TEFAF New York has concluded with reports of strong sales and good attendance. The premier fair for fine art drew bustling crowds when it opened at the Park Avenue Armory with an energetic preview day on Thursday, May 11th, and hosted tens of thousands of visitors throughout its additional five-day run. Attendees included celebrities, prominent international collectors, and the leadership of more than 90 museums and institutions.
The dynamic group of visitors at the VIP Preview marked a 50% increase in attendance since 2022. One dealer commented, “I’m in awe of the guests who’ve come to the fair.” Notable attendees included collector Yusaku Maezawa; curators Klaus Biesenbach and Hans Ulrich Obrist; and celebrities Woody Allen and Soon-Yi, Emily Blunt, Jane Holzer, Scarlett Johansson, Colin Jost, John Krasinski, Don Lemon, Julianne Moore, Sienna Miller, Stanley Tucci, and Young Paris. There was a noteworthy increase of young collectors in attendance, reflecting the current market and manifold crowd of TEFAF New York.
The 91 international exhibitors concluded the fair with excellent sales and museum acquisitions. Bernard Goldberg Fine Arts (Booth 357) sold a pair of long-lost murals that late German artist Winold Reiss painted in 1938 for the Empire State Building’s former Longchamps restaurant — an exciting discovery and sale. A highlight of TEFAF’s Creative Spaces, François-Xavier Lalanne’s standout Sauterelle (“Grasshopper”) Bar presented by Mennour (Booth 314) also sold. Almine Rech (Booth 322) had multiple sales including Günther Forg’s oil on canvas Ohne Titel (2008), which had an asking price of $1.4-1.5 million, and works by Chloe Wise, Tom Wesselmann, and Vaughn Spann. White Cube (Booth 355) sold White Semaphores (standing mobile) (1962) by Alexander Calder for $1.1 million as well as a gelatin silver print by Larry Clark for $10,000.
An interest in female artists continued for the run of the fair with Leon Tovar (Booth 366) selling sculptures by artist Tecla Tofano as well as Feliza Bursztyn. They also had four pieces on reserve for important institutions. Thaddaeus Ropac (Booth 344) sold multiple works from its solo presentation of Martha Jungwirth and Galerie Chastel-Maréchal (Booth 310) sold a stunning work by Line Vautrin, “Crete de coq” mirror, circa 1960. From its solo presentation of Meret Oppenheim, Di Donna (Booth 334) sold multiple works, including a sculpture that was sold to a major American institution and three works on paper.
From their solo presentation of Josef Albers focusing on paintings from his Variant/Adobe series, David Zwirner (Booth 347) sold multiple works including several to an Asian museum. A museum also purchased Matt Mullican’s Untitled (Man and His Symbols) (2016), a collage and ink on paper with an asking price of $185,000, from Peter Freeman (Booth 306) — which additionally sold works by Charles Ledray and Mel Bochner.
Applicat-Prazan (Booth 339) sold a 1949 Dubuﬀet drawing as well as Composition avec personnage (1948-1950), an oil on canvas by Dutch artist Karel Appel. Charles Ede (Booth 356) met with several new clients, including a prominent U.S.-based collector who purchased an Egyptian polychrome sarcophagus panel from the Late Dynastic Period for $175,000. The Mayor Gallery (Booth 375) sold a painting by Verena Loewensberg to an American collector.
Tornabuoni (Booth 353) leadership shared, “We are happy to report that the 2023 edition of TEFAF New York was very successful for us. We met new collectors and found buyers for works by Carla Accardi, Paolo Scheggi, Dadamaino, Alberto Biasi, and Alighiero Boetti.” They sold works to private collections as well as foundations and institutions and added, “Without a doubt, one of the best editions of TEFAF NY for Tornabuoni.”
Ariadne Galleries (Booth 212) had a strong show selling one of two contemporary works in addition to several ancient sculptures, particularly in the $200,000-400,000 range. Tina Kim (Booth 354) had a successful exhibition with sales of works by Park Seo-Bo, Ha Chong-Hyun, and Kibong Rhee. They also placed several pieces by Pacita Abad, who is currently the subject of both a major, traveling retrospective on view at the Walker Art Center, and a solo exhibition at their gallery in Chelsea.
The engaging programming roster at TEFAF New York ran through Monday, May 15 and featured talks with exhibitors such as Gallery Hyundai and Mennour, among others; conversations around artwork displays and curation; and setting standards for art advisors and additional events.
TEFAF provides patrons with a unique fair experience through its combination of museum-quality modern and contemporary works in dialogue with antiquities, jewellery, and design objects.
TEFAF Maastricht will be held in the MECC Maastricht from March 7-14, 2024.