Published: May 18, 2016
Review and Photos by Greg Smith
NEW YORK CITY — In a heavy traffic art week for New York, Spring Masters celebrated its third and final installment, packing the Park Avenue Armory with leading dealers and galleries offering more than 7,000 years of quality art, antiques and antiquities.
The show featured 59 domestic and international dealers with art and objects spanning postwar and contemporary art, Roman and Chinese antiquities, fine jewelry, Impressionist paintings, graffiti art, English and American antique furniture, Twentieth Century craft and design works and cross-movement bronze sculpture.
More than 2,900 people attended the VIP preview party on Thursday, May 5, to browse the curated and vetted presentations reflecting the vibrant eclecticism of the range of periods and styles on view.
Though this is the final Spring Masters, managing partners Michael Plummer and Jeff Rabin of Artvest Partners LLC are looking to a new beginning. The duo have entered into a joint venture with TEFAF Maastricht to bring Europe’s foremost art and antiques fair to the United States market. Spring Masters New York will become TEFAF New York Spring, with TEFAF New York Fall to debut in October 2016 at the Park Avenue Armory.
“The TEFAF fairs will fulfill what we, and many others, feel is an unprecedented opportunity in the American art market given New York’s stature as the global capital of the art world. These two fairs will add a dimension to the art world in New York that has been much anticipated by dealers, museum curators and collectors alike,” noted Plummer. “They will have an incredible impact on the city and the art world, across the country and beyond.”
The show’s signature honeycomb booth design by Rafael Viñoly will not carry into the TEFAF fairs. The angled walls and obtuse openings led to gallery areas beyond and made for a private and original environment that gave booths a more secluded and comfortable feeling. It was easy to get lost in this layout, though never far from finding yourself entranced by another work of art.
With a predominantly New York clientele, sales were strong and dealers were hopeful about the future of the show.
“It is always brilliant to be in the heart of Manhattan, it is perfect for seeing our regular clients and making new friends,” said Adrian Biddell of Waterhouse & Dodd. “The armory, too, is such a landmark building, the backdrop to a memorable last season for Spring Masters. The opening was especially busy, and we have made lots of new contacts and received excellent new leads over the five days of the show. So it has been very worthwhile exposure for us. Plans for the TEFAF New York fair are very exciting and we very much look forward to being under the TEFAF umbrella in 2017.”
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