See The Top 10 Booths at Spring Masters
The best of seven millennia under one roof.
The Spring Masters art and antiquities fair has carved out a niche as a destination for collectors of modern and ancient art, high-end secondary market works, design, furniture, and jewelry, attracting leading art and antiques dealers.
The third and final edition of Spring Masters, before it becomes the newest outpost of Maastricht’s TEFAF art fair, kicked off with Thursday’s VIP preview at New York City’s Park Avenue Armory on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
“What sets us apart is the hexagonal Rafael Viñoly-designed booths, the design aspect, and how radically different this is in terms of presenting art,” Spring Masters co-director Michael Plummer told artnet News. “We create a fair that reflects real collector taste. Rather than just segregating the ancient and modern art, or cutting-edge contemporary art, we have art from across many centuries.”
Although Plummer was a bit sentimental, he isn’t looking back. “The TEFAF fairs are going to emphasize not only the international scope and reach in terms of dealers participating, but also, because it’s TEFAF, those dealers will know to bring their best property,” he said. “Both fairs will be of extraordinary quality.”
Considering that the event is the end of an era—albeit a short lived one—it certainly didn’t feel that way. At the invitation-only VIP preview party on Thursday, well-heeled visitors including Hollywood actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Adrien Brody as well as collector Aby Rosen and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg mingled with dealers and admired the works on display. With 62 exhibitors from the US, Europe and Asia, the fair’s intimate and sophisticated format is a welcome counterbalance to the madness of Randall’s Island, where Frieze New York is happening.
The atmosphere is markedly less hectic and far more civilized than Frieze and guests actually have the time to interact with dealers and inspect the artworks. And what a charmingly eclectic selection of art it is.
1. Dider Aaron, Paris, London, New York
Didier Aaron’s booth exemplifies the eclecticism that Spring Masters has come to be known for. This time around, he’s showing 18th- and 19th-century paintings, including a landscape by Edgar Degas (1833), Raymond Quinsac Monvoisin’s Achilles Giving Nestor the Prize of Wisdom (ca. 1820), and Jean-Antoine Constantin’s Loreto Bridge (ca.1780), alongside works by contemporary artists Andrew Zega, Victor Koulbak, Nigel van Wieck, and Victor Edelstein,
2. Chowaiki & Co., New York
Anchored around a large Matisse painting, with works by Alfred Sisley, Marc Chagall, Ed Ruscha, and Robert Rauschenberg, as well as a small Willem de Kooning, Chowaiki’s booth is amongst the standout presentations. Asked about the TEFAF partnership, Gallerist Ezra Chowaiki told artnet News, “I think it’s great, it’s a smart move. Not all fairs are vetted as strongly. It’s a beautiful setup, and the works are top-notch.”
3. Richard Feigen & Co., New York/Otto Naumann Ltd., New York
Feigen and Naumann are offering 17th-, 18th- and 19th-century paintings and drawings. Asked about Spring Masters’ TEFAF partnership, Frances Beatty Adler, president of Richard Feign & Co., was in favor: “This way we can bring attention back to all these wonderful things that are affordable and have stood the test of time.”
4. Hammer Galleries, New York
Situated close to the entrance, Hammer Galleries features works of fantastic quality, including a beautiful monochrome late Picasso, Le peintre au chapeau (1965), as well as paintings by Impressionists Alfred Sisley, Camille Pissarro, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, complemented by fine Expressionist work by Marc Chagall.
5. Mireille Mosler Ltd., New York
Showing exclusively contemporary works in order to complement Frieze New York, Mosler stands out for a selection of black-and-white works and an understated presentation of sculptures by Donald Judd, early photographs by Cindy Sherman, a marble bench by Jenny Holzer, and a sculpture by Kaz Oshiro. “I chose only black-and-white works to keep in line with the strong aesthetic approach of this fair,” Mosler explained.
6. Osborne Samuel Gallery, London
Making the trip to New York from London, the gallery brought several abstract bronze sculptures by Lynn Chadwick, which were shown alongside a wall piece by Frank Stella and a Sam Francis acrylic on paper. Gallerist Peter Osborne said, “We’re doing British art, for the most part. Chadwick, Moore, Hepworth. We work with the top end of modern British, and people know us for that.”
7. Vojtech Blau, New York
Specializing exclusively in tapestries, the gallery offers some examples dating from the early 16th century, including a Belgian work from 1520, as well as works by Sonia Delaunay-Turk, Jack Youngerman, Romare Bearden, and Jan Yoors from the 1970s. “The circular format works well for us,” gallerist Simona Blau said, adding that “the fair allows us to show both antique and modern pieces.”
8. Erik Thomsen, New York
Focusing on Asian and primarily Japanese art, the gallery will catch your eye with a pair of mid-18th-century six-panel screens depicting the landscape on the road from Tokyo to Kyoto. “The unique thing about Japanese art is the beautiful aesthetic,” gallerist Erik Thomsen said, adding that “the quality of execution is remarkable.” The booth also includes a large ink on paper work by Inoue Yuichi, and gold lacquer boxes from the 18th century up to 2016.
9. Colnaghi, London, Madrid/Tomasso Brothers Fine Art, Leeds, London
Old Masters and ancient art specialists Colnaghi and Tomasso Brothers have joined forces to show paintings and sculpture. Highlights include an 18th-century still life painting by the Spanish painter Luis Meléndez, whom Tim Warner-Johnson of Colnaghi classifies as “one of the greatest European still life artists.” Tomasso Brothers is showing a second-century Roman white marble bust depicting the head of Dionysus.
10. Jerome Zodo Gallery, London, Milan
Focusing on Italian postwar art, Zodo has devoted a wall to red works by Agostino Bonalumi, Paolo Scheggi, Pino Pinelli, contrasted with a contemporary Iván Navarro wall piece. The well-presented, tightly focused booth is nicely rounded out by works from Italian artists such as Alighiero Boetti, Turi Simeti and Enrico Castellani.
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