Dallas Art Fair 2010: The Official Wrap-Up

Posh Previewing
Museum-worthy works by Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol, Bridget Riley, Joan Mitchell, Wayne Thiebaud and Henry Darger were just some of the coveted collectors%26#8217; fare on view when the Dallas Art Fair 2010 unveiled year two at the Fashion Industry Gallery. The eagerly anticipated Preview Gala, which benefitted the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, drew several hundred cognoscenti, including a significant art posse from Houston such as top%26nbsp; collectors Penelope and Lester Marks, Leigh and Reggie Smith, Jereann Chaney, Judy Nyquist, and Lea Weingarten, as well as Jonathon Glus, who directs all public art projects as CEO of Houston Arts Alliance. The museum contingent was packed with heavy-hitters such as the DMA%26#8217;s Bonnie Pitman; Nasher Sculpture Center director Jeremy Strick with wife Wendy; Artpace director Matthew Drutt, in from San Antonio with wife Claudia Schmuckli, director of the Blaffer in Houston; and curators Barry Walker of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (honored at the dealer pre-Fair party), and Valerie Cassel Oliver of Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, who was there to see Donald Moffett%26#8217;s installation at Anthony Meier%26#8217;s booth in preparation for co-organizing the artist%26#8217;s retrospective in 2011. The Fair%26#8217;s gallerists %26#8212; more than 55 notables from as far away as London, in the case of British power brokers Stuart Shave and Timothy Taylor %26#8212;%26nbsp;mixed with socials and international and Texas artists, who all turned out to mingle and, above all, peruse and buy art.
Image left: Sharon Core%26#8217;s "Early American, Still Life with Cake," 2009, at James Kelly Contemporary
Image right: John Sughrue, Marlene Sughrue
%26#8220;This is usually 20,000 square feet of empty space. Now it looks like a permanent installation,%26#8221; said Marlene Sughrue, wife of Fair co-founder John Sughrue, of the industrial warehouse turned posh white-cubed artspace. Preview chairman Eve Reid (who directs Sotheby%26#8217;s Dallas office; the auction house was among the Fair%26#8217;s patron sponsors) and Fair co-founders Chris Byrne and John Sughrue hosted the atypical affair, which they curated with artworks such as the monumental mid-1980s canvas by Ed Ruscha at the top of the stairs leading to the second-floor galleries, courtesy of exhibitor John Berggruen Gallery. (Founder John Berggruen and his wife Gretchen, in from San Francisco, hobnobbed with their many Dallas clients.) Chaise longues, sofas and armchairs from Philippe Starck%26#8217;s Priv%26#233; collection for Cassina provided a sleek design motif. A photographic mural by Venice Biennale%26#8211;exhibited Italian Angelo Musco (represented by Chicago gallerist Carrie Secrist) stopped traffic near the first-floor entrance as gala-goers ogled the thousands of nudes that comprised its ocean-wave image.

Image left: Steve Christensen, Lauren Christensen, Chris Byrne
Image right: Wayne Thiebaud%26#8217;s "Three Cupcakes," 2009, at John Berggruen Gallery
As with any extensive art collection, seeing the Fair in its entirety required more than one evening. But with a glass of Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin champagne in one hand and beautiful bites from Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek in the other (the Fair%26#8217;s presenting and patron sponsors, respectively), we sighted avid art-followers including chair-husband%26nbsp; Warren Weitman, chairman of Sotheby%26#8217;s North and South America; developer Marty Collins; Muffin Lemak; Karla McKinley, who threw her own party the next evening to welcome out-of-town collectors to her casa and toast artist James Gilbert; and curator/gallerist-on-hiatus Christina Rees. Rees%26#8217; husband, artist Richard Patterson, garnered raves at Timothy Taylor Gallery for his expressionistic canvas of a cat, which was shown under glass because it was still wet and unfinished.

