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Art Southampton opened to the public today, with a new location and showcased art from around the world. Nick Korniloff, the fair’s director, gives us the scoop on the event that is open through Monday, July 13.
WHITEWALL: This year the fair moved to the grounds of Nova’s Ark Project. What brought about that change, and what can spectators expect?
NICK KORNILOFF: The property had become available, and we thought that it provided a more central location between the towns of Southampton and East Hampton. The change in dates also was beneficial, as it allowed us to have the weekend following the Fourth of July. With eight art fairs in four separate locations to manage across the country, it’s inevitable that some of those venue sites change over time. The Nova’s Ark Project has a proud tradition of innovation, and that’s what our fairs are all about. This area, originally conceived for exhibiting art, retains the existing “spirit” of the grounds where so many have enjoyed great creativity and inventiveness.
WW: What makes Art Southampton unique in comparison to other art fairs around the area?
NK: The quality of the galleries and the diversity and depth of the modern and contemporary art that is on exhibit for sale is much different. The fair is distinctively international, as opposed to other local fairs, with gallery participation from the U.K., Germany, France, Korea, Holland, Belgium, Spain, Canada, Venezuela, Colombia, Austria, and Switzerland. Our fair also has the highest concentration of local galleries participating, which allows us to have a tremendous focus on the important artists, past and present, who lived and worked on the East End represented in the fair. In addition, our fair is open on Monday, which allows collectors headed back to the city for work on Tuesday to visit the fair.
WW: Any particular pieces of art you are excited for people to see?
NK: I really enjoy all the work that is being presented at the fair, and there will be some surprises. I try not to pick favorites, but I do lean toward the big names from postwar-era and Pop art, while enjoying the younger artists and galleries that represent more emerging art or midcareer cutting-edge talents. For example, this year I am excited to see the exhibitions presented by Berry Campbell Gallery, who are offering works from the estates of a few artists who had lived and worked on the East End. The exhibition will include the works of Dan Christensen, Perle Fine, Gertrude Greene, Raymond Hendler, Charlotte Park, and Syd Solomon.
WW: What are the benefits of having an art fair in Southampton?
NK: It’s a great opportunity to meet some of the most culturally savvy people from around the world. The region is rich with a strong cultural history, and some of the most collected artists in the world, from Pollock to de Kooning, have originated from this region, and some of the biggest international collectors live out east. The attendee base is very international and knowledgeable about art.
WW: What are some of your favorites places in Southampton?
NK: We love so many places out east. Whether it’s having dinner at the Topping Rose House, Tutto Il Giorno, Pierre’s, Cowfish, Red Bar, or the Southampton Social Club, it’s always a good time. My wife, Pamela, and I love the water. We like to visit Coopers Beach, North Haven, and Shelter Island and walk through all the villages. They each have their own distinct personality and have a variety of things to offer. To me, there is nothing more brilliant than to see than a sunrise or a sunset. If you can position yourself on a boat in the morning at the tip of Montauk or the farthest west point on the beach in Southampton, then you will understand the magic of the East End.
Text by Jacqueline Baylon for Whitewaller.