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ADAA Show: Bigger and ‘Extraordinarily Productive’

Sales were robust at the Park Avenue Armory, where The Art Show—sponsored annually by the Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA)—was held from Feb. 22-26.

NEW YORK—Sales were robust at the Park Avenue Armory, where The Art Show—sponsored annually by the Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA)—was held from Feb. 22-26.

Organizers reported that attendance capped 14,000, up from 11,000 a year ago, and attracted a mix of collectors, museum curators, museum trustees and tour groups.

“It was an extraordinarily productive four days,” Manhattan dealer Renato Danese told ARTnewsletter. He counted approximately 15 sales at his stand, some of them finalized just days after the fair closed. “At least half of those sales were to people I hadn’t sold to before,” he says. The show featured booths of 70 ADAA member galleries. This year’s preopening gala raised $1.3 million, the largest amount to date, for the Henry Street Settlement, a social services and arts agency on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

Chicago gallerist Rhona Hoffman says she sold 19 works at the fair, the priciest a $90,000 Barbara Kruger work from the 1980s titled I Am Your Slice of Life, which fell to a private collector. Additionally she sold three two-dimensional works by Vito Acconci, priced at $20,000 apiece (two of them to collectors new to her Rhona Hoffman Gallery); and three paintings by Mickalene Thomas, each priced at $35,000.

More Overseas Visitors than Before

This year’s heavier attendance at the ADAA show was attributed in large part to its running at the same time as six other fairs in New York. “There were more foreigners, it seemed to me, and more museum groups traveling from show to show,” observes Los Angeles gallerist Margo Leavin, exhibiting for the third time at The Art Show. This was her best fair, she claims, mainly owing to the sale of a 1983 Willem de Kooning painting, Untitled (No. XI), which fetched a price in the seven

figures.

In all, the Margo Leavin Gallery sold 16 pieces, some that were on display and others that buyers purchased from printouts.

Cheim & Read, New York, had booths at both the ADAA fair and the Armory Show and reported strong sales at both. The gallery’s booth at the ADAA fair featured sculpture and drawings by Louise Bourgeois: Five of six drawings, each priced at $35,000, found buyers, as did all three marble sculptures (priced from $250,000/550,000) and eight of 12 bronze sculptures ($150,000/450,000).

Mark del Vecchio, director of New York’s Garth Clark Gallery, which features ceramics, called the recent fair “excellent, one of the best ever for us” of the seven consecutive ADAA shows in which the gallery has participated.

Among works sold by the gallery were four seated figures by Philip Eglin ($25,000 apiece); four sculptural works by Ken Price totaling $70,000; another four by Ron Nagle at a total of $44,000; two still lifes by Australian Gwyn Hanssen Pigott totaling $32,000; three pieces by Beatrice Wood (1893-1998) totaling $40,000; and a Jacques Lipchitz terra-cotta maquette for $30,000—the single most expensive object sold.

Several dealers commented on the calmer pace of The Art Show, as compared to some of the other art fairs in the area, and the continual flow of visitors throughout the four days.

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