The Dallas Art Fair opens this year with a preview gala on Thursday, April 14, benefitting the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA), the Nasher Sculpture Center, and Dallas Contemporary. Adjacent to the DMA downtown, the fair is open to the public Friday, April 15 through Sunday, April 17. Whitewall spoke with its director Chris Byrne to hear about the increasingly recognized international fair and what exhibitions he’s looking forward to seeing around town this week.
WHITEWALL: This year’s roster includes more than 90 galleries, 39 of which are new participants, and half of those being from outside the US. Why is a more international roster of galleries beneficial to the fair?
CHRIS BYRNE: I think it’s important for the Dallas Art Fair to host content and programming which interests the local audience. We extend invitations to galleries following recommendations from collectors, curators, and artists. Also, the gallerists who participated during past years have recommended others —and that’s been helpful to the fair’s international growth.
WW: The fair is once again partnering to raise funds for the Dallas Museum of Art, the Dallas Contemporary, and the Nasher Sculpture Center. Can you tell us about this year’s iteration of those partnerships?
CB: We are fortunate to include the reception for “Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty” at the Dallas Museum of Art, “Nasher 360: Agents, Advisors, Devils and Apostates: The New Art World,” as well as the Dallas Contemporary’s reception for Dan Colen, Helmut Lang, and Paola Pivi. We are pleased that proceeds from our preview gala will benefit these institutions.
WW: The art scene in Dallas seems to be very collaborative in nature. Do you want the fair to reflect this kind of interconnectivity through the programming?
CB: I think that the range of programming will be great. The experience is linear, so it will be possible to attend almost all of the events on the 2016 Dallas Art Fair schedule.
WW: Dallas has a very active established collector community. Since the launch of the fair, have you seen an increase in activity among emerging or aspiring collectors?
CB: Yes, the Dallas patrons and institutions have created a warm impression of the city both nationally and abroad. The established collector community has embraced collaboration, and thus allowed many young collectors to pursue important civic gifts and projects. When John Sughrue and I founded the Dallas Art Fair, our intention was to create an event, which, in addition to exposing the city to galleries from other parts of the world, would also build upon the strengths of the local scene.
WW: Outside of the fair, what surrounding events are you looking forward to most this year?
CB: I’m looking forward to seeing Paula Crown‘s installation “Bearings Down” at the Goss-Michael Foundation. I’ve had the chance to watch her work develop over the past several years, and feel that this piece will encapsulate her varied and disparate interests. Also, I’m a big fan of Joyce and Kenny Goss‘ programming, and their generosity and sensitivity to artists. They have facilitated many projects and initiatives over the past several years, encouraging the development of the work. The Power Station‘s opening reception for Karl Holmqvist should be great, as well.
The Dallas Art Fair takes place April 15-17.