By Greg Smith, May 16, 2017
NEW YORK CITY – It was a fair fit for a king at the Park Avenue Armory as Manhattan welcomed TEFAF’s inaugural May 4-8 spring edition against a backdrop of Modern and contemporary art and design. The collectors were present, the dealers were selling, and the fair, by all measures, regaled its visitors with a sensory experience of material gravitas. There is perhaps no other show that has the resources to transform the armory in the manner that TEFAF does. Ninety-three exhibitors from around the world joined hands to present a fair replete with Modern masters, antiquities and tribal art, contemporary artworks and examples of historic Twentieth and Twenty-First Century design.
Managing show directors Michael Plummer and Jeff Rabin were found walking the show floor in high spirits during the opening preview gala as they dropped into conversations with international collectors and curators representing high-profile collections from around the world. Rabin emphasized that the show will propel itself forward with high curatorship and an exceptional visitor experience.
“The collectors have come out from across the globe, and the dealers have brought truly superlative property. There is an excitement in the air,” said Rabin. “A key focus of our fair is to integrate it into the cultural fabric of the city. We have programming every morning with notable experts across categories, and the quality and mix of our material is second to none.”
High-profile Surrealist, Modern and postwar works were on offer from New York City gallery Di Donna. As if they were hosting one of the liveliest dinner parties in the city, which is no small feat, the gallery’s exhibition, “A Surrealist Banquet,” featured a loud spread of sculpture and small works on a long dining table that extended through the middle of their upstairs space, offering works from Magritte, Dalí, Jean Arp, Tom Wesselmann, Robert Watts, César, Hans Bellmer and others. The highlight work from Salvador Dalí was a bronze and mixed media bust of a woman titled “Buste de femme retrospectif.” The work was originally conceived in 1933 in porcelain and mixed media and was later cast in bronze in 1977, 11 years before Dali’s death. The bust sold to a collector during the show run.