Here Are Five Must-See Booths to Seek Out at the Fifth Edition of the Seattle Art Fair

With 108 exhibitors participating at the fifth annual fair, there is a lot to take in. We've selected a few highlights to seek out.

Nan Goldin, Jimmy Paulette on David's Bike, NYC (1991). Courtesy of Caviar20.

This week, the art world’s eyes turn towards Seattle, as the rainy city in the Pacific Northwest gets ready to host the fifth edition of the Seattle Art Fair. Under the artistic direction of Nato Thompson for the second year, the fair returns with a very 2019 ⁠lineup—an installation by ASMR internet sensation Bread Face; a storytelling AI sculpture; and a musical and visual arts mashup by Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready and the artist Kate Neckel. More than 100 exhibitors from around the world will also be setting up booths for the weekend. So, if you’re in the grunge-meets-tech capital for the week, you’ve got a lot to see. To get you on your way, here are five booths worth checking out.


1. Somerville Manning Gallery

Bo Bartlett, The Present (2003). Courtesy of Somerville Manning Gallery.

Bo Bartlett, The Present (2003). Courtesy of Somerville Manning Gallery.

Delaware’s Somerville Manning Gallery will be returning to the fair for the second year with a mix of figurative works by a multigenerational set of American painters, among them the legendary realist Andrew Wyeth, whose work will be hung alongside paintings by his son, Jamie Wyeth. (An artistic family, Andrew Wyeth’s father was the famed illustrator N.C. Wyeth.) In keeping with this realist thread, the gallery will also be showing Bo Bartlett’s uncanny depictions of figures set in isolated landscapes—in their airtight and almost eerie sensibility, these works call to mind a cross between Balthus, Edward Hopper, and Grant Wood.

Booth G05

2. JD Malat Gallery

Li Tianbing, Anonymous (2019). Courtesy of JD Malat Gallery.

Li Tianbing, Anonymous (2019). Courtesy of JD Malat Gallery.

At London-based JD Malat Gallery’s booth, you’ll find a representative mix of abstract and figurative works that, though of disparate styles, share a kind of gestural impulse. Chinese artist Li Tianbing’s paintings take on current affairs—from political upheaval to life in the age of social media. The artist, who had a solo show at the gallery earlier this year, has typically focused his attention on the unrest of his homeland, but now directs some of his attention to America’s current political (and presidential) tumult.

Booth A35

3. Miles McEnery Gallery

Wolf Kahn, Woodland Density (2019). Courtesy of Miles McEnery Gallery.

Wolf Kahn, Woodland Density (2019). Courtesy of Miles McEnery Gallery.

This solo presentation of German-born American artist Wolf Kahn is an immersive introduction to his forest scenes, which combine Color Field and landscape traditions and hover between abstraction and figuration. The artist, who was born in Stuttgart in 1927 and studied under Hans Hoffman, has been refining his approach to these transportive scenes for decades.

Booth A15

4. Caviar20

Edward Burtynsky, Rock of Ages #25, Abandoned Section, Adam-Pirie Quarry, Barre, Vermont (1991). Courtesy of Caviar20.

Edward Burtynsky, Rock of Ages #25, Abandoned Section, Adam-Pirie Quarry, Barre, Vermont (1991). Courtesy of Caviar20.

Caviar20’s greatest hits booth centers on the decades from the 1960s to the ‘80s and features some of the biggest names of the 20th century, including Frank Stella, Andy Warhol, and Louise Nevelson. You’ll also find a strong crop of color photography, including a few standouts from Nan Goldin’s career of intimate and provocative portraiture.

Booth F05

5. HEXTON Modern and Contemporary

Scott Avett, Chair Sharing (2016). Courtesy of Hexton Modern and Contemporary.

Scott Avett, Chair Sharing (2016). Courtesy of HEXTON Modern and Contemporary.

This three-person booth brings together work by Shepard Fairey, Eric Fischl, and Scott Avett. Of these, Avett’s name is likely the least familiar—at least in this context. The artist is better known as a member of the Avett Brothers, a folk-infused pop band he formed with his brother in 2000. As for his artworks, they range from oil paintings that capture moments of repose in domestic life (his wife and children are often his models) to more haphazard, immediate renderings such as drawings on yellow notebook paper marked with whiteout.

Booth E01

Seattle Art Fair will take place at CenturyLink Field Event Center, August 2–4; Collectors Preview, invitation only, August 1, 3:30 p.m.–6 p.m.; Opening Night Preview, 6 p.m–9 p.m.

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