This is the seventh year for the Texan art fair which this time around has pulled together work from nearly 100 different galleries, primarily originating from Dallas, New York and L.A.
Held in downtown Dallas in the Arts District, the fair is testament to Dallas’s dedication to art and its fledgling Texan market. Its obviously no New York, L.A. or Miami, but Dallas is home to a significant number of high net worth individuals- amongst them the collectors Catherine Rose and Derek Wilson.
This year the fair ran concurrently with Dallas Contemporary’s exhibition of Nate Lowman’s ‘American Sneeze’ and the emphasis on American art extended to the fair. Artnet reported that whilst there was conceptual work presented at various booths in the fair ‘the work that seemed to be getting a lot of attention was the fun, splashy work.’ Pascal Spengemann of Marlborough Chelsea was in agreement: his large Mike Bouchet painting of a hamburger presented at the fair caught a lot of attention from visitors. Marlborough Chelsea’s selection for the Dallas Art Fair this year centred around some pieces of Americana: as well as the huge burger painting they also presented a Tony Matelli sculpture constructed from a beer box, a house of cards, solo cups (the red cups known to British audiences as a staple in every American frat/teen film), a keg of beer and beer cans- all cast in bronze and reassembled and offered at $120,000. Elsewhere other authentically American artworks included paintings and sculptures of shotgun shacks by Beverly Buchanan at Andrew Elin’s stand. One perhaps slightly uncomfortable New York dealer described the Dallas art crowd as ‘lots of leather and zippers’. Yet, all were in agreement that Dallas provided them with the stereotypical Southern hospitality, with dealers describing the experience of coming back to the fair repeatedly as a kind of making and maintaining of friendships.
Other notable stands included Hus Gallery which presented work by the young British artist Neil Raitt whose work was recently included in the MTV Redefine auction. The Stolper gallery presented works by Damien Hirst including prints and some of his sculptures of pills. Jessica Silverman from San Francisco presented work by Hugh Scott Douglas whose work features in the Dallas Museum of Art.
Dealers were in agreement that the pace of buying at the fair was much slower than in other cities, with potential buyers coming back for repeat viewings rather than snapping something up straight away. Nevertheless, this slow, friendly fair continues to draw galleries for repeat years.