Rick Friedman moves Hamptons Fine Art Fair to Fairgrounds – 27 East – 27east.com | Candle Made Easy

Summer is art season in the East End, and perhaps no one understands art collectors’ tastes better than Rick Friedman, founder of the Hamptons Fine Art Fair (HFAF), taking place July 14-17 this year at the Elks Lodge Fairgrounds in Southampton.

Almost a decade ago Friedman, who lives in Southampton, founded ArtHamptons, the East End’s first art fair – conceived by his partner Cindy Lou Wakefield – which he sold in 2015. In 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Friedman presented the Hamptons Virtual Art Fair, an online-only event. Then last year for the first in-person Hamptons Fine Art Fair he transformed the Southampton Arts Center into a series of galleries in the main museum area along with several pavilions, a sculpture park and a VIP lounge to allow for social distancing.

Now that the pandemic is largely under control, Friedman has moved the HFAF to a new location – the 17-acre Southampton Elks Fairgrounds, where it has doubled in size. It still has many of the same features, including a sculpture park, but instead of a series of small galleries, the fair will be housed under a massive 40,000-square-foot exhibition space — the Pollock Pavilion — and have an adjacent smaller VIP pavilion.

“We thought it would be best to put it in one big building rather than several tiny rooms,” Friedman explained in a recent phone interview. “Last year we noticed that people at SAC went into one room or another, but not into all the tents that we had. It’s hard to touch all the bases. This year you can actually see, look at and compare everything at a glance.”

Also for 2022, the number of galleries participating in the HFAF has doubled, with dealers from 43 cities and seven countries. This year, art prices start at $10,000, and Friedman notes that some pieces are fetching well into seven figures.

“It went from 50 galleries last year to 100 this year, including one from Kyiv, Ukraine,” Friedman said. “It’s just amazing. I’m expecting 7,000 guests and we’ll be speaking and celebrating. It’s by far the biggest event I’ve ever done.”

Friedman is pleased that the show coincides with Bastille Day weekend, and in keeping with the theme, the HFAF will be culminating in a Bastille Day private viewing on Thursday, July 14 from 4:00pm to 9:30pm to benefit the Guild Hall opened. In partnership with the French Institute Alliance Française as cultural partner, the HFAF offers a taste of France with French wine tasting, hors d’oeuvres and entertainment.

“We have a French theme for all French dishes, we serve French wines and champagne,” he said. “The French singer Chloé Perrier will perform and we have a French jazz band. There are also six or seven galleries from France.”

After two years of pandemic, there seems to be cause for celebration as life returns to normal and art sales are on the up. It all adds up to optimism for Friedman, who reports that collectors are back and buying.

“The market has come back with panache and panache, and a lot of people are buying online now,” Friedman said, addressing how COVID-19 has changed who buys art and how they do it. “This whole development has increased. The secondary market for investment art has skyrocketed. It’s unbelievable at the auctions – prices have increased by 50 to 100 percent in the last two years. Expensive art has become more expensive, and even mid-level art has gone up.”

Friedman notes that recent stock market instability has fueled some of the uptick in collecting as people pour their money from Wall Street into the visual arts.

“When markets collapse, people will invest in art intelligently. Decorative art is beautiful, but not investment art,” he said. “We’re very strong in the secondary market – investment art, art from the 50’s to the 80’s. A lot of people on our show sell this type of art – Renoir, Picasso, Monet, Andrew Wyeth, Andy Warhol originals.

“We also have Kusama, Haring, Alex Katz, Jane Freilicher — we have serious art and nice investments,” Friedman said. “Ronnie Landfield, recipient of our Lifetime Achievement Award, has worked since the ’60s and ’70s and was involved with the Color Field movement.”

Friedman also finds that the appetite for art has increased thanks to a new generation of collectors with cash reserves and eagerness to break into the market through larger purchases.

“There are a lot of younger collectors who spend a lot of money. We didn’t see that at ArtHamptons eight years ago. Usually they were silver haired guys. Today it’s people in their 30s and 40s buying things and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Friedman said.

