Founded in the late 1980s, in Maastricht, Netherlands, TEFAF is the world’s leading fair for fine art, antiques and design.
Building on its history and success, the fair expanded globally last year, adding two New York editions: A fall fair focusing on art and antiquities up to 1920 and a younger, vibrant spring edition that highlights the best art and design produced from the Modern era up to today.Attracting the world’s top galleries, TEFAF places great emphasis on quality through a rigorous vetting process, something that sets it apart from other leading art fairs, in which each work is checked for quality and authenticity by experts.
The art fair opens to the public on Friday, May 4 and runs through Tuesday, May 8, 2018. It hosts a preview today, for the press and VIPs. And here is a first view of my must-see booths at this year’s TEFAF New York Spring.
Helly Nahmad Gallery
Located in the main hall (Stand 21) the New York based dealer has brought a tightly focused selection of six masterworks to highlight a unique and salient period in art history: the period between the roaring 1920s and the Great Depression with works by Pablo Picasso, Fernand Leger, Jean Arp and Max Ernst mounted on white sheets wired to the floor and ceiling. It’s spectacular.
The Switzerland- and New York-based gallery is known for its museum quality exhibitions and innovative booth designs at art fairs – past collaborators include the late Zaha Hadid and Karl Lagerfeld. This year, Gmurzynska has partnered with the young British creative Director Robin Scott-Lawson to create an immersive space, decorating one of TEFAF’s prestigious historic rooms (The Colonel’s Room is right before the main hall on the left of the fair, Stand 18) with textured walls and floors and a circular projection of the sky on the ceiling, mirrored by a seating area that is a sunken circle.
The walls show an impressive selection of 20th Century masterpieces by Yves Klein, Robert Indiana, Tom Wesselmann, Fernand Leger, and more.
Galerie Gmurzynska has also been given special permission to hang one of Robert Motherwell’s last major paintings in the main hall. The work, towering above the booths and one of the first things visitors see when they walk in, was commissioned from the artist for the once staggering sum of $1 million dollars by the legendary CEO of General Electric Jack Welch.
The German dealer’s motto for this year is ‘simplicity of form’ with a booth that focuses on works by Josef Albers and Giorgio Morandi —two artists who spent decades dedicated to the exploration of a single theme: Albers explored repetition and space in art while Morandi investigated our relationship to objects. David Zwirner is located in the main Hall (Stand 67).
This is the first year in which the gallery will participate in the spring edition of TEFAF New York (Stand 70). Determined to be noticed, the gallery has brought new works by John Currin and drawings by Brice Marden from 1970 to 2018.
It is a curious combination: Currin mixes aspects of classical beauty with the grotesque while Marden is a master of monochromes and provocative calligraphic compositions. But it works.
Acquavella, another New York based gallery, is showing a fabulous combination of classic modern works by Pablo Picasso, Jean Dubuffet, Henri Matisse and more. This gallery, founded in the 1920s, is the oldest gallery in the fair (Stand 66) and time has given them an eye for quality.