The annual Hamptons Fine Art Fair over Bastille Day weekend has surpassed its goal of establishing itself as the elite, high-profile fair the Hamptonites have striven for for years. With a record-breaking attendance of 9,500, founder and producer Rick Friedman reinvented his previous Art Hamptons fair, which was sold to a London-based promoter in 2015, bringing the drama and excitement of an international art fair to the thoroughfare that the Hamptons at Southampton Fairgrounds connects.
Gallery Helwaser announced the sale of Ed Ruscha’s Service Clown, 2013, bleach on fabric-covered board, for $500,000. In addition, a seven-figure sale of a social portrait of Andy Warhol from 1978 is on the agenda.
Vallerino Fine Art sold a work by Wilhem DeKooning, a large oil-on-paper painting from 1974, for a six-figure price. The majority of galleries included multiple artworks in the sale Danish art from Philadelphia sold out their entire booth on opening night. They sold several pieces by Warhol, Lichtenstein and Mr. Brainwash. The Philadelphia-based gallery had a truck bring them 50 more pieces for the remainder of the fair, with their total booth sales of blue-chip artist prints topping $1 million.
Producer Rick Friedman commented on the show: “Due to the immense wealth and amazing spending power of our guests, this is a show that can literally transform the lives of exhibitors, as it did for many this weekend – with closing sales, pending sales and important commissions and future exhibitions in museums and sculpture parks. Eager and wealthy art buyers poured down the aisles every four days with more panache and panache than any other US fair in recent memory, generating tens of millions in sales. Red dots popped up everywhere as sold paintings were quickly pulled off the floor for delivery. While most sales were in the $10,000 to $50,000 range, many were in the high six figures. Overall, at my 28 previous fairs across the country, I have never seen a visitor feed themselves so insanely.”
The sold out Opening Night Bastille Day Vernissage on July 14thth bustling with 3,000 art enthusiasts streaming in and out of the fair aisles in waves at the 40,000 square foot Pollock and VIP Pavilions. At the conclusion of the fair, over 9,500 enthusiastic art-loving and influential customers benefited from viewing and purchasing many of the 10,000 important works of art on display. At the conclusion of the shows, hundreds of artworks found new homes in the Hamptons, with tens of millions of dollars in art sales pending. Some galleries walked away with over 100 valuable sales and museum leads.
Bill Rau, CEO and owner of MS Rau, in New Orleans, said, “We have been delighted with the quality and response to the Hamptons Fine Art Fair. Visitors were particularly intrigued by our latest acquisition, the stunning titled Buste d’homme barbu (Bust of a Bearded Man) by Pablo Picasso. Visitors lined up to get a closer look at the portrait, painted in 1965 and one of the most beautiful works by the artist I have ever seen. Another intriguing piece was a three-dimensional work by Patrick Hughes from the Scottish Museum of Modern, which detaches from the wall and appears to shift as you move in front of it. Of course, iconic American artist Norman Rockwell’s Blackstone cigars attracted a lot of attention, along with a painting titled Serpent by late 20th-century modern artist Alexander Calder, which depicts a circus scene that exhibits the same graceful whimsy as his hanging sculptural ones mobiles. While art and sculpture was the show’s main attraction, some of the dazzling jewelry we brought with us excited many of the female guests, including pieces by Van Cleef & Arpels, Tiffany & Co., Cartier and a stunning, one-of-a-kind 38-karat Harry Winston diamond necklace that belonged to Christina Onassis. We had good sales at the fair and are satisfied with the result of the overall event.”
The event also included panel discussions with distinguished speakers on topics such as A Passion for Possession, Collector on Collecting, Passion for Art Philanthropy and Donors on Donating. The Spirit of Huntington hosted a panel on ARTABILITY, creative expression for people with special needs, and Luxe Interiors and Design magazine on art and design. The 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award in Painting was presented to Ronnie Landfield of Finley Gallery to celebrate his remarkable six decades of artistic achievement. He delighted audiences with his many stories from the art scene of the 1960s-1970s.
Major sponsors of the HFAF include UBS and Weill Cornell Medicine, Genesis of South Shore, Pommery Champagne, Wax Insurance, Coterie Luxury Living Center, Yacht Hamptons, Corcoran Real Estate, Pure Instance/Epic, El Tesoro, Roland Auctions and photographer Susan Roche .
HFAF was produced by ShowHamptons of Southampton.