HOUSTON, LONDON AND PARIS - I hope you got some rest over the summer, because art fairs are starting up again, and there seem to be new ones cropping up all the time. Things start slowly, building up to the frenzy of Art Basel Miami and its many satellites once December rolls around.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Early fall is a good place to start to check in on the calendar. It’s worth noting that the usual big kickoff fair of the season, Shanghai’s ShContemporary, was canceled, with promises to return in 2014. In the meantime, here are some of the events to watch for:
Texas Two-Fer: Oddly enough there are two art fairs in Houston this fall, at the same venue, just one month apart – and both are celebrating their third anniversary. First up, and on right now, is the Houston Fine Art Fair, which organizers are touting as the South’s second-biggest fair after Art Basel Miami. Some 80 galleries participated last year, and evidently a lot of local A-listers get involved with the event. Then, from October 10-13 comes the Texas Contemporary Art Fair, with 70 galleries slated to attend, brought to you by the same folks behind July’s artMRKT Hamptons.
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London Calling: The dynamic duo behind Frieze, Amanda Sharp and Matthew Slotover, have been doing what many savvy entrepreneurs do – taking up ‘shelf space,’ as it were, with iterations of a popular product. London’s Frieze has been a smash hit, and the contemporary fair comes back October 17-20. Last year Frieze Masters was added for modern art up to 2000, and it returns for its sophomore round on the same October dates in London. The buzz for both has probably increased because of the success of Frieze New York, which will surely be back for Round 3 come May. And lots of folks will jaunt across the Channel to do the Friezes and then FIAC, making for a cosmopolitan month indeed.
Paris Match: In these heady days of global everything, most art fairs are eager to claim how international they are. But not FIAC, the Parisian stalwart holding its 40th annual fair October 24–27. The organizers are eager to let you know it’s a very European-focused event, with almost three out of every four galleries hailing from the Continent (with France as the leading contributor by far). It should be noted, however, that lots of the leading New York players will be on hand, including Pace, David Zwirner, Matthew Marks and Gagosian.