Hers was among the first galleries to make a sale, with ’s
poppy screenprint Medusa
(2019), which was priced at $1,200, selling shortly after Fair opened. “I think Emily’s Medusa
image—with its mouth frozen in an almost
–like scream—is a fairly timely portrayal of our crazy times,” said Subal.
Poignancy is something that many of the works at Fair have in common. The fact that it was developed specifically in response to the pandemic has allowed dealers to curate to the moment. Another piece that sold during Fair’s first week was a Maggie Ellis watercolor presented by New York dealer Charles Moffett, which went for $1,500. The work, titled Sparrow with Shadows (2020), depicts a city sidewalk, desolate save for a hunched man, the titular sparrow, and a face mask–clad woman walking down the street. “[Ellis has] really hit on something in a way that is delicate, beautiful, moving, and very much in her own style,” said Moffett. “It just seemed like the perfect thing to present.”
Hotel Art Pavillion, meanwhile, took a characteristically more futuristic approach to our dystopian present with Danish artist Albin Werle’s Game for a Future Artificial Intelligence (2018). Listed for $3,000, the set of 16 hand-painted porcelain vessels are game pieces that invite a future AI to play with the artist—a kind of proposed Turing test. “It’s ironic to be showing his work during a time of social distancing,” explained Johnny Stanish, one half of the duo that makes up Hotel Art Pavillion. “The aim for so many of his works is for people to be collaborative—there are no winners or losers.”