Beach Scene, Art + Auction July 2008

Entreprenuer Rick Friedman is launching the ArtHamptons fair, July 11 through 13, in the posh 11963 zip code, otherwise known as Bridgehampton, New York. “If you put your compass down here and trace a five-mile radius, you’d be impressed with the serious collectors that live within it,” says Friedman. The work on view, from 55 galleries, is priced accordingly: $50,000 to $200,000, on average, for heavy hitters like de Kooning, Warhol and Wyeth. New York’s Hollis Taggart is bringing a $2 million 1890 watercolor by Childe Hassam, Sunday on Fifth Avenue, a seminal work. The American figurative painter Will Barnet, 97, who will be honored with a lifetime-achievement award, is being featured by Babcock Galleries of New York; Harmon-Meek Gallery, of Naples, Florida; and Jerald Melberg, of Charlotte, North Carolina. East Aurora, New York’s Accorsi Art is devoting its booth to the late Pop artist Larry Rivers, whose studio was in the Long Island neighborhood. “I think this will become a circuit stop,” says Friedman. “There are worse places to be in July.”

ArtHamptons is not the first fair to exploit this idea: Scope helped establish the summer art scene in East Hampton three years ago with its debut there. It returns this year from July 24 to 27 to court the local glitterati with the best of the emerging-art scene. “Instead of dropping a million on one piece, collectors will buy 10 pieces for $10,000 each,” says Scope president Alex Hubshman. As in previous years, the works are priced in the $5,000-to-$20,000 range and come from 50 exhibitors, including Mexico City’s Enrique Guerrero and Miami’s Fredric Snitzer, a second-timer at the fair who will show pieces by New York artist Sean Dack, priced between $4,000 and $20,000, and by the Florida-born painterMichael Vasquez, for $4,000 to $25,000. But Hubshman has made one noticeable change: a month-long pre-event schedule during which major clients will be wined and dined on yachts—and at the house of publishing magnates Richard and Eileen Ekstract, who will host a benefit for Manhattan’s Museum of Arts and Design. No VIP pass is required to attend a concurrentgroup exhibition of photography, painting and sculpture that the independent curator Andrea Salerno is cooking up with local gallerist James Solomon, set to open July 5 at the Tahari store in EastHampton.


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