Image left: Anish Kapoor%26#8217;s "Untitled," 1997, at James Kelly Contemporary
Image right: Warren Weitman, Preview Gala chair Eve Reid, Ken Downing
Private dealer Kristy Stubbs%26#8217; booth drew a crowd with its arsenal of Hirsts, as did The Public Trust%26#8217;s clever %26#8220;Fresh Cuts%26#8221; installation of must-have works on paper. The latter were exhibited like prime cuts of meat, in display cases and on hooks to suggest racks of beef or lamb. Proprietor-gallerist Brian Gibb even wore a butcher%26#8217;s smock to further the carnivore theme. A loft-style party raged upstairs, with a rock %26#8217;n%26#8217; roll band and still more major art. First stop was the Santa Fe gallery James Kelly Contemporary, where we spied Neiman Marcus%26#8217; Ken Downing and Sam Saladino looking themselves over (and straightening their dapper suits) in a shiny Anish Kapoor sculpture %26#8212; the piece%26#8217;s rumored seven-figure price tag created quite the conversational buzz. Nearby, David Yurman%26#8217;s Chris Kimbrough, along with Joanne and Charles Teichman, adored a gargantuan earring-shaped sculpture by Timothy Horn, while Betty Blake, Nancy O%26#8217;Boyle, and Mary Beth Masterson toured the transatlantic Timothy Taylor Gallery. Some took respite in the makeshift Sanani coffee lounge, including trend-spotting gallerist David Quadrini, back from L.A. for the Fair; Ana and Sherrill Pettus; art advisor Cindy Schwartz with star lensman/Yale professor Gregory Crewdson, who lectured at the DMA earlier in the day; LeeLee Gioia; exhibiting Dallas gallerists Marty Walker, Lisa Brown, and Talley Dunn; collector types Lindsey and Patrick Collins, who shopped D%26#8217;Amelio Terras%26#8217; booth; Colton %26amp; Farb duo Deborah Colton and Carolyn Farb; Jan and Jim Showers; Laura and Bob Wilson; Sally Rosen; Mike Mullins; Katherine Perot; and Jennifer and John Eagle, whose modernist house and well-edited collection were toured that weekend as a perk for Fair VIP ticket holders; and Wells Fargo honchos Steve Christensen with wife Lauren, Clayton Fisher, Charles Dix, Trip Bomar, and Mark Boom, who hosted a preview reception for their VIP clients an hour before the grand gala opening. Art Fair sponsors fulfilled their duties, such as presenting sponsors Christophe Charrier, Bianca Benavides Anderson, and Cyndi Mendez of Mo%26#235;t Hennessy, whose Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin bubbly helped fuel the artistic buzz.

Image left: Michael Craig-Martin, Kenny Goss
Image right: Michael Craig-Martin%26#8217;s "Commissioned Portrait," 2007, at The Goss-Michael Foundation
The Next Night: Goss-Michael Foundation%26#8217;s Chromatic Celebration
When it came to the parties that followed the big opening night, the action was nonstop. One of the hottest tickets during the busy weekend was The Goss-Michael Foundation%26#8217;s Friday-evening VIP view of its Michael Craig-Martin exhibit and toast to the Dallas Art Fair%26#8217;s commencement. More than 200 art A-listers and a spectrum of socials walked the red carpet during Kenny Goss and Joyce Goss%26#8217; flashbulb-worthy evening. Admiring the extraordinary chromatic career of Londoner Craig-Martin (who%26#8217;s also celebrated as Damien Hirst%26#8217;s professor) were Chantal Salomon-Lee; the DMA%26#8217;s Charlie Wylie; New York dealer Chris D%26#8217;Amelio, with gallerist colleague-Dallas native Trina Gordon; Aphrodite Gonou, art advisor to Kenny Goss and George Michael, in from London; Jeffrey Grove; Frank Bernarducci; Houston-based Pop collectors Dorene and Frank Herzog, he, Texas rep for AXA Art insurance; Stuart Glass; Dallas Contemporary director Joan Davidow, who hosted her own happening the next night, welcoming 1,000 to christen the nonprofit%26#8217;s new Design District space; Christen Wilson; Brian Bolke; Faisal Halum; makeup maven Susan Posnick, who told us she was contemplating a work by Rachel Hovnanian from Jason McCoy%26#8217;s booth; Shanon Schwimmer; Robin and Steve Ladik; and Houston gallerists Wade Wilson, representing McKay Otto, and Barbara Davis with exhibiting sculptor Paul Fleming (whose installation from hydrocal and juicy-hued resin earned him attention and post-Fair commissions).
Image left: Todd Eberle
Image right: Dario Robleto%26#8217;s "The Citizen-Doctor," 2009, at D%26#8217;Amelio Terras
Also taking it in %26#8212; and snapping away madly %26#8212; was Vanity Fair lensman Todd Eberle, in from NYC to cover the new Cowboys Stadium. We spied Dallas Museum of Art director Bonnie Pitman, who came early and viewed Craig-Martin%26#8217;s colorful collection of paintings, wall drawings and computer portraits with Goss-Michael associate curator James Cope. The men of the hour, Goss and Craig-Martin, arrived together and were immediately greeted by the DMA%26#8217;s leading lady. %26#8220;Now we can really see the art and talk,%26#8221; said Craig-Martin to Pitman as he led her through his conceptual show. Nearby, GMF curator Filippo Tattoni-Marcozzi and Mike Masters lounged on a sofa beneath Craig-Martin%26#8217;s animated LED-screen portraits of Kenny Goss and George Michael. The vivid depictions changed hues without ever repeating the same combination twice. %26#8220;The Duchess of Devonshire %26#8212; you know, the best duchess there is %26#8212; she is going to have one made,%26#8221; Goss whispered to us of the famously futuristic commissioned portraits.

