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For the first time from Oct. 22 to Oct. 27 Europe’s biggest (270 exhibitors) and most prestigious fair – Tefaf Maastricht – a huge fair going on now for nearly 30 years, devoted to art, antiques, and design is expanding into New York.

Organized under the European Fine Art Foundation this first Tefaf fair will replace the New York City Armory’s previous international fine art and antiques show. Unlike its predecessor, with nearly 100 exhibitors it will expand beyond the cavernous drill hall into period rooms on the 1st and 2nd floors – rooms recently restored by Swiss architects. It also will focus on high-end modern art and design whereas a companion fair – Tefaf New York Spring – will focus on art & antiques in the May 2017.

Fifteen of the city’s preeminent galleries—all clustered on the Upper East Side—are hosting simultaneous opening-night receptions as a new, companion event to Tefaf. Called October Art Week, these 15 opening night receptions will occur on Thursday Oct. 20 from 5-9pm. Eight of these receptions will be in the 60s and seven in the 70s through 81st Street – open to the public – and comfortably walkable from one another.


Christie’s has moved their sale dates to coincide with the Tefaf fair and Sotheby’s, too, is holding their private selling exhibitions of Old Master Paintings during the week. “We considered various ideas, trying to come up with an exciting way to bring people together to make the most of everything going on this Fall in New York.

Bria Koser, director of Otto Naumann Ltd. who with Lydia Johnson, director at Robert Simon Fine Art and Frances Beatty, president of Richard L. Feigen & Co., came up with the concept: “With the opening of TEFAF New York, we thought it was the perfect time to launch October Art Week.  TEFAF draws the world’s foremost collectors and curators…. Drawing on the concept of London Art Week, we realized our neighborhood was well positioned to host a similar event, because of the rich concentration of fine art galleries in proximity to the Armory,” says Johnson. Adds Koser, “The Upper East Side will be brimming with activity this Fall.  October Art Week is destined to become an annual highlight of the season, and we are thrilled to be at the center of it.”

Indeed whereas the Christie’s and Sotheby’s auctions are tips of the iceberg the 15 participating galleries in Art Week, several of which are exhibiting at Tefaf will offer in-depth opportunities for visitors to dig deep. The limited space for each exhibitor at the Armory allow only a cursory acquaintance with that firm’s offerings. Faced with nearly 100 exhibitors – arguably the world’s greatest – Fair Fatigue is also a very real danger at traditional Art Fairs.

Being able to visit 15 top New York galleries nearby not only eliminates the Carpetbagger smell of the Tefaf show and but gives visitors a chance to sample the field in depth – and walk a block or two between each one. The Art Week folks offer an easy to use map: http://www.octoberartweek.com/art-walk-map/. A list of the firms follows this review. Note that it is conveniently ordered geographically from the 80s to the 60s.

All in all, even though Tefaf New York Fall conflicts directly with the FIAC art fair in Paris – and both focus on modern and contemporary art. It also follows just two weeks on the heels of the Frieze Masters London show. But when all is said and done, NYC is a lot easier to get to than Maastricht – which is well over two hours south of Amsterdam, and on the border with Belgium. Maastricht is indeed one of the most attractive cities in NL but any Dutchman will tell you it’s far from everywhere.

No wonder Tefaf – which failed in its bid to do a Tefaf fair in China recently – is glad to be finally in NYC. Even so, the Tefaf NY Spring Armory Fair scheduled for May 4 to May 9, 2017, will have to compete with NYC’s Frieze fair – – which already has captured the world’s high-end contemporary art dealers. And it is noteworthy that none of the mega-galleries like Gagosian, Hauser & Wirth or David Zwirner were at Maastricht in March 2016. The art world has never been known for its organization or coordination.

This is a good time to remember to use NYC’s two incredible online resources to flesh out this moveable feast of art, antiques and design: ArtCards.cc and http://www.LarryQualls.blogspot.com.

ArtCards, the brainchild of its publisher Morgan Croney, lists upcoming events, talks and art openings for the next 7 days, organized geographically for ease of use by neighborhood, street, street number – and even suite number as in the case of Crowded Chelsea. These are usually mid-level events open to all. You pick those you wish to visit – and ArtCards lists and maps them for your smart phone. They do this in these cities:San Francisco Los Angeles Miami Berlin London. An incredible resource.

Larry Qualls publishes his Art & Design Events blog each morning. It too is organized geographically. It offers significantly superior events – including some requiring RSVPs and those requiring a modest entrance fee. To understand Larry’s significance on NYC’s art scene check out his profile on Wikipedia. He was a NYC editor and art critic for decades, one whose library of images (the “Larry Qualls Archive”, 100,000 images documenting 30 years of New York City gallery exhibitions) was acquired by ARTSTOR. Between the quantitative and easy to use coverage of ArtCards and the qualitative coverage of Larry Qualls you can’t go wrong – and you’ll end up getting a first class education on the NYC art scene. . . a perfect preparation for Tefaf, Art Walk, and the auction house sales from Oct 20-27.

Here are the ART WALK GALLERIES offering an open house Oct 20 from 5-9pm:

  • Schiller & Bodo, 19th-century European paintings, with emphasis on works from the French Academic, Realist, Barbizon and Post-Impressionist traditions; 4 East 84th Street
  • Jill Newhouse Gallery, 19th- and 20th-century European works; 4 East 84th Street
  • Otto Naumann Ltd., Old Master Paintings; 22 East 80th Street, Second Floor
  • Robert Simon Fine Art, Old Master paintings; 22 East 80th Street, Fourth Floor
  • Shepherd W & K Galleries, 19th-century European paintings, drawings and sculpture, and modern art; 58 East 79th Street
  • Les Enluminures, manuscripts and miniatures from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance as well as rings and jewelry from the period; 23 East 73rd Street, Seventh Floor
  • Jack Kilgore & Co., European old master paintings; 154 East 71st Street, Third Floor
  • Richard L. Feigen & Co., wide-ranging works, from Sir Joshua Reynolds to Ray Johnson; 34 East 69th Street
  • Didier Aaron, Inc., predominantly French paintings and drawings from the 17th- through 19th-centuries, plus European furniture and decorative arts from the same period; 32 East 67th Street
  • Hammer Galleries, 19th- and 20th-century American and European paintings, as well as contemporary Realist works; 32 East 67th Street
  • Taylor | Graham, American and European art from the 19th century to the present, and sculpture; 32 East 67th Street
  • Andrew Butterfield Fine Arts, European art, chiefly Renaissance and Baroque sculpture (exhibiting at Dickinson Roundell, Inc.); 19 East 66th Street
  • Dickinson Roundell, Inc., old master, Impressionist and contemporary paintings and works of art; 19 East 66th Street
  • Daphne Alazraki Fine Art, European paintings of the 17th through 21st centuries; and Trinity House Paintings, Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, modern British and 19th-century works; 24 East 64th Street
  • Mark Murray Fine Paintings, 19th-century, early 20th-century and Impressionist art; 159 East 63rd Street