New York, October 29, 2019 -- The International Fine Print Dealers Association (IFPDA) finished its 28th annual Fine Art Print Fair on Sunday, October 27 at the Javits Center in New York City with strong sales, record attendance, and a fresh selection of work showcasing 500 years of printmaking.
The fair presented a series of standing-room-only talks with artists and curators, including Jeff Koons (below), Swoon (Caledonia Curry, below), Jim Dine, Mel Bochner, Nadine Orenstein of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Christophe Cherix of the Museum of Modern Art.
The fair kicked off with strong opening night sales. Krakow Witkin Gallery “sold half the booth” in a single day according to Andrew Witkin, with works by Richard Serra, Sol LeWitt, and Kiki Smith. Several of the booth’s impressions of a recent etching by Smith sold to five museums across the globe.
Pace Prints’ booth featured monoprints and editions made exclusively of handmade paper pulp from its Gowanus, Brooklyn Pace Paper Workshop. According to Dick Solomon, President of Pace Prints, they “sold everything but the carpet”, with editions by Peter Halley, Mary Heilmann, Adam Pendleton, and Li Songsong.
Susan Sheehan Gallery oversaw the impressive sales of Joan Mitchell’s Sunflowers II in excess of $100,000, Helen Frankenthaler’s Tales of Genji V for an asking price of $95,000, Cy Twombly’s Roman Notes V and Roman Notes VI for approximately $95,000 each, Jasper Johns’ Cicada for $60,000, and David Hockney’s Rue de Seine for $55,000, in addition to smaller works from Sandback, and Albers, among others.
Hauser & Wirth returned to the fair with new editions by Luchita Hurtado and Rashid Johnson. The gallery’s sales included rare Eva Hesse etchings, which were placed with a major museum collection for $40,000 each; a suite of 12 prints, ‘There Will Come Soft Rains,' by Matthew Day Jackson for $35,000, who was the Jordan Schnitzer Award recipient; and several editions of the new works by Hurtado and Johnson, which were placed with multiple institutions.
Another artist who made a splash at this year’s Fair was 104-year-old Carmen Herrera, whose career started taking off in her 80’s. ULAE sold out her 2019 edition, Tondo: Azul y Rojo, on opening day at $30,000 each.
Marlborough Graphics made several strong sales including a small work by Vija Celmins, the subject of a solo show currently on view at The Met Breuer, for $15,000.
Galerie Maximillian had brisk sales, selling 17 works from its booth, compared to six sales the year before. The booth included many works by Jean Dubuffet, Henri Matisse, and David Hockney.
Other early purchases were two suites of Polly Apfelbaum’s On Target (2019) offered by Durham Press consisting of six woodblock prints that fetched $30,000 for each series.
Childs Gallery sold Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn’s Old Man Shading His Eyes (1638), a small etching with drypoint.
The Old Print Shop sold an engraving attributed to Paul Revere titled The Fruits of Arbitrary Power (1770). This national treasure was originally printed for and sold by W. Bingley in Newgate-Street and depicts the Boston Massacre of March, 1770.
Swoon attended the opening night of the fair, spending time at the booth of Polígrafa Obra Gráfica where she singled out out a pair of large 2019 works by Jaume Plensa as among her favorite works on view.
“No fair brings the work of contemporary artists and old masters into the same space and conversation the way the IFPDA Fine Art Print Fair does,” said Jenny Gibbs, Executive Director of the IFPDA. “I was blown away by the breadth of work presented at this year’s Fair and the way our speakers brought their work and the practice of printmaking to life. We are proud of all our exhibiting IFPDA members and are already planning for next year.”
Jeff Koons and Christophe Cherix of MoMA spoke on Friday, October 25. Koons spoke of printmaking as “one of the most generous forms of art, democratizing images through multiples.” Koons spent time exploring the fair after his talk, visiting the booths of old master galleries David Tunick, Inc. and HILL-STONE.
On Sunday, October 26, Swoon spoke with Nadine Orenstein of The Metropolitan Museum of Art and IFPDA Executive Director, Jenny Gibbs about the living history in contemporary printmaking practice. Swoon, whose 24’ installation welcomed visitors at the Fair and uses the same techniques as Renaissance etchings, describes this connection between artists as like “a game of telephone,” played between the likes of Dürer, Toulouse Lautrec, and herself, in which ways of making lines on a page are passed from one to the next by viewing each other’s work.
Other highlights of the fair’s programming were the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation Lecture, given by artist Jim Dine, and the presentation of the Jordan Schnitzer Awards for Excellence in Printmaking to Mel Bochner and Matthew Day Jackson. Schnitzer, an avid print collector and champion of modern artists and arts education purchased several works at Shark’s Ink, in addition to a Raymond Pettibon piece, Untitled (Hermosa Beach), for $9,500 from Brooke Alexander, Inc. These purchases were made on the heels of his purchase of Jasper Johns‘s Flags I for $1.2 million at Christie’s auction earlier in the week.
Dozens of works throughout the fair were sold to major national and international museums. Institutions in attendance included the Smithsonian, the British Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Harvard Art Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the National Gallery of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and The Guggenheim Museum. All ticket proceeds from the Fair benefited the IFPDA Foundation.
About the IFPDA Fine Art Print Fair and the IFPDA Foundation
Now in its 28th year, the IFPDA Fine Art Print Fair is the longest-running and largest international art fair showcasing 500 years of printmaking. The IFPDA Fine Art Print Fair is presented by the International Fine Print Dealers Association, a non-profit organization of 160 galleries and publishers in 13 countries who champion printmaking, scholarship and connoisseurship. Proceeds from the IFPDA Fine Art Print Fair benefit the IFPDA Foundation, which awards curatorial, exhibition and artists grants in the field of printmaking and scholarship.
About IFPDA Print Week
IFPDA Print Week celebrates 500 years of printmaking with the IFPDA Fine Art Print Fair as the centerpiece alongside cultural partners including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, MoMA, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and The New York Satellite Print Fair. Public programs include exhibitions and tours, gallery talks, printmaking demonstrations and workshops, and panel discussions.
October 21-25, 2020
River Pavilion, Javits Center, 11th Avenue at 35th Street, New York