ARTHAMPTONS      

HEATS
UP

 

 

The art fair’s second summer raises the temperature of the international art scene.

 

By Jack Karp

 

White triangular sails punctuating thick olive water under crisp cerulean skies, the sun setting orange off in the distance. Vivid seascapes like these are often what come to mind when thinking of the Hamptons, a beautiful seaside playground where New Yorkers and the world’s elite go for a myriad of reasons. For many people the Hamptons evoke images of windswept seas lapping up against cool, sandy beaches. But, surprisingly, many of these breathtaking images can’t be seen outside the walls of the wealthy enclave’s multimillion-dollar homes, but on them.

“The Hamptons have a century-long tradition as a world-famous marketplace for painting, art collecting, and art patronage,” says Hamptons resident and art collector Rick Friedman, founder/chairman of the ArtHamptons fair. “We currently have about 2,500 active painters living and working here.”

“This is where the rich, famous, and big art collectors spend the summer,” Friedman says of the Hamptons. With all these celebrated artists and collectors, Freidman felt “we have everything except a major international fair.”

So that is exactly what he set out to remedy when he began ArtHamptons one year ago. ArtHamptons, which will be holding its second edition from July 10-12, 2009, is the Hamptons’ first and only fine art fair spotlighting museum quality modern art.

“In a sense, I am paying homage to the Hamptons as a center for fine art by staging ArtHamptons,” says Friedman, who lives in Southampton and is himself a passionate collector of post-war New York Abstract Expressionists. “I felt it was a ‘can’t miss.’”

marilyn.jpgElliot Erwitt, Marilyn Monroe New York City, 1956, © Elliott Erwitt/Magnum Photos, Erwitt will be at ArtHamptons at the Hackelbury Fine Art gallery on Sunday, July 12, 12 to 2 p.m.

 

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Jane Wilson, Early Heat, 1993, Oil on canvas, 70” x 70”, DC Moore Gallery, NYC &
Jane Wilson, September Second: Water Mill, 1993 Oil on linen, 80” x 70”, DC Moore Gallery, NYC

Like the artists he collects, Friedman is excited and inspired by the beauty and electricity of this eastern end of Long Island “I collect the artists who painted here in the 50s through the 70s – Pollock, Krasner, de Kooning, Motherwell, Kline, Brooks, Rivers, Resnick, the usual suspects.” With over 80 important works amassed in four years, Friedman now has a major collection and brings that same passion from his own collection to ArtHamptons.
Housed in four large, connected, modular buildings, the fair hosts 64 nationally respected galleries, including New York’s Forum Gallery, Tibor de Nagy, and Gallery Henoch, as well as galleries from Toronto, Barcelona, and London. This year’s festival offers an eclectic mix of well-known masters — Larry Rivers, Donald Sultan, Jane Freilicher, August Saint-Gaudens, Childe Hassam and William Glackens — peppered with group and solo shows by younger, emerging artists, like hyper realist painter Denis Peterson, participating in the fair for the second time.


“Last year, I was interviewed by a national art magazine and offered portfolio representation by a prestigious London gallery,” Peterson reports, “neither of whom I would have met were it not for the show.”
Possibly even more important than this exposure, though, is the chance to get feedback from the audience viewing his work. “It helps me to be aware of how well the genre, style, and chosen series motif are communicating a particular visual statement to viewers,” Peterson says. “Last year’s show gave me a certain sense of direction


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Brad Kunkle, Windhandle, Oil, Gold And Silver Leaf On Canvas, 51” x 32” 2009  &  Larry Rivers Vocabulary Lesson (Polish) 1964-65 Courtesy of Tibor de Nagy Gallery, NY

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Malcom T. Liepke, Sensual, 2009, Oil on canvas, 20” x 20”, 2009, Arcadia Gallery, NYC
Lillian Bassman, Barbara Mullen, Essex House C.1950’s Gelatin silver print, Peter Fetterman Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
Andrew Wyeth, Sheepskin, 1970, a Helga painting tempera on panel, 29” x 32” ($15,000,000) Courtesy Peter Marcelle Gallery, Southampton

…that has continued to influence my work to this day.”


ArtHamptons also features panel discussions, visits to private art collections, and artists’ book signings as well as seminars on “What You Need to Know about Collecting Photography” and “Hamptons Bohemia: the Artist Playground From 1880 to Present.” Festival organizers will be giving lifetime achievement awards to painter Jane Wilson and legendary photographers Lillian Bassman

and Elliott Erwitt. “The Opening  Gala/Collectors Preview will be pretty hot,” Friedman promises. “It’s one of the social and media highlights of the summer season.”

Friedman bases that guarantee on the resounding success of last summer’s fair. In its inaugural year, approximately five thousand art lovers from around the country attended, generating a stunning $20 million in art sales. According to Friedman, “Not bad volume for a first-year fair. It’s a great time to buy important artworks,” he continues, “because primary and secondary market prices have adjusted and there are great treasures to be had at very fair prices — and you can enjoy them daily on your walls. Art is a lot more interesting and tangible now than your stock portfolio.”


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Winold Reiss (1886-1953), Observation Car, 1932 Oil on canvas, 66” x 68”, Provenance: Estate of the artist; Bernard Goldberg Fine Art, NY & East Hampton
Fernand Leger (1881-1955), Objets, Gouache, pen and ink on paper; Signed with monogram & dated 1932, 15.75” x 13” Waterhouse & Dodd / Fine Art Brokers, London, U.K.
Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Diana, originally modeled 1886; this cast 1985; Bronze with gilding, 110” x 59” x 22 ½”, Conner-Rosenkranz, New York

Friedman expects this year’s fair to be even more of a success. “The booth space has sold out with an expanded floor plan and we have a waiting list,” he says. “From a perspective of size and number of galleries, ArtHamptons has grown twenty percent over last year.”
Several major galleries will be exhibiting at ArtHamptons for the first time this summer, including DC Moore, Vered, Arcadia Gallery, Godel Fine Art, and Throckmorton. These newcomers will be joining returning galleries like Bernard Goldberg Fine Art, Grenning Gallery, June Kelly and London’s Waterhouse & Dodd. “We exhibited at the inaugural ArtHamptons in 2008 and we’re delighted to be coming back,” says Waterhouse & Dodd director Ray Waterhouse. “We made some sales last year and were also pleased with the number of terrific new contacts. I think the fair will become an established feature of summer in the Hamptons and will be a must-see for collectors.”

Friedman is especially excited this year to be “offering a wider spectrum of media... works on paper, more contemporary, more prints, more photography, art glass, objects d’art, and sculpture, both indoors and outdoors.”


Fairgoers at ArtHamptons have a diversity of
interests and are split in what they collect, he says. “I would say many invest in the masters from the 20th century. It is a big business here… and mid-career contemporary artists as well as Asian contemporary and contemporary photography also has a robust market.” Friedman expects that market to continue to be robust, despite the foundering economy. “By offering a wider selection this year – prices range from $3,000 to $15 million – I still expect a ton of sales in this affluent area,” he says. And the area is indeed affluent, in the midst of Forbes magazine’s top 10 US zip codes


Wealth isn’t the only reason Friedman is convinced ArtHamptons will continue to be a huge success. “The masters will always sell here. Not only is it a solid investment, but it’s serious cocktail talk with bragging rights. I believe the right picture at the right price will always sell.”

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