Senior Chief Executive Correspondent Erik Wenzel reporting
MORE ART FAIRS
Firstly, in the Chicago Reader, Deanna Isaacs reports in The Business, that gallerists have already lined up to sign on to next years Art Chicago in the Mart. In conversation with me, people have expressed concern, though, that the Merchandise Mart will make it too designy and couchy.
The Bidness also reports that DMG has announced plans to launch their own fair next year. This is the London based company that just bought SOFA, the sculptural objects and functional art show (READ: design and furniture). This is also the company Thomas Blackman tried to sell Art Chicago to at the last minute when it was [insert naval reference: sinking, running aground, taking on water]. The SOFA guy (Mark Lyman) said that DMG had planned a fair for ‘08 but has just stepped up the date to next year. Maybe that is why it passed on the offer from Blackman. Or maybe Blackman knew about the plan and that is why he approached them. It boggles the mind! Well, not really.
Lyman also said that the DMG fair would likely be at Navy Pier. What is up with everyone and the Pier? There was The Fair at Navy Pier, The Chicago International Exposition (those two might be the same show) then Art Chicago took over at the Pier. And when they got booted Chicago Contemporary and Classic went there. Is this some symbolic thing? Who will control the hold the Pier?! There’s the Armory Show in New York, which is only a few years old, and it is at two piers. What is it about the idea piling tons of valuable art on a strip of concrete jutting out into open water that is so appealing? Is it the danger? The irony that the last thing you would want to happen to you collection is to have it get near water and here you are having a whole show on it? Of the art fairs I've been to (in Chicago, New York and London) the absolute best was when the Stray Show was at the warehouse on Kingsbury here in town.
Isaacs went on to report that interviews for an executive director were held in New York last week; I am assuming this is for the DMG show. London, New York. They must think it is worth bringing this kind of stuff out to little old over here. We’ll see. We’ll see what sort of galleries are involved, what kind of art is being shown. Until then, it is all just Business.