Houston Fine Art Fair 2015: The Review

In just five years, HFAF has established itself as the premiere art fair of the South (outside of Miami) and this year attracted 12,000 attendees over the three days of the fair.

Houston itself is not a pretty city but it is an exciting and fascinating one. The largest city in Texas and the Southern States, it has an immensely diverse population from various ethnic and religious backgrounds brought together by the NASA Space Center (“Houston, we have a problem”), the oil and gas industries, one of the largest ports in the States and the largest medical centre in the world.

It’s a city for foodies with some excellent restaurants and a bustling night-life. The theatre and museum districts are wonderful and in particular, the Menil Collection was possibly one of the most interesting private collections we have visited in a long while.

Highlights from HFAF…

Opened to the public in 1987, the art collection of John & Dominique de Menil is recognized not only for its quality and depth but also for its distinctive presentation and eclecticism. From prehistoric times to the present, the pieces within represent many world cultures and thousands of years of human creativity.

Set within a quiet, residential area the museum spans several buildings with the majority of the collection, ranging from objects from Africa, the Pacific Islands and classical Mediterranean civilizations to 20th Century European and American art, housed within the main gallery. In 1964 the de Menil’s commissioned Mark Rothko to ‘shape and control a total environment’ which resulted in 14 paintings created especially for a meditative space, known as the Rothko Chapel. Outside of this and opened in 1995 is a Cy Twombly Gallery housing more than thirty works by the abstract painter and sculptor and in 1996 Dominique de Menil commissioned Dan Flavin to create an installation with works of fluorescent lights for nearby Richmond Hall (built as a grocery store in 1930). Most interestingly, in 1997 the Byzantine Fresco Chapel was opened and originally housed two 13th Century frescoes that were returned to Cyprus in 2012.

It is in keeping with Houston’s cosmopolitan collector tastes that HFAF brings together exhibitors from across the globe with the highest quality works, spanning post-war American and European paintings to mid-career and emerging contemporary artists.

Highlights from our stand…

Of our collection, we had strongest interest in Walter Dolphyn, Paul S. Brown, Peter van Breda and Stewart Lees’ work, with some nice sales throughout the show it was a great pre-cursor to the second Houston show we shall be exhibiting at between 13-15 November: http://thetacharityantiquesshow.com/

The collection of paintings we are taking shall be up on our website soon!


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