Inaugural Edition of Spring Masters, New York Opens to Acclaim from Dealers and Collectors Alike
Exhibitors and visitors were astonished by the impact of the Rafael Vinoly design, seeing it as a significant evolution of the fair model and international market
Spring Masters answers demand for high-quality presentation of traditional art in the spring calendar
New York, MAY 6, 2014—The inaugural edition of Spring Masters, New York, produced by Michael Plummer and Jeff Rabin of Artvest Partners, closed on Sunday, May 4, at the Park Avenue Armory with exhibitors praising the quality of collector turnout, the diversity of work on view, and the fair’s groundbreaking Rafael Viñoly design. With 51 galleries and dealers from across North America, the United Kingdom, and Europe, and works of art and design from antiquity through the 20th century, Spring Masters has established its important position in the spring arts calendar.
The new design represented the most significant change in the Armory fair format in three decades, and took advantage of the dramatic setting and sweep of the Drill Hall to open up the space and create a range of installations. The hexagonal booths fostered a dialogue among the works of art on view, creating unexpected juxtapositions between paintings, sculptures, and design objects and guiding visitors through the show.
The sense of discovery was palpable among visitors and exhibitors alike with the new design breaking the monotony that frequently plagues fairs. Many exhibitors remarked on the importance of this change to the traditional format to the conception and experience of the international fair. Many spoke of its significance in highlighting the tremendous quality of the featured work and the connections across time period, geography, culture, and genre.
Details regarding attendance and sales are forthcoming.
“Spring Masters presented a revolutionary design. The quality of the work is also really important. There is a strong diversity. The fair has a real potential to grow and become an important part of the spring arts calendar.”
- Peter Osborne
“We made contacts with new clients and were pleased to see a number of curators from various US institutions with whom we are now in discussions in relation to several objects.”
Mullany, London based specialists in medieval and renaissance sculpture and works of art, were delighted with the inaugural edition of the fair.
“It was all smiles and congratulations from our clients and others that we met for the first time at the refreshing Spring Masters fair. We are happy with the new design and the open space and we look forward to next year very much.”
- Hicham Aboutaam of Phoenix Ancient Art
“There has been an amazing response to the show and our work. We were surprised to see our installation resonate across generations. The show experience was guided by the design, which provided something fresh and different. We are thrilled by the people we have met and the overall experience.”
- Joe Carini
“It has been a very good fair for me. There has been a great response to the eclectic mixture of objects in the booth. Spring Masters has successfully captured the diversity of work from antiquity through the contemporary, and the design allows for interesting juxtapositions and a sense of discovery. I’m thrilled with how it looks.”
- Jeffrey Henkel
“The design is spectacular. We’ve needed an important spring fair, and this is it. The organizers have done a fabulous job, and the Viñoly design is exciting. It allows for an all new viewing experience. You’re not just seeing narrow corridors. You’re seeing the range and quality of the art.”
- Audrey Friedman of Primavera Gallery
“There are fantastic people on the floor, who know and understand the art they are viewing. Everyone has been very receptive to the new design. The layout forgets convention, which is very important. It’s a new way of seeing things.”
- John-Paul Bogart of Martin du Louvre
“The Viñoly design for Spring Masters is exciting and intriguing. It plays well to the quality and diversity of art. We’ve had a very good crowd and I’m thrilled with the interest.”
- Clinton Howell
About Spring Masters, New York
Spring Masters, New York was founded as The Spring Show NYC in 2011 by the Art and Antique Dealers League of America (AADLA). In late 2013, following demand from international dealers that the fair be expanded beyond AADLA members; it was acquired by Artvest Partners.
Artvest Partners re-conceptualized and rebranded the fair to foster a dialogue on collecting and the experience of traditional art. Spring Masters emphasizes connoisseurship, curation, and the visitor experience, and provides audiences with an opportunity to engage with exceptional works of art and design from antiquity through the 20th-century and across cultures and geographic regions. Artvest Partners’ vision is to bring exhibition-like quality and innovation to the fair experience, and to reassert the significance of traditional works to the art market.
About Artvest Partners
Artvest is an advisory firm, founded by Michael Plummer and Jeff Rabin that provides business and investment services for the art market. With three decades of experience in art, marketing, and finance, including the rebranding of both Christie’s and Sotheby’s, Artvest offers custom strategies to its clients for structuring and managing art businesses and investments. Artvest is also an advisor to Citibank’s equity research group in their coverage of Sotheby’s stock. The firm fills a need in the industry by introducing a disciplined business and financial focus for collectors and businesses at all stages of engagement with the art market.