This year, ShowHamptons launched their inaugural Hamptons Virtual Art Fair, hosted by the Paris-based designer Christofle. The fair features 90 international galleries and 105 booth displays from 11 US cities, displaying altogether over 2,000 pieces of artwork. Artworks are displayed in virtual reality booths in 2D and 3D, and visitors can virtually navigate the exhibition spaces as they would at a physical fair.
The set-up takes a little getting used to, but they’ve pulled out all the stops to make it an immersive experience (as you move around you can hear the sound of footsteps, and there’s even a little couch and a description of the exhibition written on the “wall”). And although it’s hard not to miss the days when you could wander around galleries and be in awe at the presence of great art, the sheer accessibility and cutting-edge technology this fair offers isn’t a bad consolation prize. And just because you’re not looking at the physical piece doesn’t mean you can’t be wowed. Experience it for yourself by checking out these ten knockout shows from the Hamptons Virtual Art Fair.
Richard Mayhew is a living legend. His vibrant, breathtaking landscapes can make you swoon every time, and his mastery over color is spectacular, to say the least. And at 96, he’s still going strong, even earning the HVAF’s first-ever Artist of the Year Award.
Invited international artist Linjie Deng has been getting a lot of buzz, and this compelling, heartfelt solo show is set to make his rising star only shinier. This New York-based artist hails from China, and his show, “Chameleon 2020,” reflects on how communities have responded to COVID, as well as the relationship between East and West.
Remember when we all learned about Jackson Pollock and our minds were blown, but then found out that his abstract expressionist wife, Lee Krasner, was just as cool if not cooler? This room is a virtual ode to all the women of abstract expressionism who had been overlooked (to varying degrees) in their time, but are certainly being noticed now.
In a move that would make the Guerrilla Girls proud, the description of this show awakens you to the cold, hard facts right away, reminding us that “Women made up just 24% of the artists shown at art fairs in 2018, and only 13.7% of living artists that are represented in Europe and North America.” This exhibition introduces us to talented female artists from around the world, making for an exciting and eclectic show.
This overview of African American art showcases iconic works from Bill Hodges’ extensive collection. You’ll see luminaries like Jacob Lawrence and Beauford Delaney alongside verified art stars such as Lorna Simpson and Kara Walker. Wide in scope yet expertly curated to make it cohesive, this is a stunning, must-see show.
With bright pops of color, edgy artworks, and a roster of diverse artists, this exhibition has a fresh, energetic look that makes you feel like you’ve been transported right into the contemporary art scene, not only the US, but in Spain, Nigeria, Australia, and Lebanon.
Two words: urban wildlife. There is not one, but two images of wolves in convertibles. But when these surprisingly well-behaved beasts aren’t immersing themselves in city life, they’re running free across an open plain, or looking into the camera with an earnestness that sees right into your soul. This striking, imaginative exhibition offers a wickedly clever take on what happens when worlds collide.
Starting to feel some (virtual) art fair fatigue? This exhibition is sure to wake you up. These dynamic works span a wide range of mediums, styles, and palettes. From sculptures to figurative works to some truly trippy still lives, this is the perfect exhibition for when you want to expect the unexpected.
This show is a treasure trove of bold imagery and stunningly original works, made by artists from the US and Canada. From the aesthetically gorgeous to the slightly bamboozling, you’ll find plenty in this exhibition to linger on.
Off The Wall Gallery wants to give you a big hug in the form of hearts, flowers, puppies, and other feel-good imagery. This isn’t to say that the show is trite. In a time when at least some monotony is a given, this playful, life-affirming exhibition is is an irresistible pick-me-up that is impossible not to adore.
Just because the exhibitions they were in didn’t make it into the top ten doesn’t mean that these artists don’t deserve a shout-out. Here are three artists that caught my eye as I was perusing the fair:
Valerie Ostenak (from the Maria Elena Kravetz Gallery in Córdoba, Argentina)
She only had two paintings on display, but they were enough to make me utterly smitten with her work. Ethereal yet powerful, you could get lost in her dreamy paintings for ages.
Jennifer Goldfinger (From the Rice Polak Gallery in Provincetown, MA)
The children that Jennifer Goldfinger depicts through collage are not happy to be here. But you’re glad they are, because these humorous works are the perfect blend of past and present, organic and inorganic, and disparate mediums, all coming together together to create work that is simultaneously profound and delightful.
Norman Lewis (From the Bill Hodges Gallery in New York, NY)
So technically this is a shout-out to a whole exhibit (his work is in a solo show), but it’s Norman Lewis, so we can bend the rules. Although he didn’t receive acclaim until after his death in 1979, this solo show is a testament to his importance to the AbEx movement, as well as his ingenuity as a painter.
The Hamptons Virtual Art Fair will be live online until September 7th, and is open 24 hours a day.
AYA KUSCH is an editor, artist, and freelancer based in San Francisco. She grew up playing with mud, which eventually led to a love of clay and a subsequent BFA in sculpture. She is fourth generation Japanese and a third generation potter, a Bay Area native, and a former bookseller who still obsesses over the best way to organize a bookshelf. She loves good design, contemporary art that will worry your mom and confuse your dad, and sculptures that make you look up. She is currently working on a book about art from Edo Japan.