There's no law against bad art in New York. So you never know what you're going to get with an art fair, even when there are plenty of big New York galleries showing up. They might bring what's meh, or they might themselves be pretty meh. (A display of Damien Hirst dot paintings is no more interesting in Seattle than it is in New York, folks.) That said, I got a sneak peek of what David Zwirner is bringing, and I'm actually getting excited. The gallery's illustrated artist list for its booth at Seattle Art Fair includes pieces by Donald Judd, Carol Bove, Dan Flavin, Wolfgang Tillmans, Christopher Williams, Stan Douglas, Luc Tuymans, Sol LeWitt, and John McCracken. It includes the spectacular five-foot-tall Alice Neel portrait (above). Neel made the painting, of her son Richard, in 1969. He was just 30 years old, but he looks so serious. The list price is $1 million.
Then there's an R. Crumb mini-spectacle: a watercolor, ink, and graphite drawing for a New Yorker magazine cover that editor David Remnick rejected without explanation, Crumb says. (Crumb accuses the magazine of being namby-pamby politically correct in this fawning Vice interview.) That will set you back $45,000.
But we regular folks don't care about the prices. What we care about is whether galleries are bringing work that's this interesting. And if they are, this could be quite an exhibition.
Now that'd be good.