Fairs USA

More satellite fairs for Armory Show

But can this number of fairs survive beyond 2010?

NEW YORK. The first week of March will see several satellite fairs descend on New York to coincide with the Armory Show (4-7 March), including Scope, Pulse, Volta, Pool, Fountain and Red Dot as well as three new entries: Independent, Verge and Critical Design.

Independent is the brainchild of Chelsea dealer Elizabeth Dee and Darren Flook of London’s Hotel Gallery. “We’re creating a community of 30 dealers and non-profits in the former Dia space in Chelsea,” said Dee, revealing that there will be no dividing walls between dealer booths.

Critical Design is led by Sheldon LaPierre, head of marketing for the Dutch design collective gallery Droog in Soho, and Ambre Kelly, who has a Brooklyn based PR firm, The They Co. They have secured a 20,000 sq. ft loft at 525 West 25th Street. “Our fees are $33 per sq. ft, with the biggest stand costing $20,000,” said LaPierre.

Other signs of growth include Volta’s solo exhibition fair which now totals 84 dealers, up 11 on last year. “We’ve seen a drop-off from New York-based dealers, but we’ve filled those slots with galleries from Texas, Boston and Chicago, as well as Europe,” said project manager Lesley Tully, revealing that fees are $52 per sq. ft.

Scope has grown by three dealers to 50 for its ninth edition, which will take place in a tent in Damrosch Park in Lincoln Center where stands cost from $8,000 to $30,000.

Red Dot, the painting and photography fair brainchild of Chelsea dealer George Billis, has also increased in size. “We have grown beyond a hotel,” said Billis, adding that, for the first time, there will be a $10 admission charge to the 24,000 sq. ft venue at Skyline on Tenth Avenue and 36th Street.

Pool has upgraded to the Gershwin Hotel on 27th Street at Fifth Avenue. Founder Thierry Alet has taken 30 rooms and expects well over 65 artists, as opposed to 70 last year. He has lowered, fair fees from $1,650 to $1,450.

Verge bills itself as the “only fair exclusively for emerging artists” and has staked out the Devlin Hotel, 52 East 41st Street, from 5-7 March. 

Fountain has pulled in 17 participants—up from 10 last year at Pier 66. “We never raise our fees, offer week-long installation and pick up all shipping costs,” said David Kesting, fair producer and partner in the Leo Kesting Gallery.

Bucking the trend for expansion, Pulse has changed its dealer profile, with 60 galleries as opposed to 101 last year. There are fewer New York gallerists as some, including Yossi Milo and Julie Saul, have moved on to the Armory, and out-of-towners have signed on.

The fair has moved from Pier 40 to 330 West Street, a former freight warehouse with 30-foot high ceilings. The new venue means fairgoers no longer have to cross the treacherous West Side Highway.

So can this number of satellites survive beyond 2010? “It’s virtually impossible to see everything effectively so the serious collector will prioritise and develop an agenda,” said Manhattan-based art consultant Thea Westreich. “A lot of the art will not be seen by a critical audience,” she added.

More from The Art Newspaper


13 Feb 10
19:36 CET


There is just not enough good art out there for this many art fairs!

Submit a comment

All comments are moderated. If you would like your comment to be approved, please use your real name, not a pseudonym. We ask for your email address in case we wish to contact you - it will not be made public and we do not use it for any other purpose.


Want to write a longer comment to this article? Email letters@theartnewspaper.com


Share this