The inaugural Houston Fine Art Fair found a ready audience in Texas over the weekend. The gate topped 10,500 with 3,000 attending the opening night of this new 80-dealer show. Sales of artwork were reported to be about $6 million total, according to the fair organizers.
Exhibitors from across the U.S. as well as 13 European and Latin American countries were carefully chosen to fit the Houston market. An emphasis on mid-century Latin American art, 20th century American art, and younger contemporary artists appealed to the crowds who filled the George R. Brown Convention Center from Sept. 15 to 18.
“This year’s fair established a powerful foundation on which to build,” said Fran Kaufman, Director, Houston Fine Art Fair. ”It is our goal to develop this event into one of the most respected fine art fairs in America.”
Works by such artists as Fernando Botero, Jasper Johns, Sarah Frost, Robert Rauschenberg, and Donald Sultan were among the many sales.
Haunch of Venison director Robert Goff reported selling an important 1963 drawing by Argentine conceptual artist León Ferrari, along with other major works.
“We succeeded in our goal in identifying and attracting new tiers of art lovers,” said Rick Friedman, President of the Hamptons Expo Group, the organizer of the Houston Fine Art. “Many were inspired by what they saw, and many will eventually become passionate art collectors.”
Hamptons Expo Group also organizes ArtAspen, ArtHamptons, and the San Francisco Fine Art Fair. According to a company website, a new Palm Springs Fine Art Fair, dedicated to postwar and contemporary art, is in the planning stage with a debut date of February 17 to 19, 2012, at the Palm Springs Convention Center.