May 6, 2019
10 Highlights from Object & Thing, New York’s Newest Art and Design Fair
The inaugural exhibit, which closed yesterday, offered more than 200 works from 32 galleries.
In a week during which both Frieze and TEFAF bring collectors and dealers and artists, dazed from Salone and soon off to the Venice Biennale, to a New York City stuffed with spring shows, does the city need another fair?
Well, in a word, no. But in another word, maybe, says Frieze alum Abby Bangser, who this weekend inaugurated a new fair, Object & Thing, in Brooklyn’s booming Bushwick neighborhood. A few key differences aim to keep the fair fresh: some 32 galleries presented 200 works, including enviable items from Ettore Sottsass and Donald Judd, all refreshingly priced under $50,000 and displayed on a relatively even playing field at 99 Scott by artistic director Rafael de Cárdenas, who swapped the booths for thematic vignettes.
If it wasn’t snapped up at the preview, everything was for sale online, where listed prices and background text by curatorial advisor Glenn Adamson offered transparency and context. “Often it can be difficult for someone who doesn’t have a relationship with a dealer or who can’t travel to buy the work,” says Bangser. Now, it’s just a matter of deciding on delivery. IRL shoppers could also peruse the Shop in back, with nine vendors of books and housewares all priced under $100, take in talks by Felix Burrichter and Ann Agee, and then snack at a Marlow & Daughters pop-up among outdoor furnishings by Green River Project.
No matter the point of sale, everything was on consignment. “Since we keep a commission,” Bangser says, “we’re all in it together. There’s no fee to participate. This allowed us to receive risky works they couldn’t show in other contexts.”
As for timing, the choice was deliberate. “I purposely chose this weekend because, for galleries not based in New York, they are shipping crates here anyway to participate in the fairs, so it’s convenient. Everything is built with the perspective of how it could best serve the gallery.” Which is more than a few other fairs can say.
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