News and Features

Dallas Art Fair Goes International

A pair of mixed-media works by Shin Heung-Woo, shown by South Korea’s Gamo Gallery

The Dallas Art Fair opens Friday at Fashion Industry Gallery downtown. More than 80 dealers will show their art there through the weekend. And in its fifth year, the Art Fair is beginning to attract international attention.

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Thursday morning during the Dallas Art Fair preview, its co-founder John Sughrue ticked off the locales from which dealers are visiting.

“There’s four U.K. dealers. Couple from London, couple from outskirts – actually one from Newcastle. There’s a dealer from Milan, there’s a dealer from Tokyo, there’s a dealer from Paris. South Korea, Mexico City.”

Thirteen of the 80 dealers at this year’s fair are from other countries. That’s more than three times as many as last year – the most the fair’s ever had.

“What we see happening now is sort of a wonderful synergy where the more international dealers, the better dealers we have, the more international collectors that we attract,” he says. “I met a woman last night who flew in from Munich for the Dallas Art Fair.”

Locals can also stop in to see art from around the world. Dealers, though, have another mission.

“It’s always sell art. It’s the art fair,” says Misako Rosen, who’s in from Tokyo, where her Misako & Rosen Gallery is based. She says that since Tokyo isn’t a major stop on the art world map, it’s important to come to the collectors. And Dallas, she says, has plenty.

Misako & Rosen represents Japanese artist Shimon Minamikawa

Jonathan Viner represents Dan Rees. Viner’s trip last year lead to Rees’ solo exhibition, which opens Friday at the Goss Michael Foundation.

That’s also what brought Jonathan Viner to town. This is the second time the London dealer has come to the fair. And there’s a good reason he’s back.

“Last year we did a solo presentation of Dan Rees’ work, which went extraordinarily well,” he says. “We had an amazing response. We sold our whole booth here.”

Viner says the key to the Dallas Art Fair’s success is its size. Relative to major New York fairs like Frieze and the Armory Show, it’s still manageable.

“If you turn up at Frieze, you’re one of 200 galleries, and the collectors – there time is just much thinner,” he says. “When you come to a fair like this, you really do get to have one-on-one with the major collectors here, which is great for us.”

In other words, everything’s actually not bigger in Texas. But in this case, that’s OK.