He adds that today’s young collectors are well-versed and well-educated in the art world because they do research, study the market, learn about trends, learn about recent auction results, or make purchases with the help of advisors.

Aside from the shift of capital out of Wall Street and the new generation driving the East End art market, another factor, Friedman explains, is the simple fact that in the last two years, a lot more people have figured out how to do more Money spends time out here.

“Don’t forget that from the Hamptons’ perspective, so many new homeowners have moved in and house prices have skyrocketed,” he said. “People pay a lot to be here, they have big, empty, beautiful houses and they want to put art on the walls. We will exhibit 500 artists at the fair. It’s the greatest show ever in the Hamptons and I’ve been doing it for 17 years.”

The Hamptons Fine Art Fair (HFAF) will be held from Thursday 14th July to Sunday 17th July at the Southampton Fairgrounds, 605 County Road 39, Southampton. Opening hours are Thursday from 4pm to 9.30pm, Friday from 12pm to 8pm and Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 6pm. General Admission is $30, VIP Pass is $100, Gold Pass is $150. Visit hamptonsfineartfair.com for an overview of events and information.

Some highlights of the Hamptons Fine Art Fair:

Thursday, July 14, 4:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. – Bastille Day Private View, Benefit Guild Hall

Chloe Perrier and the French Heart Band – 5pm to 8pm

French record star Chloe Perrier will perform live at the entrance to the fair. The cabaret artist and her jazz band set the tone for the celebration of the Bastille Day private view by performing popular songs in French.

Performance Art: Featuring Perego – 8pm

Miami-based muralist Perego will perform at the entrance to the show. The boundaries between colour, music, light and theatrical performance will become blurred. Guess what he’s painting? You won’t know until the last minute and this unique piece will be available for purchase.

Other performances: Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 5 p.m

In keeping with the Francophile theme, classically trained ballerina Nadine Azoulay will prance through the aisles of the fair and serve guests while she performs ‘en pointe’, a flute of Pommery Brut or Rosé from the popular Rollbar Pommery Champagne Cart. She transfers her years of disciplined training on the “ballet barre” to the “wandering barre”.

Saturday, July 16, 5-6pm – “Cool And Collected” – Ronnie Landfield, 2022 HFAF Lifetime Achievement Honoree In Painting

In recognition of his six-decade career, Ronnie Landfield, 75, will be presented with the HFAF 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award in Painting. One of America’s greatest living colorists, Landfield began his career on the New York School scene in the mid-1960s, initially as a hard-edge abstractionist, and in the 1970s he developed and refined his style to become one of the founders of Lyric become abstraction. It is currently in the public collections of virtually every major museum in America.

Other Selected Artist recipients include Elise Ansel (Carole Corey Gallery), Jennifer JL Jones (New River Fine Art), local Hamptons artist Chris Kelly (Colm Rowan Fine Art), and sculptor Gilberto Romero (Winterowd Fine Art ) .

“War-Torn Gallery: The Last Show, from Kyiv to Southampton”

The lives of Ukrainian artists were snatched away by the invasion of Russia on February 24th. These established and emerging artists, with whom Lysenko Gallery in Kyiv has long collaborated, suddenly faced the abrupt end of their art world. Lysenko Gallery (Kyiv and London) put a lot of effort into reconstructing the last exhibition in Kyiv at HFAF.

Other Events: Throughout the weekend, guests can take a guided tour of the fair led by docent Sharon Phair and take part in various art panels including A Passion for Possession: Collectors on Collecting, ARTABILITY: A Conversation on Creative Expression and the Special Needs Community, Which Came First—the Painting or the Room Decor? and A Passion for Art Philanthropy: Donors on Donating.

Local galleries participating in HFAF include: Loaves Gallery (Southampton), Karyn Mannix Contemporary (East Hampton), Lawrence Fine Art (East Hampton), Mark Borghi (NYC, Bridgehampton, Sag Harbor), Quogue Gallery (Quogue ) and Wisse Kodde presents Harris Allen (Sag Harbor).

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