International Dealers Make Art Southampton Worth the Trip

SLIDESHOW: Our 30 favorite works from the summer's last fair.

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Kelly Reemsten,
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Maria Berrio, "Nativity", Praxis Gallery
Maria Berrio, "Nativity", Praxis Gallery.
Photo: Cait Munro
Swoon, "Neenee" (2014)
Swoon, "Neenee" (2014), Tagliatella Galleries.
Photo: Cait Munro
Kelly Reemsten, "Power Source" (2014), De Buck Gallery.
Kelly Reemsten, "Power Source" (2014), De Buck Gallery.
Photo: Cait Munro
Damien Hirst, "Superstition" (2007)
Damien Hirst, "Superstition" (2007), set of 12 china plates. Detail shot. Archeus/Post-Modern.
Photo: Cait Munro
Mia Fonssagrives-Solow, Assorted Sculptures (2011-2014)
Mia Fonssagrives-Solow, Assorted Sculptures (2011-2014), Eric Firestone Gallery.
Photo: Cait Munro
Rabbit wall, detail shot, Gallery Valentine
Rabbit wall, detail shot, Gallery Valentine.
Photo: Cait Munro
Vivian Springford, "Untitled, Expansionist Series" (1977)
Vivian Springford, "Untitled, Expansionist Series" (1977), VVFA Modern.
Photo: Cait Munro
Mauro Perucchetti, "0.9 Jelly Baby Family" (2012)
Mauro Perucchetti, "0.9 Jelly Baby Family" (2012), Sponder Gallery.
Photo: Cait Munro
Jeff Koons, "Lips Plate" (2013), Sponder Gallery
Jeff Koons, "Lips Plate" (2013), Sponder Gallery.
Photo: Cait Munro
David Buckingham, "Porn Dialog Big", Caldwell Snyder Gallery.
Photo: Cait Munro
Shane Bradford, "Digging" (2013), Voltz Clarke
Shane Bradford, "Digging" (2013), Voltz Clarke.
Photo: Cait Munro
Sheila Giolitti, "Reverie II", Mayer Fine Art
Sheila Giolitti, "Reverie II", Mayer Fine Art.
Photo: Cait Munro
Suh Jeong Min, "The Old Memory II" (2014),
Suh Jeong Min, "The Old Memory II" (2014), JanKossen Contemporary.
Photo: Cait Munro
Suh Jeong Min, "The Old Memory II", detail
Suh Jeong Min, "The Old Memory II", detail.
Photo: Cait Munro
Troy Simmons, "Genesis II, III" (2014)
Troy Simmons, "Genesis II, III" (2014), JanKossen Contemporary.
Photo: Cait Munro
Sun-Tai Yoo, "The Words (My Garden)" (2014), Galerie Gaia
Sun-Tai Yoo, "The Words (My Garden)" (2014), Galerie Gaia.
Photo: Cait Munro
Greg Haberny, "Burn It Down" (2014), Catinca Tabacaru Gallery
Greg Haberny, "Burn It Down" (2014), Catinca Tabacaru Gallery.
Photo: Cait Munro
Greg Haberny, "Burn It Down"
Greg Haberny, "Burn It Down", detail.
Photo: Cait Munro
Desire Obtain Cherish, Unix Gallery.
Photo: Cait Munro
Justin Bower, Unix Gallery
.Justin Bower, Unix Gallery
Photo: Cait Munro
WhIsBe, "Vandal Gummy Series" (2014), Keszler Gallery.
Photo: Cait Munro
Bäst, "Batman & Robins" (2014), Eric Firestone Gallery.
Photo: Cait Munro
Anna Navasardian, "Child 15", Claire Oliver Gallery.
Anna Navasardian, "Child 15", Claire Oliver Gallery.
Photo: Cait Munro
Elizabeth Glaessner, "Stickman" (2013),
Elizabeth Glaessner, "Stickman" (2013), New York Academy of Art.
Photo: Cait Munro
Steffen Dam, "9 Jars" (2013-2014)
Steffen Dam, "9 Jars" (2013-2014), Heller Gallery.
Photo: Cait Munro
Sibylle Peretti, "Making Birds" (2014)
Sibylle Peretti, "Making Birds" (2014), Heller Gallery.
Photo: Cait Munro
Enrique Gomez de Molina, "Fable" (2014), Pan American Art.
Enrique Gomez de Molina, "Fable" (2014), Pan American Art.
Photo courtesy of the artist and Pan American Art.
Rob Pruitt, "Rorschach Bamboo" (2003)
Rob Pruitt, "Rorschach Bamboo" (2003), Archeus/Post-Modern.
Photo: Cait Munro
Jean-Michel Basquiat, "Untitled" (1985)
Jean-Michel Basquiat, "Untitled" (1985), Archeus/Post-Modern.
Photo: Cait Munro
Guests mingle at Gallery nine5
Guests mingle at Gallery nine5.
Photo: Daniel Pellenberg
The Great Dane Collection's booth
The Great Dane Collection's booth.
Photo: Daniel Pellenberg
Booth AS29, detail
Booth AS29, detail.
Photo: Daniel Pellenberg

