For all of these reasons, The European Fine Arts And Antiques Fair – better known as TEFAF – has announced that it will stage two new art fairs, both to be held in New York. According to a press release, the fairs “will provide an unprecedented showcase in New York for leading art dealers from around the world” (I tend to wonder what the current New York fairs will have to say about that), the first scheduled for October, 2016 with the second to take place in May, 2017. In case, you know, auction week plus Frieze New York aren’t enough for you.
I wish I could be happy about this. I’m not. Despite the encyclopedic range that TEFAF represents (the fair offers everything from ancient Egyptian artifacts and Syrian mosaics to antique Ottoman carpets and Louis XIV bureaus, from Rembrandt self-portraits to Cezanne still lives and Jeff Koons trains), and despite the possibility that New Yorkers would eagerly welcome the opportunity to visit such a fair, some things are meant to be unique. TEFAF is one of those things. Blast it out internationally, and it loses not just its allure, but much of its inherent gem-like quality.
But then, I suppose, in a world where Gagosian galleries are becoming as common as Apple stores, and the Guggenheim has become a multi-national, it’s just the way of the (art) world, 21st century edition. Me, I’m looking forward to the original, opening next month in Maastricht. And frankly, that’s good enough.
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