Image left: Deborah Colton, Carolyn Farb
Image middle: Joan Bankemper%26#8217;s "Dion," 2009/2010 at Nancy Hoffman Gallery
Image right: Leigh Smith, Jereann Chaney
Behind the Canvases, Inside the Booths%26nbsp; %26#8212; Catherine D. Anspon reports.
%26#8226; David Graeve%26#8217;s stack-of-eyeglasses sculpture was acquired by Luxury Marketing Council%26#8217;s Pamela Martin-Duarte and husband Ignacio from gallerists Deborah Colton and Carolyn Farb. But the hottest artist at Colton %26amp; Farb was Nathaniel Donnett, whose paintings on simple brown paper bags detailing the African-American experience not only sold out but resulted in an offer for a New York solo. At least one museum also expressed interest in the emerging Texan. Also at C%26amp;F, Houston- and New York%26#8211;based artist Molly Gochman caught the eye of Sotheby%26#8217;s power couple Eve Reid and Warren Weitman, who took home a large-format photograph.

%26#8226; Brian Gibb of The Public Trust rushed up to us on Sunday, whispering that Laura Bush had stopped by to purchase a Charley Harper nature-themed work on paper. But my favorite find at Gibb%26#8217;s booth %26#8212; and surely the most affordable offering of the Fair %26#8212; was Dallas artist Billy Zinser%26#8217;s Macrodoons sculptures, a real deal at just $40 per portable masterpiece. I now have one on my desk.

%26#8226; Seen shopping at Peter Fetterman Gallery were Marlene and John Sughrue. The pair decided upon a black-and-white photograph by Brazilian talent Sebasti%26#227;o Salgado %26#8212; a dramatic image showing an ice flow in Antarctica.

%26#8226; Dallas dealer Dunn and Brown Contemporary%26#8217;s booth was hopping, garnering attention for its strong mix of Texans such as David Bates, Aaron Parazette and Erick Swenson, as well as international it-girl Tara Donovan, who mines everyday materials such as Mylar into sculptures tinged with magic; D and B reported sales of artworks by Kiki Smith (a bronze editioned piece), Helen Frankenthaler (a pair of 2003 woodcuts) and Susie Rosmarin (a recent canvas).

Image left: Timothy Taylor, Richard Patterson, Jennifer %26amp; John Eagle
Image right: Amanda M. Smith%26#8217;s "Hummer," 2008, at Andrew Edlin Gallery
%26#8226; At Marty Walker Gallery, an abstract, architectural wall sculpture by Dallas artist Jay Shinn caught the attention of exhibiting Houston dealer Barbara Davis. After a studio visit the next day, she offered Shinn a prime spot in her 2010 lineup, where he will be the featured artist in the Introductions show this summer.

%26#8226; Major excitement swirled around the booth of San Francisco gallerist Anthony Meier, whose single-person show for Donald Moffett completely sold out. Moffett will be the subject of a 20-year retrospective next year co-organized by the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston and the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh. The Moffetts deserved their success. They were the stars of the Fair.

%26#8226; Jason McCoy%26#8217;s monographic installation of New York artist (and former Texan) Rachel Hovnanian was another high-traffic destination. Hovnanian%26#8217;s work was available in an extensive range of media and price ranges %26#8212; from $1,000 to five-figures for a Carrera marble totem, a version of which stood guard in the dining room at Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek. The artist was on hand throughout the weekend to discuss her provocative take on female beauty.

%26#8226; Outsider dealer Andrew Edlin Gallery%26#8217;s Blair Brooks reported:%26nbsp; %26#8220;The fair went well. Among the works sold was a major Tom Duncan piece, The Women of the New Amsterdam Insurance Company Get Dressed for Work (2009), as well as a Chris Doyle lightbox work, Apocalypse Management Panorama (2009) ... there was a lot of very positive, very thorough interest in the booth. The large work by Henry Darger got a lot of attention; being able to view such a piece in any venue is truly special.%26#8221;

Image left: Rachel Hovnanian, Ara Hovnanian
Image right: Large Mask of Dignitary, Olmec Culture %26#8212; Gulf Coast of Mexico, 1200 - 600 BC, at William Siegal Gallery
Top Picks from the Fair
Meet Miz Ab Ex. At Lennon, Weinberg, a cache of beguiling, classic Joan Mitchells including a never-before-exhibited early canvas circa 1958 led to a memorable dialogue about owner Jill Weinberg%26#8217;s friendship with Mitchell; she met the late ab ex mistress when she was a fledgling gallerist and became a confidant, even traveling with Mitchell and visiting her in France. Weinberg%26#8217;s openness and genuineness about her friendship with Mitchell was a personal highlight of the Fair, transcending sales and the marketplace.

