NEW YORK—Pulse and Scope—two in the ever-expanding lineup of satellite fairs that revolve around the Armory Show and The Art Show each year—continued to grow this year. As at the larger shows, organizers reported an overall return of confidence in the art market, as well as an uptick in sales in comparison with last year.
Pulse, which had moved from its previous location on a Hudson River pier to a former warehouse complex directly across the West Side Highway, drew consistent crowds throughout its run March 4–7. However, attendance was down, with “over 10,000” visitors reported by fair organizers, compared with 17,000 visitors last year.
Christian Seyde, business director and partner of Galerie Kleindienst, Leipzig, told ARTnewsletter the mood at Pulse was “much better than last year.” Kleindienst’s sales included seven drawings by Tilo Baumgärtel for about $70,000 in total.
In the “Impulse” section of the fair, dedicated to galleries presenting solo exhibitions of work by emerging artists, Lyons Wier Gallery, New York, sold about a dozen paintings by Mike Lash from an installation titled Re-examination of My Youth, priced at a very reasonable $100 each. The small paintings featured witty whimsical figures and phrases such as “ugly painting.” According to owner Michael Lyons Wier, the gallery also sold two fabric sculptures by Vadis Turner, whose elaborate, colorful site-specific fabric installation Best In Show was on view. The gallery also presented Red Spots, a 40-foot-long mural by Australian-born, New York–based artist Anthony Lister.
Scope, which remained in its previous location in Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park, reported attendance of 20,000, up from 17,000 last year. First-time exhibitor Joseph Henrickson, owner and founder of Anonymous Gallery, New York, said “traffic was steady and increased over the weekend. Sales were slow the first few days, but we were able to complete most of the sales over the weekend.” These included five collages by Greg Lamarche at prices in the range of $1,800/3,000 and two acrylic-on-paper works from a set of three by Eric Haze, which sold for $4,000 and $5,000, respectively.
Longtime exhibitor Mike Weiss, of Mike Weiss Gallery, New York, reported selling three works by Kim Dorland (two for $30,000 each and one for $33,000), five sculptures by Liao Yibai for prices in the range of $50,000/65,000 each, and two paintings by Elisa Johns for $4,000 and $4,500.
Volta NY, which was acquired by Merchandise Mart Properties last year and is billed as a sister fair to the Armory Show, is an invitational show organized by independent curator and critic Amanda Coulson, with each gallery devoting its booth to the work of a single artist. Organizers said this year’s edition, which ran March 4–7 in midtown Manhattan, drew 20,000 visitors, up from the 18,000 reported last year and a considerable increase from the 8,000 attendees reported in 2008.
Berlin dealer Hamish Morrison said he sold out of work he showed by Dresden-based artist Paul Pretzer (b. 1981), at prices in the $2,000/3,000 range. Pretzer paints in a surreal, almost cartoonish style influenced by Old Master paintings and subject matter. Toronto dealer Katharine Mulherin, who recently opened a new space on Chung King Road in the Chinatown district of Los Angeles, was showing at Volta for the second time. She reported selling out of intricate ink drawings by Oscar de las Flores priced at $6,000/18,000 each.