The annual Hamptons Fine Art Fair, over Bastille Day weekend surpassed its goal of establishing itself as the elite and high caliber fair that Hamptonites have sought for years. Wth a record-breaking attendance of 9,500, founder and producer, Rick Friedman re-invented his previous fair, Art Hamptons, which was sold to a London based organizer in 2015, and brought the drama and excitement of an international art fair to the main thoroughfare connecting the Hamptons at Southampton Fairgrounds.
Helwaser Gallery announced the sale of Ed Ruscha’s Service Clown, 2013, bleach on fabric covered board at $500,000. Additionally, the sale of a 1978 Andy Warhol social portrait is pending at seven figures.
Vallerino Fine Art sold a piece by Wilhem DeKooning, a large 1974 oil on paper painting for a price in the six figures. The majority of the galleries sold multiple pieces of artwork with Dane Fine Art of Philadelphia selling out their entire booth on Opening Night. They sold several Warhols, Lichtenstein’s, and Mr. Brainwash pieces. The Philadelphia based gallery had a truck bring them 50 more pieces for the remainder of fair with their total booth sales exceeding $1 million in blue chip artist prints.
Producer Rick Friedman observed of the fair, “Because of the immense wealth and staggering purchasing power of our guests, this is a fair than can literally change the lives of exhibitors, as it did for many this weekend – with closed sales, pending sales and substantial commissions and prospective museum and sculpture park shows. Eager and affluent art buyers streamed through the aisles all four days, with more vim and vigor than any recent US fair, generating tens of millions of dollars in sales. Red dots appeared everywhere, as sold paintings were quickly taken off the floor for delivery. While most sales were in the $10k to $50k level, many were in the high six figures. Overall, I have never seen an attendee feeding frenzy like this in my 28 previous fairs produces across the nation.”
The sold-out Opening Night Bastille Day Vernissage on July 14th bustled with 3,000 art enthusiasts who poured in and out of the fair aisles in waves in the 40,000 sq. ft Pollock and VIP pavilions. By the fair’s end, over 9,500 enthusiastic art loving ad influential patrons benefited by viewing and acquiring many of the 10,000 important works of art on display. As of the shows end, hundreds of art works found new homes in the Hamptons, with tens of millions of dollars in art sales, still pending. Some galleries left with 100 + valuable sales and museum leads.
Bill Rau, CEO and Owner of M.S. Rau, in New Orleans said, “We were thrilled with the quality and response to the Hamptons Fine Art Fair. Visitors were especially intrigued by our newest acquisition, the stunning titled Buste d’homme barbu (Bust of a Bearded Man) by Pablo Picasso. Visitors were lining up to get a closer look at the portrait, which was painted in 1965 and is one of the finest works by the artist that I’ve ever seen. Another intriguing piece was a 3-dimensional work of The Scottish Museum of Modern by Patrick Hughes that breaks free from the wall and appears to shift as one moves in front of it. Of course, Blackstone Cigars by iconic American artist Norman Rockwell garnered a great deal of attention along with a painting titled Serpent by modern late 20th-century artist Alexander Calder, featuring a circus scene that displays the same graceful whimsy as his hanging sculptural mobiles. While art and sculptures was the main draw at the show, some of the dazzling pieces of jewelry that we’d brought captured many of the female guests eye, including pieces from Van Cleef & Arpels, Tiffany & Co., Cartier and a stunning, one of a kind 38 carats diamond necklace by Harry Winston that was owned by Christina Onassis. We had good sales at the fair and are pleased with the results of the overall event.”
The event also featured panel discussions with distinguished speakers covering 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, the creative expression on those with special needs, and Luxe Interiors and Design magazine on art and design. The 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award in Painting was presented to Finley Gallery’s Ronnie Landfield, celebrating his remarkable six decades of art accomplishments. He regaled the audience with his many tales of the art scene in the 1960-1970’s.
HFAF key sponsors 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 Susan Roche photographer.
HFAF was produced by Southampton based ShowHamptons.