ArtHamptons 2011

ArtHamptons 2011

Andrea Kowch, Soujourn, Acrylic on canvas, 72"x 60" Courtesy of Richard J. Demato Fine Arts Gallery.

Andrea Kowch, Soujourn, Acrylic on canvas, 72″x 60″
Courtesy of Richard J. Demato Fine Arts Gallery.

Despite several days met by exceptional weather and the iconic summer light that has driven artists to Long Island’s East End for decades, collectors, art lovers, celebrities, and casual observers alike suspended their beach time this past July weekend to attend the fourth annual ArtHamptons international art fair of post-war and contemporary artworks.

Patrick Dawson of Birnam Wood Galleries (East Hampton) said, “We were sort of up against it with the weather since it was so beautiful. We know what it’s like out here, when there are days like this, people go to the beach or play golf instead of coming to an art show. Given that, the crowd was really good, people were engaged with the quality of artwork.”

According to ArtHamptons, attendance in Bridgehampton, NY, July 7-10, soared to more than 9,500 people (compared to the 8,000 in the previous year). Sales in the $10,000 to $40,000 range predominated and quickly mounted to approximately $5 million in total.

“Collectors were impressed by the quality of the art and the architectural design and comfortable viewing space of the fair building,” said Rick Friedman, ArtHamptons’ founder. “Dealers were impressed by the nonstop flow of tastemakers over the four days and learned not to misjudge the purchasing power of people wearing shorts and t-shirts,” he added.

Sales being discussed this past week were a $2.4 million Franz Kline painting, and a $1.2 million Wifredo Lam, which if consummated, will increase the final sales total to more than $8 million.

This year’s ArtHamptons slimmed down to 77 galleries in order to provide fairgoers a more cogent, manageable viewing and art- buying experience. There were 4,000 artworks and 500 artists represented. The international galleries were from Israel, Korea, Japan, Greece, U.K. Canada, Spain, China, and Finland. The Woolff Gallery, (London) and The Cynthia Corbett Gallery, (London), sold their entire ArtHamptons inventories.

Nemo Jantzen of Villa del Arte (Barcelona), commented, “We always do well in the Hamptons, but this year was very successful. The difference is most of the collectors and people are from New York, and everyone is on ‘relax’ mode or on holiday, so it’s different than doing a fair in another city.” Villa sold 34 pieces of their inventory and rounding up additional sales to finish at 39 including photographs by Columbian born artist, Willy Rojas. Rojas depicts colorful, bright, humoristic figurines interacting with their edible environments. Tiny people ski down slopes of salt or swim and splash in a wedge of watermelon.

3,000 Hamptonites, out-of-towners and a dash of celebrities attended the opening preview surpassing last year’s 2,000 attendees and making it the largest art opening thus far in the Hamptons. According to dealers, celebrity sightings included Jon Bon Jovi, several “housewives” from reality television program “The Real Housewives of New York City”, Russell Simmons, and actor Kelsey Grammer.

Ronnie Anderson of Keszler Gallery (New York, Southhampton), stated, “I thought it went really well. It seems like there were more people and buyers this year, much more interest. I definitely see a difference…a different energy. “

Keszler sold three of the “Dark Bars” at ArtHamptons by artist and sculptor Peter Anton, known for the subject matter of his mouth watering desserts including his “bigger than life” boxed chocolates.

“People get tired of the beach and want a distraction. Clients are also renovating and buying new places or redoing their homes, and needing more artwork. . I think it goes hand in hand – there is definitely an upswing. We are very pleased this year,” added Anderson.

Other US galleries also reported sales of artwork including Emmanuel Fremin Gallery, NY, who sold an entire wall of photographs to a major Russian collector – 22 pieces in total including photographs by Thomas Barbey, Drew Tal, and Giuseppe Mastromatteo.

Emmanuel Fremin of Emmanuel Fremin Gallery (New York) said, “ It’s the third time we have done Art Hamptons, but this year is the best we have done so far. We sold everything on this wall. “We had a lot of clients that came in and knew what they wanted, and would purchase 2-3 pieces at time,” said Fremin.

All sales where packed with aluminum art bags called “Artstrong” that Emmanuel Fremin launched in the USA who also sold works by celebrity photographer Antoine Verglas including “Carre Otis” and “Penelope”.

“We have a location in New York, but many of our clients have homes out in the Hamptons. They might have seen an artist in New York and remember the name, or image, and then purchase it out here. Also, there are not many galleries focusing on photography,” said Fremin.

Local Hamptons gallery Richard Demato of Richard J. Demato Fine Arts (Sag Harbor) who exclusively represents painter [link2post id=”42″]Andrea Kowch[/link2post], known for her rich symbolism and mood in dreamlike scenarios, said, “The entire event was significantly better. Last year there were issues that have been overcome and this year it’s a nice place to be. It’s very successful. Kowch opens next Sunday in Sag and we basically have sold half the show.” Demanto sold 8 out of its 12 pieces of artwork by Kowch, including “The Feast”, at $40,000.

Russell Simmons, who received the ArtHamptons Arts Patron of the Year award, bought art at the Portico New York. His brother, the painter, Danny Simmons, and a co-recipient of the award, was represented at ArtHamptons by the Bill Hodges Gallery, NY. The gallery sold works by Beauford Delaney, Jacob Lawrence and Norman Lewis, among other African-American artists.

KIWI Arts Group, Miami, sold a record 18 of William John Kennedy’s newly published prints of Robert Indiana and Andy Warhol. The daily multiple screenings of Kennedy’s documentary, “Full Circle: Before They Were Famous,” followed by discussions by Warhol superstars Ultra Violet and Taylor Mead, were filled to capacity.

Fremin smiling, added, “It’s a great fair. We’ll be back next year.”


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