Parker also nodded to the unconventional setting of the fair, which he said encourages galleries to “do something a bit more ambitious” with their programming. It’s held in an abandoned brewery that stretches over five floors, interrupted by a shaded roof cafe and restaurant. Traversing the fair requires navigating metal stairways inside and outside of the edifice, searching out hidden corners of the edifice, and weaving in and out of hallways and rooms—a far cry from the orderly rows and aisles of your average large fair.
“It feels so relaxed and unkempt, you really have discoveries here, fresh voices,” said Dorothy Kosinski, director of the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C.
Isabella Anna-Maria Ritter, co-director of LambdaLambdaLambda
, a two-and-a-half-year-old gallery in Prishtina, Kosovo, agreed.
“It’s a good space, it’s not that fair atmosphere that you have in big commercial fairs—it’s more charming to be in a normal building,” she said. At her booth, works by three artists—Tatjana Danneberg, Hanne Lippard, and Dardan Zhegrova—were priced between €1,500 and €6,500. Ritter had sold several works by afternoon of opening day, characterizing collector appetite as roughly on par with what it was last year, her first year in the fair.
Those consistent sales enable her gallery, which is located in a country with an extremely limited art market, to keep the lights on.
“There’s no market [at home],” she said. “We are building it up at the moment…but we are really dependent on fairs,” adding that sales at LISTE were less volatile than at other fairs.