Art Southampton, the last and arguably most highbrow of the three Hamptons art fairs, certainly lives up to reputation in its third year. At the VIP preview on Thursday night, predictably well-heeled guests sipped Ruinart champagne and nibbled on lobster sliders in an expansive pavilion on the grounds of the Southampton Elks Lodge. But before we dive into the art, let’s get all your undoubtedly burning questions out of the way. Are there Graff diamonds being sold and displayed around the necks of lanky models? Yes. Is there a cushy VIP area sponsored by Maserati? Of course. Is a Chanel surfboard for sale at a booth sponsored by Hamptons Magazine? I couldn’t make such things up. But beyond the fluff and the Jeff Koons plates (oh yes, there are Koons plates), the are some surprises waiting to be stumbled upon.

The large size of the fair, which boasts 80 galleries, allows for the beach-themed paintings and Warhol tributes to have their space without overshadowing the humbler, more interesting contributions of smaller galleries. New York’s Heller Gallery, which focuses on contemporary sculpture made of glass, presented quietly exquisite offerings like Steffen Dam’s 9 Jars, a tribute to the beauty of nature and science. Taglialatella Galleries, also New York-based, brought an array of prints and cutouts by Swoon—a smart move, as her incredible Brooklyn Museum installation is still fresh in the mind of anyone who has seen it. It was also pleasing to see a New York Academy of Art booth filled with the works of recent grads, many of whom are quickly making their way in the art world and would be wise investments for in-the-know collectors.

While New York, Miami, and Hamptons-based galleries unsurprisingly dominate the fair, many of the strongest booths are from international dealers. London’s Archeus/Post-Modern delivers works by favorites like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Rob Pruitt, along with a set of Damien Hirst Superstition plates, which as plate art goes, are pretty spectacular. Basel’s JanKossen Contemporary knocked it out of the park with Suh Jeong Min’s The Old Memory II, a composition of small paper scrolls that begs to be studied from every angle. Hovering somewhere between painting and sculpture, the South Korean artist’s work refers to the pieces as “prayer works,” believing that if he says a prayer of thanks while creating them, they will bring positive energy to their eventual resting place. Beside it, Troy Simmons’s Genesis II, III provides a similarly architectural perspective, using materials like concrete and aluminum to create what he calls a “re-incarnation of the Arte Povera genre.”

Other highlights include neon light-encrusted mirrors at gallery nine5 that beg for the taking of a selfie (ask yourself: did you really attend the fair if you don’t leave with a new profile picture?), sugar craving-inducing works at Baker Sponder Gallery, Keszler Gallery, and Gallery Valentine, and a small sculpture garden in the front of the pavilion.

Art Southampton continues through July 28.

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