This year marks the 11th edition of the Dallas Art Fair, a major milestone. The contemporary art fair takes place April 12–14. With the addition of almost 30 new galleries, it continues to become more international, connecting the Dallas art community to the global art world.
Whitewaller spoke with director Kelly Cornell—who has been at the helm of the fair alongside Brandon Kennedy since 2018—about some of the newcomers, solo presentations, and projects to look out for within Fashion Industry Gallery.
WHITEWALLER: This year, Lisson Gallery, Sadie Coles HQ, and Blain|Southern are participating in the fair for the first time. Would you say the representation of international galleries has grown?
KELLY CORNELL: There is more representation from European galleries than in past years, and the quality of the fair is always improving. We are at a point where we are unable to physically expand the fair, so we are focusing on improving and curating our offering.
WW: Who are some of the younger galleries exhibiting for the first time this year?
KC: Some of the newer galleries joining the fair for the first time are Cassina Projects (New York); Voloshyn (Ukraine); Gallery 12.26 (Dallas), and LMAK Gallery (New York). It’s rewarding to see that some galleries that would have been considered “younger galleries” in the past have grown up and moved into larger spaces at the fair.
WW: Are there any programming highlights for this year’s edition that you can share?
KC: We are always looking to expand our programming’s reach. This year, we have partnered with SOLUNA Music & Arts Festival for an off-site event that I know will be truly memorable. The night before the fair opens, Icelandic artist Egill Sæbjörnsson will bring his signature trolls to the Design District in a fun audiovisual performance piece, aptly named When The Trolls Go Rolling In.
WW: Do you know yet if we can expect to see any specially curated or solo presentations from participating galleries?
KC: I am excited to see Simon Lee Gallery’s solo presentation of Clare Woods. Clare is having a moment in Dallas with two large commissions—one at the River Bend development and another with Hall Arts. Another interesting presentation will be in James Barron with Beverly Pepper totem sculptures and Sol LeWitt drawings. The Hole will have a massive, fantastic painting by Rosson Crow as the centerpiece for their booth.
WW: How have you seen the cultural community of Dallas grow in engagement with the week of the fair over the years?
KC: The Dallas community has really embraced and supported the growth of the fair over the past decade. All of the museums have rallied around the fair, staging major exhibitions in the spring. The mayor’s support and the growth of Dallas Arts Month all spawned from the fair. The Dallas Art Fair Acquisition Fund really strengthened our relationship with the Dallas Museum of Art, and it’s incredibly gratifying to see the permanent legacy the fair has on Dallas via the artworks acquired through the fund.
WW: Dallas has some incredible spots to see public work. Any public projects or installations visitors should be sure to check out this year?
KC: There are a few new public projects this year that I highly recommend visitors make time to visit. The River Bend development commissioned Clare Woods (Simon Lee Gallery) to create a tile mural installation that spans 13 panels, each nine by thirteen feet, across the facade of the development. The largest marble work to date by Nicolas Party was recently installed in the Comerica building downtown. While you are downtown, head west on Main Street and look at Stephen Lapthisophon’s work in the Neiman Marcus windows. Stephen is the honored artist for the 2019 Dallas Art Fair. If you keep walking, you will be at The Joule, where Tony Matelli is taking over the lobby with his lifelike sculptures.
WW: Outside the fair, what are you looking forward to seeing and doing in Dallas?
KC: Arthur Peña is continuing his national curatorial project “One Night Only” with the artist Carrie Moyer on April 12. This will be a show that should not be missed. Another great painting show will be Francesco Clemente at Dallas Contemporary.