Art Fairs Opening This Week

Two art fairs that have succeeded in becoming a fixture in Bridgehampton
What goes on view outside can be as dramatic as what’s inside the tent, as these eye-catching blow-up hand sculptures demonstrated at last year’s ArtHamptons. ArtHamptons

Anyone looking for crowds this weekend is sure to enjoy this week’s return of two art fairs that have succeeded in becoming a fixture in Bridgehampton in the second weekend in July.

Once the young upstart, Art Market Hamptons will return now for a fourth year with a slightly different spelling of its name at its space at the Bridgehampton Museum on the grounds of Corwith House. ArtHamptons will return for a seventh year in the same space it occupied last year at Nova’s Ark on Millstone Road.

Art Market is the smaller of the fairs, with 40 galleries showing work, but it has a better reputation for culling its participants with an eye towards curatorial cohesion and artistic quality. ArtHamptons has always been more of an eclectic mix of galleries drawn from around the world with a hodgepodge of styles and less attention to connoisseurship.

Both hold benefit openings for South Fork art institutions as one way of gaining clout and attention. This year’s beneficiary of Art Market’s opening night will be the LongHouse Reserve in East Hampton. The fair is also partnering with Norwood, a social club in New York City, to provide music, cocktails, and “transformative interiors.”

Guild Hall will be the recipient of proceeds from ArtHamptons, which will also honor local artists such as Jane Freilicher, this year’s lifetime achievement honoree, and Robert Wilson as arts patron of the year.

As usual, ArtHamptons will be hosting a series of parties and events as well, including a polo demonstration for fairgoers and museum junior committees that will benefit the Southampton Arts Center. A special event for children will be offered on Sunday when Free Arts NYC will visit the fair to provide a “morning of art exploration for kids and their families.”

Art Market has a more low-key approach to running its fair; the art is the main attraction. It relies on its cultural partners to help spread the word and attract attendees. This year’s partners are the Asia Society, the Brooklyn Museum, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and the International Center of Photography, among others.

Seizing on the new popularity of casual but high-end artisanal food vendors at certain art fairs, Art Market will have three well-known purveyors from Brooklyn participating. They include Roberta’s, which is known for its pizza, Red Hook Lobster Pound, which has a Montauk outpost, to provide lobster rolls and other seafood creations, and Van Leeuwen Ice Cream. ArtHamptons will have Cheffe Colette, the chef and owner of Inn Spot on the Bay in Quogue.

Local galleries will participate in both fairs. Art Market’s South Fork galleries will include Birnam Wood, Eric Firestone, Grenning, Kathryn Markel, Neoteric Fine Art, Sara Nightingale, and Vered, which will have a modern and contemporary booth. Art Hamptons will host the Tulla Booth, Karyn Mannix Contemporary, Richard Demato, Mark Borghi, Lawrence Fine Art, Monika Olko, Clic, Chase Edwards, and Bridgehampton Fine Art galleries.

Among the South Fork artists showing at the fairs are Bastienne Schmidt, Eric Dever, Margaret Garrett, Sydney Albertini, Barbara Bilotta, and Matthew Satz.

Complete listings of participating galleries and artists, as well as the activities schedules, may be found on the websites arthamptons.com and artmarkethamptons.com.