By Nate Freeman
In 2016, The European Fine Art Fair in Maastricht, the Netherlands, announced an ambitious gambit for global expansion: two New York fairs in the Upper East Side’s Park Avenue Armory, a fall edition showing a span of work from antiquities through the 20th century, and a spring fair for modern and contemporary art. The spring edition was planned for the first week of May, putting it head-to-head with Frieze New York, another European gatecrasher in the Big Apple, which opened to VIPs on Randall’s Island Wednesday.
This year’s spring TEFAF, which opened on Thursday afternoon for a preview, had 24 new galleries, including heavyweights such as Gagosian, Hauser & Wirth, Marian Goodman Gallery, Matthew Marks, Simon Lee Gallery, Lévy Gorvy, and Mnuchin Gallery. Many of these galleries already have a hefty fair load in the first half of the year—The Armory Show, Art Basel in Hong Kong, and Art Cologne among them—and don’t add another without careful consideration. But collectors on the Upper East Side is a contingent too valuable for dealers to miss.