Outrageous Basketry. Towering Asian basketry at Tai Gallery stopped us in our tracks: The skill and microscopic attention to detail by these Japanese artisans were belied by a wild Baroque attitude. An art form both surreal and serene at the same time, Tai%26#8217;s basketry would energize even the most minimal artspace.

Time Travel. Another New Mexico denizen, William Siegal Gallery, seamlessly combined the ancient with the contemporary, with pre-Columbian masks, 600-year-old Incan textiles and other hypnotic and rare artifacts cozying up to au currant painting and sculpture. (But the artifacts are the works that we remember best.)

Abstraction Junction. Texas Gallery scored points for the most understated booth in the Fair, presenting small masterworks spanning multiple generations by abstract painters including Andrew Masullo and Stephen Mueller.

Photorealists Rise. Artspace 111%26#8217;s booth could rival even photorealist kingmaker dealer Louis K. Meisel, starring paintings by Fort Worth denizen Daniel Blagg, who captured Vegas in all its glitz and tawdry glory.%26nbsp;%26nbsp;%26nbsp;%26nbsp;

Dazzling Dunn and Brown. See our sales report, above. The most artfully curated booth in the Fair. Period. Once again, D and B proved Texas art is the equal of any international.
Image left: Cyndi Mendez, Bianca Benavides Anderson
Image right: Angelo Musco%26#8217;s installation at Carrie Secrist%26#8217;s booth
Press Time. Not shy with their print-making, the hallowed University of Wisconsin imprint Tandem Press rolled out riotous, limited-edition, woodblock collages by Judy Pfaff.

Hello, 19th Century. At James Kelly, we fell for New York photographer Sharon Core%26#8217;s redux of 19th-century American still life painters, extraordinary homages to pre-Civil War masters such as Raphaelle Peale.%26nbsp;

We Love Dario. Another time traveler is Dario Robleto, represented at both Inman and D%26#8217;Amelio Terras galleries %26#8212; the former, one of Robleto%26#8217;s original supporters; the latter, boasting a showstopping work with patriot overtones titled The Citizen-Doctor (2009.

Luscious Cakes. It was also hard to beat the sensuous, sweet paint handling of West Coast Pop painter Wayne Thiebaud. The octogenarian was represented by three masterworks at long-time Bay Area dealer John Berggruen.

Surface of the Moon. Was there really anything better than Anthony Meier%26#8217;s one-person exhibit featuring Donald Moffett%26#8217;s tactile, otherworldly three-dimensional paintings that suggested the moon%26#8217;s surface punctuated by strange footprints?

Image left: Alex Katz%26#8217;s "Marina," 2009, at Timothy Taylor Gallery
Image right: Barry Whistler, Allison V. Smith

Femme Revolution. Rachel Hovnanian enlisted sculpture, photography and video with great aplomb to convey her %26#8220;Burden of Beauty%26#8221; theme at Jason McCoy.

Way-Out Ceramics. At the conjunction of art and craft, an almost kitsch sculpture by internationally exhibited Joan Bankemper %26#8212; a hard-to-miss highlight of Nancy Hoffman%26#8217;s booth %26#8212; combined porcelain tchotchkes with antique china plates, producing exuberant Rococo confectionary towers.%26nbsp;%26nbsp;

Ritualistic and Sublime. An ambassador from the East, Sundaram Tagore presented immersive color-field paintings by Indian master Natvar Bhavsar. His canvases bear powdered pigments that reference his native country%26#8217;s folk festivals of Holi and Rangoli.

Musco Was a Must. Kudos to Chicago dealer Carrie Secrist, whose booth combined Angelo Musco%26#8217;s obsessive photographs based on nature (a wave, a web) formed from thousands of nudes alongside Carolyn Ottmers%26#8217; stainless-steel branches that surreally dangled from the ceiling to subvert reality.

Hoorah for the Outsiders. See our sales report, above. Finally, we were won over by Andrew Edlin Gallery%26#8217;s display of acclaimed outsiders such as Henry Darger and Tom Duncan, alongside contemporary Amanda M. Smith, the queen of the ceramic vignette.

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