Tenth Annual Dallas Art Fair

The Dallas Art Fair celebrated 10 years this April!  Since its inception, the fair has expanded to Dallas Art Week and then to Dallas Art Month.  With each successive year it proves to be an elite fair, pulling in galleries and patrons locally and internationally.  I say it each year – this fair is a great opportunity for both collectors and art aficionados to see and purchase some of the best in modern and contemporary art from all over the world.

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With a decade of history, an increasing annual attendance around 15,000, huge sales, prominent dealers and big collectors, the Dallas Art Fair is not only a Texas staple now, but it has established itself as an important fair.  The Fashion Industry Gallery, which has hosted the event since it kicked off in 2009, squeezed in 93 galleries from all over the globe this April.  A large chunk of exhibitors were New York of the galleries – as in 35 of them.

In 2016 the fair announced the Dallas Art Fair Acquisition Program, in which it gifted the Dallas Museum of Art funds to purchase work by artists exhibiting at the fair for the museum’s permanent collection.  Initially the gift amount was $50,000.  In 2017 the gift amount was raised to $100,000.  This year, the tertiary year for the program and the 10th year for the fair, the gift has tripled in size since 2016, now to a $150,000 grant made possible with funding from the foundation as well as private donors.  Agustín Arteaga, director of the DMA, and Anna Katherine Brodbeck, curator of contemporary art, advised the group this year.

The museum selected and purchased works by Geraldo de Barros, Sanford Biggers, Alicia Henry, Shara Hughes, Tony Lewis, Matthew Ronay, and Brie Ruais.  This is such a cool program and I am glad to see it has grown over the years.

   
  
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  Left: Alicia Henry's "Untitled" | Right: Untitled print by Geraldo de Barros

Left: Alicia Henry's "Untitled" | Right: Untitled print by Geraldo de Barros

Two pieces were selected from Texas gallery artists - Alicia Henry's "Untitled" portrait is from our own Liliana Bloch Gallery here in Dallas and two prints by Geraldo de Barros were selected from Sicardi Gallery in Houston.  It’s a win-win-win-win – benefiting the DMA, the fair, the artists, and the galleries that represent them.

I was excited to see The Hole from New York participating this year; they were showing several works by Eric Shaw, including one huge seven by nine foot work.

   
  
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    Eric Shaw, Untitled, Acrylic on canvas, 82 × 105”

Eric Shaw, Untitled, Acrylic on canvas, 82 × 105”

I was introduced to Shaw’s work through a client of ours who collects him, and I have followed him ever since.  His colorful geometric abstractions are wonderful and engaging, and his process of digital manipulation and planning fits right into the post-analog painting style of many contemporary working artists.

It is great to see all the DFW galleries showing – Talley Dunn, Conduit, Cris Worley, Erin Cluley, Liliana Bloch, Valley House, William Campbell Contemporary, PDNB Gallery, and for the first time this year, Bivins Gallery. 

 Install show of Gallery Henoch's booth; Left to right: Steve Smulka, Eric Zener, John Evans

Install show of Gallery Henoch's booth; Left to right: Steve Smulka, Eric Zener, John Evans

I look forward to seeing the realism works from Henoch Gallery, NY (artists like Robert Jackson, Eric Zener, Steve Smulka), and the work of Taubert Contemporary and Miles McEnery Gallery artist, Markus Linnenbrink each year.  Linnenbrink’s thick and layered epoxy resin and pigment on wood works, particularly those from his ‘Drills’ or ‘Cuts’ series, are wonderful; his approach to color and material has garnered him a following in Dallas. 

   
  
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  Works from Markus Linnenbrink's Drills and Cuts series

Works from Markus Linnenbrink's Drills and Cuts series

The fair was packed all weekend, even on Sunday. It is a wonderful show we are lucky to have in Dallas and shouldn’t take for granted; 10 years ago we didn’t have anything in town that came close to what the fair does.

The Dallas Art Fair is still a powerhouse.

-M.P. Callender