As we know in the art world, appearance is (kind of) everything. The cosmetic changes were largely applauded by dealers, especially those with booths on the east side of the convention center, closest to the entrances. David Maupin of New York- and Hong Kong-based gallery Lehmann Maupin
said the changes had gotten rid of visual disruptions like electrical boxes, making the fair “much smoother, more elegant.”
“It’s much more comprehensible to the visitor,” Maupin said. “The new layout is definitely an improvement.”
His booth, on the east side of the building, was buzzing with collectors on Wednesday, and he called it a “great day,” with an improvement in sales from last year. Two recent paintings by Chinese artist
sold for between $200,000 and $250,000, as did two woven glass bead works by
: the smaller Relief 2
(2017) for between $115,000 and $125,000, and the larger Relief 3
(2017) for between $130,000 and $140,000, which went to a trustee of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York. Lou’s first New York show in a decade will open Lehmann Maupin’s new 24th Street location next year.
Maupin said that while the fair’s new look certainly helped, it was attention from institutions and curators that are the biggest factor in driving sales for his artists. One example was
, who is due to open two shows in the spring, including a presentation at Dia:Beacon
and a solo show at the Whitney Museum of American Art
in New York. Two large paintings from her 2017 “DNA” series sold for between $250,000 and $300,000.
“These things really drive the interest, whether it’s museum exhibitions or curatorial interest, it’s very important to these artists’ careers, that kind of validation or endorsement,” Maupin said.