By Taylor Barker and Katy B. Olson
A diamond-patterned oak cabinet by French minimalist interior designer Jean-Michel Frank, Frida Kahlo’s “Plaster Corset with a Hammer and Sickle,” a second-century Roman marble torso… The most recent unveiling of The European Fine Art Fair, held in March in the off-the-beaten-path Netherlands town of Maastricht, featured some of the art world’s most compelling pieces, ranging in both era and style from antiquity to modernity, and hosted the world’s highest-level collectors, dealers and galleries (and the notable Champagne-soaked vernissage). This coming October, the granddaddy of the art scene will be bringing its treasures to New York City.
The move was made in response to requests by collectors and exhibitors to expand the show to other locations. TEFAF, in partnership with Artvest, an art investment advisory firm, will host two annual shows in New York, one in the fall and one in spring. With around 100 exhibitors, the New York-based shows will be smaller than the once-yearly show in The Netherlands, which usually hosts about 270.
The first iteration will run October 22 to 26 at the Park Avenue Armory, following an October 21 reception to benefit the Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as well as cultural programs produced at the Armory. The show will reveal a glimpse of its roots with an exhibit from the Rijksmuseum, a Dutch national museum specializing in art and history, and 94 other exhibitors will be on hand with fine art, design, furniture and jewelry ranging from antiquity through the 20th century, among them: Carlo Orsi, Christophe de Quénetain, Daniel Katz Ltd., Galleria Carlo Virgilio & Co, Gallery Perrin, Jean-Luc Baroni Ltd, Joan Wijermars, Rob Smeets Old Master Paintings, Siegelson, and Wallace Chan.
“Among the different possibilities TEFAF has explored over the past couple of years, this partnership with Artvest in the Park Avenue Armory New York really stood out,” explains Patrick van Maris van Dijk, CEO of TEFAF. “It is a typical combination of ideal time, ideal place, ideal people. They share our values of excellence and expertise and respect the time and facilities we need for our far-reaching vetting and exceptional stand build.”
Michael Plummer, co-founder of Artvest Partners, chimes in on why the show is making the move across the Atlantic—and what visiting interior designers can expect.
What was behind the decision to bring TEFAF to New York?
Both TEFAF Maastricht exhibitors and private and American collectors expressed the need and desire for a TEFAF platform in the U.S. The expansion is in line with TEFAF’s desire to be more present throughout the year and to introduce TEFAF to a broader range of collectors. We also expect and hope American collectors who already know TEFAF will take advantage of TEFAF being closer to home. With its expansion into the U.S., TEFAF brings with it over 40 exhibitors who have either never shown in the U.S. before or are returning after a lengthy absence.
What are the benefits to hosting TEFAF in New York? Were there challenges bringing the show here?
As both the world’s leading art market and a cultural and economic epicenter, New York City was the best possible fit for a TEFAF fair outside of Maastricht. The only real challenge was finding a space for the fair. By creating an exhibition space which overflows into the period rooms on the first and second floors of the Park Avenue Armory, we have been able to create the biggest footprint of any art fair ever held in Manhattan, and present a range of dealers and art that is unprecedented in this space.
Are there new programs, discussions or other features that are exclusive to New York?
There are new programs exclusive to New York. These programs include collaboration with the Rijksmuseum and launch of TEFAF Week, which will include exhibitions, lectures and art events all around New York. Tom Postma, the designer for TEFAF Maastricht, will be designing TEFAF New York, and for the first time, the Armory’s second floor will house dealers in the beautiful period rooms.
What are some features that interior designers can expect?
TEFAF New York includes furniture and fine art. Interior designers can find both inspiration and objects for their clients at the fair, whether it is an object for the home or a unique way to display it. At TEFAF New York, designers will find the very best the world has to offer under one roof, with each piece vetted with the most rigorous standards.
The second TEFAF New York show will come to the Park Avenue Armory in spring 2017, and will spotlight modern and contemporary art.