Sculptures by Anton Bakker at Walker Fine Art, via Hamptons Fine Art
With the summer months in full swing and the challenges of a post-COVID art world continuing to pose new issues for the market, an increasing number of fairs and exhibitions are moving towards online sales and shows. Hamptons Virtual Art Fair, currently open online, marks a new entry in the string of fairs and online exhibitions that have run this summer, an intriguing addition that references the art world’s annual pilgrimage to the Eastern end of Long Island without the sun and sand. It’s an interesting addition to an art calendar long defined by timing and travel for the collector class, a wink towards where, in late summer, its buyers may well be logging in from.
The project’s new online footprint is operated in collaboration with Walter’s Cube, the New York-based art and technology venture, whose Online Viewing Room platform seeks to move from showing work online towards creating immerse, three-dimensional exhibition spaces where artworks can be viewed and explored as if the viewer was in the room. Aiming to be a new platform that allows a globalized audience for local shows and museum exhibitions, the project in the Hamptons sees 70 galleries on hand, exhibiting over 1,000 artworks, and is accessible 24/7 from all over the world from both mobile and desktop. With the project already showing strong response and sales on past ventures, this latest iteration makes for a promising summer exhibition for dealers looking to boost sales during a challenging market year.
The exhibition includes a number of impressive works and selections across the expanse of the show, with galleries from around the globe bringing top tier work to bear on the virtually-rendered exhibition booths. Adamar, from Miami, is showing an impressive collection of paintings, including a striking Alex Katz composition, while Philadelphia’s ZQ Gallery, which specializes in outsider art and Caribbean artists, had brought forward a selection of pieces by Stanley Casselman, Thornton Dial, Nicole Dyer, Anne Grgich, and Adam Handler. Also of note was work on view at London’s Boogie | Wall, which centered on women artists working in diverse array of Media and whose artistic practices explore fundamental subjects such as life, gender and identity on a global scale, featuring work by Namsa Leuba, Delphine Diallo, Hajnalka Tarr, Clemence Vazard and Adelaide Damoah. Also of particular note is the exhibition at New Orleans’s M.S. Rau, where a range of works by Picasso, Renoir, Monet, and more were united under the show heading ‘Legends: Impressionism to Surrealism.’
Other galleries had seized on the opportunity to show large-scale sculpture, using the gallery’s flexible virtual space to put forth works that would prove daunting to show in a physical space. For example, artist Anton Bakker’s works in the Walker Fine Art booth, which used fixed points in space to reveal harmonious alignments as three-dimensional paths, made for a striking engagement with the digital space of the booth, challenging assumptions of physical and digital space while commenting on the nature of showing three-dimensional work in that same space.
Considering the project of Walter’s Cube, and its mission of providing immersive, spatialized art programming that moves beyond the static image to create an engaging space that approaches the physical. the Hamptons Virtual Fair is a strong entry in a summer of experimentation and exploration around new programs and concepts. With collectors safe at home in the Hamptons, the fair creates a semblance of the normal pace of the summer months on Long Island.
The fair closes July 26th.
— D. Creahan