Arts / Museums

Dallas Art Fair Makes Permanent Strides, Builds Museum Excitement

The Fair's Impact Carries on With Acquisition Program

BY // 05.08.19
photography Exploredinary

Dallas Art Fair kicked off its 11th year with a bang — or perhaps it was just the thunder that seemed abundant the week of the event — with its annual Preview Benefit.

Ticket sales for that party are donated to the Dallas Museum of Art, Nasher Sculpture Center and Dallas Contemporary. Guests were abuzz over the excitement from earlier that day.

The Dallas Art Fair Foundation Acquisition Program, which is generously funded by a $150,000 grant, revealed the works that were selected to be purchased for the DMA’s permanent collection. The eight selected artworks were by Sheila HicksDon DudleyArcmanoro NilesSamuel Levi JonesEmmanuel Van der Auwera, Maja RuznicNobutaka Aozaki, and Dike Blair.

Dr. Agustín Arteaga, the director of the DMA and Dr. Anna Katherine Brodbeck, the senior curator of contemporary art, helped lead the group of donors that selected the works from the fair the day prior. Donors included Tricia and Gil Besing, Linda and David Rogers, Susan and Shawn Bonsell, Sheryl and Geoff Green, Dianne and Mark Laroe, Gowri and Alex N.K. Sharma, Marlene and John Sughrue, Cliff Risman, Zoe and David Bonnette, Rhonda and Fraser Marcus and The Dallas Art Fair Foundation.

One of my best friends that I’ve known since high school, Meredith Harper, came to Dallas for this year’s fair. She and I generally spend every year together in Miami for Art Basel. Harper has been in the art world for 20-plus years and now has a thriving art advisory business based in New York City.

It was her first year visiting the Dallas Art Fair, and as we walked through the building, she shared that “the cultural base in Dallas is so vibrant and supportive, and it’s great to see so many familiar faces.

Jeannie Freilich of Lisson Gallery helmed a rigorously conceptual booth with works by Lawrence Weiner and I really enjoyed discovering the photography of June Calypso at London’s TJ Boulting.

The party is also the ideal opportunity to find and buy works of art before the public opening of the fair. Dallas based Art consultant Ashley Tatum shared that the clients she had brought around to the exhibitors that night were impressed by the offerings at Kerlin Gallery (Dublin, Ireland) and Whitestone Gallery (Tokyo, Japan). She thought “10 Hanover brought a marvelous Robert Rauschenberg, albeit slightly overpriced in my opinion, yet they always have a strong booth.”

Given also the current conversations at many museums around the country wanting to showcase more women artists, she admired the outstanding selection from Hollis Taggart which had brought Helen Frankenthaler, Michael Corrine West, Grace Hartigan and Chloë Lamb.

I was particularly impressed with the offerings from Hannah Fagadau and Hilary Fagadau (sisters that grew up in Dallas ) and their soon-to-be gallery, 12.26. In fact, I fell in love with some of the works I saw by Los Angeles painter, Gracie DeVito. I was pleased to hear Hannah’s comment: “In addition to connecting with individuals from the local art’s community, we also had the pleasure of meeting new faces from other Texas cities like Houston and Austin. We are encouraged to know that the Texas art scene is alive and well.”

Apparently galleries of all sizes and years-in-the- game were enjoying a successful fair.

Seen sipping champagne and finding ways to get a red dot next to works they wanted for their personal collections included Lucy Wrubel, Deborah and John Scott, Gillian Breidenbach, Jenny Kirtland, Max Trowbridge, Ceron and Todd Fiscus, and Janelle and Alden Pinnell.

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