have thawed in recent months.

A welcome contrast to the works on view was being offered by Seven Art Gallery, from Norwalk, CT. Specializing in street and urban art, the booth included works by Retna, one-of-a-kind prints by Shepard Fairey, and drawings by renowned skateboard illustrator Jim Phillips and illustrator Glynis Sweeny.

Anna Lutz Fernandez of Seven Art Gallery told artnet News, “Because we’re a little different, we’re getting a good reaction. It’s a genre that’s been receiving a lot of attention.”

On the way out guests were mingling outside of the entrance of the 40,000 square-foot tented venue, sipping champagne and enjoying the sunshine as they ambled towards their sports cars.

This is the Hamptons after all, not Basel. Most of the visitors were probably on their way to see out the day on the deck with a sundowner; some with a new, reasonably-priced artwork under their arm.

Follow artnet News on Facebook.