Los Angeles-based gallerist Anat Ebgi
and her director Stefano Di Paola agreed that collectors had become more thoughtful about their purchasing, something they also said was a hallmark of the New York audience.
“It’s very intentional [at Armory],” Di Paola said, comparing it with fairs in Miami, for example, which he said can feel more like a buying frenzy. The gallery had sold half of the eight
paintings they brought as of Friday, and said they were seeing people making return trips: coming back with their friends or advisors to take another look at a potential purchase.
“It’s a good, solid fair,” said Ebgi.
William Pym, director of London gallery Josh Lilley
, called this year “terrific,” especially after a less robust 2016. It was the gallery’s eighth year at the fair, and he brought three paintings by a new artist, the 29-year-old Brit
. All three, plus four more paintings back in London, sold, he said, at between $5,000 and $15,000.
Many of the gallery’s artists are now pushing into the mid-career point in their trajectories, said Pym, and the gallery itself has matured from its earlier reputation as an incubator of emerging artists. This growth comes, however, at a time when the market is relatively soft, something which can put them in a bit of a bind when choosing what inventory to place on offer.
“We can’t take a risk with the top, top value works, $50,000 or above; our price point for this fair is $10,000 to $30,000,” he said. “That seems to be the level people like from us.”
sculpture sold for approximately $18,000, he said, and a difficult sculpture by another new artist,
, sold for $10,000. She had her first solo exhibition with Lilley in January.