The Art Newspaper trekked to Washington, DC to cover the (e)merge art fair opening there for the first time under the guidance of the Rubell family:
Emerge was hampered by a bleak location and the curatorial challenges that stem rooms that were, by gallery standards, cramped and dimly lit rooms. Around 1,400 people attended the preview on 22 September, although few out-of-towners were in evidence. One New Yorker, Christopher Apgar, a trustee of the Museum of Modern Art, had travelled to the fair with his wife, but not to buy. He said he wanted to show support for Allen and added that he did not see many other Manhattanites.
Those who did attend were in no hurry to buy, given the low prices and lack of competition. “It’s not like Art Basel Miami Beach, where you see a Basquiat for $11m and have to buy it now or it won’t be there later,” said local collector and curator Michael Pollack.
To attract new collectors, the fair’s organisers suggested galleries keep their prices at $5,000 and under, although not all heeded the price cap. Milan-based gallery Jerome Zodo Contemporary offered a large-scale ceramic engine by mid-career New York artist Steven Montgomery, priced at $42,000. Static Fuel #4, 2005, was one of the most expensive works on show, but never found a buyer. Jerome Zodo, the gallery’s director, said he had expected more of the fair and its promotion. Nonetheless, he made one sale of a work priced at only $2,500—Brooklyn artist Ben Grasso’s small oil painting Adaptation, 2011.
Emerging Into Dim Light (The Art Newspaper)