The Pavilion of Art and Design debuted in New York last week to strong reviews (let’s hear about some sales!) Ian Volner tries to explain the particular skill of the fair’s organizers in Capital New York:
The fair had became a Paris fixture before expanding, in 2007, to London, and in both cities its success can be credited in no small part to the organizers’ keen eye for location. In Paris, previous Pavilions have been held under a series of tents erected in the Tuileries Gardens; in London, it’s taken over stylish Berkeley Square, right on the doorstep of Bertie Wooster’s old digs. New York City gallerist Todd Merrill, whose display at the Armory was backed by a three-dimensional toile de Jouy wallpaper by sculptor Beth Katleman, had seen the fair in its overseas iterations, and was instantly impressed: “It’s a beautiful-looking show. Everything is really well thought out, more so than at other fairs.”
The sense that this is an intensely curated fair, one where place, space, and all the artwork have been carefully calibrated to achieve an effect of maximum luxury, is another factor that distinguishes the Pavilion from some of its rummage-sale, ad hoc-style competitors here and abroad.
The New York Times’s Ken Johnson found the art as blue-chippy as anyone could have hoped:
The art, by and large, is more conservative than the design. But much of it is of museum quality: a wintry Monet landscape at Boulakia, a Morandi still life at Robilant & Voena and a Modigliani double portrait (“Bride and Groom”) at Landau.
And although Pierre Bonnard, Jean Metzinger and Christian Schad may not be quite as sought after, all are at their best in paintings at Custot, Béraudière and Macaux. These three works show women seated in front of windows, though the similarity ends there.
The contemporary art is strictly blue chip or safely contextualized (as Wade Guyton’s inkjet prints are with Koons and Warhol, at Stellan Holm). But that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun; at Van de Weghe, Duane Hanson’s “Bus Stop Lady,” a scarily lifelike sculpture of a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., shopper, is flanked by a punchy yellow-orange Frank Stella and a late Warhol that reads, “Somebody Wants to Buy Your Apartment Building!”
Fair Trade (Capital New York)
A Globetrotting Display with American Fair (New York Times)