With high-end art fairs proliferating, dealers have many choices to make, starting with the location of the event.
Another decision comes with creating their booth with the larger fair context in mind. Should they complement the galleries around them or offer a somewhat contrasting selection?
For the New York edition of the European Fine Art Fair (known as TEFAF), running from May 12 to 16 at the Park Avenue Armory, the contemporary art dealer Gisela Capitain is leaning toward contrast.
The fair emphasizes modern and contemporary art and design objects much more so than the older, original edition of TEFAF in Maastricht, the Netherlands, but it still offers a handful of dealers of antiquities and jewelry that help make it a diverse showcase. The Gilded Age aesthetic of the Armory, completed in 1881, adds an old-fashioned touch that is decidedly absent from convention centers.
When they can, dealers often try to capture the art world zeitgeist in their booth. After the recent show “Meret Oppenheim: My Exhibition” at MoMA, Di Donna Galleries of New York will devote its booth solely to Ms. Oppenheim’s work.
“Meret is very relevant right now,” said the gallery’s founder, Emmanuel Di Donna. “Every week, I have people coming in to look for female Surrealists.” The gallery specializes in what he called “classic 20th-century art” made until about 1970, with special attention to Surrealism.
“Those artists have a rich iconography and high-quality draftsmanship,” he said of the Surrealists. Ms. Oppenheim in particular, he said, “was unafraid to explore the unconventional.” Three of the objects in the booth were in the MoMA show.
One piece in that booth that displays Ms. Oppenheim’s iconoclastic side is the sculpture “Eichhörnchen (Squirrel)” (1969-70), which looks like a stein of beer that has sprouted a large, bushy squirrel tail. Fur was a recurring motif for the artist, most famously with her 1936 “Object,” a fur-lined teacup, saucer and spoon that became one of Surrealism’s landmark works.
In his gallery on the Upper East Side, Mr. Di Donna has a concurrent show, “Man Ray’s Paris Portraits: 1921-1939.” One of the images on view is “Meret Oppenheim at the Printer’s Wheel (Erotique Voilée)” (1933), showing Ms. Oppenheim naked, though (mostly) tastefully covered by equipment, and smeared with ink.
“It’s such an amazing image,” Mr. Di Donna said.
He added of Ms. Oppenheim, “She defied expectations and inspired a lot of artists.”