FRIDAY FIELD TRIP: 3 Galleries To Know From the Affordable Art Fair
Got an empty wall and not a huge budget??? Get thee to the Affordable Art Fair! The Fairs are held all over the world. This weekend the Affordable Art Fair is being held in New York City at the Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street.
The Affordable Art Fair's concept is simple. Over 70 galleries form locations worldwide, representing over 500 artists, present artworks at the Fair priced between $100 and $10,000, with over half less than $5000.
Not in NYC? No worries. One of the absolute best ways to collect art is to find a gallery that you connect with and then forge a relationship with them. If you share similar tastes, the gallery will continually introduce you to emerging talent. You will be the first to know when their artists create something new, plus regular clients often get the best price for an artwork.
Art fairs are a great way to discover new galleries and artists but, remember, you are always free to deal with the gallery directly apart from the fair. Frankly I find that preferable, as I don't like the "pressure" to buy at a fair. I tend to ruminate a bit before I buy art.
To that end, I am going to share three of the best galleries at the Affordable Art Fair, plus some terrific buys.
Quantum Contemporary Art
Johnny and Tara of Quantum Contemporary Art have some of the finest eyes in the business. I have been buying from them for years. You need not take my word for it. Remember that utterly fabulous staircase gallery wall designed by Philip Mitchell with his own art collection at last year's Kip's Bay Show House? Well he is a client too.
Quantum represents a wide diversity of artists who work in a variety of mediums. There are still lifes, landscapes, sculpture and more. The unifying theme is that their artists produce work with a certain timelessness and elegance. Right up my alley.
Here are new works from two artists who I have purchased in the past that are available right now at the Affordable Art Fair:
Stiliana Alexieva is a Bulgarian artist who paints with heavy impasto on aluminum panel. Her work is highly textured and the aluminum gives the paint a unique sheen. I have a large piece hanging in my Montauk house.
I consider my still life by Jessica Brown to be one of my most prized possessions. Her work has appreciated significantly since I bought my painting, making her larger paintings too expensive for the Affordable Art Fair. However, you can still nab one of her smaller works at the Fair, like this lovely bowl of strawberries. Note that it also is a mini self portrait--her reflection is seen in the bowl. Love that.
In prior years, I also have bought paintings by Jenny Hirst and Harry Brioche from Quantum. A "best buy" at this Affordable Art Fair is a tree sculpture by Christopher Townsend. This one can be had for $1750. The form is exquisite and the shadows it throws are divine.
Vietnamese Contemporary Fine Art
I haven't bought anything from Judith Hughes Day of Vietnamese Contemporary Fine Artyet. It's only a matter of time.
Based in NYC, Judith introduces us to wonderful artists from Vietnam. I have been following artist Dinh Thi Tham Poong for some time, and was thrilled to learn that the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has recently purchased her work. I am astounded by Poong's highly detailed patterning, and adore the gold and silver accents. Each of those leaves are individually painted. I am hoping no one buys this piece at the Affordable Art Fair this weekend because I want it, but it is just outside of my budget right now. Looks like this girl needs to write a few more freelance articles.....
The paintings by Pham Luan have an impressionistic style that appeal to me. Judith explains that the Western influences in Vietnamese painting date to the French colonization of Vietnam.
I discovered Eyestorm for the first time last night at this year's Affordable Art Fair. In my opinion, their booth is quite strong. Take artist Jo Bradford for example. Inspired by Joseph Albers, Bradford's works are described as "photographs of photography" and are technically quite difficult to produce. You can have this colorful set of 15 for $4000.
Artist Henrik Simonsen's screen prints of trees also are quite colorful but his depictions of nature are otherwise obsessively accurate, showing each delicate leaf and twig. Each screen print below is roughly 30" x 30" and can be bought for $680. One would add a significant pop of color, although I love them as a set of 4.
You can bet I will be following the offerings by these galleries in the future and you can too, whether or not you make it to the Affordable Art Fair.
Photo credits: Stiliana Alexieva from Quantum Contemporary Art's website. Except for the detail shot which is my own, artwork from the Vietnamese Contemporary Fine Art from their website. Henrik Simonsen from their website. Other photos by Lynn Byrne for Decor Arts Now.