The First Major Art Fair in Houston

The First Major Art Fair in Houston


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“How come there has never been a major art fair in Houston before?“ Some people have wondered that since they first learned that this coming September, Houston will host an international fine art fair for the very first time. The idea originated with Hamptons Expo Group founder Rick Friedman. The group also runs fine art fairs in Aspen, the Hamptons and San Francisco. What made the idea so appealing was the fact that the city of Houston offers an array of museums with important collections, such as the MFAH, Museum of Contemporary Art and the Menil, among others, in addition to a thriving gallery scene and a strong and diverse base of collectors.

Over the past few months, as Fran Kauffman, the Director of this project spoke with galleries and arts groups, the idea was to bring in galleries from around the world and around the country. Europe and Latin America were also invited, and many of them are coming for the first time. Through their programming, they will be exposed to the city’s institutions, cultural organizations and collectors, and many of them will hopefully develop strong ties that will encourage them to be back each year through participation in the fair. When we asked Fran Kauffman for her perspective in terms of collectors and the kind of art they collect, she said:

In speaking with collectors and visiting their homes over the past months, I have discovered that each collection is very personal, and that there is great diversity. There are collections focusing on contemporary art, on pop art, on Latin American work from classic to cutting edge, on photography, on Chinese art–the list goes on. What I can say is that the collections are strong and often come from the passion of the collector.

Galleries in the fair are coming from many cities within the US, including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Santa Fe, New Orleans and Miami, as well as from European and Latin American countries such as England, Germany, Colombia, Argentina, Cuba and Brazil, among many others. The range of art will include modern and contemporary masters, established and emerging artists, working in virtually all media from painting to sculpture, installation, video, photography and works on paper.

The MFAH Glassell School of Art Core artists’ and critics’ residency program will be their beneficiary for the opening night on September 15, and we are very pleased to honor such a vibrant and creative entity. The history of the fair organizer in creating successful art fairs in other cities and the experience and professionalism of key members of the HFAF team has given them credibility among arts professionals in the nation. In
addition, this coming fair has the support of the HAA and of key members of the arts community who have introduced them to the movers and shakers of the Houston art world.

The galleries themselves have seen the opportunity to form part of a larger art world in their own city, and to be seen at home in the context of a global art world.

Curators, museum groups, art writers and collectors from other cities, were invited to attend, some of whom will be participating in their lecture series. The series will be part of their VIP programming and will be open to the public. They will focus on key art market topics relating to Latin American art, photography, and collecting practices, as well as artist and collector interviews.


Posted: May 10, 2012 at 2:40 am

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