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Rick Friedman, founder of ArtHamptons, and Cindy Lou Wakefield (left) at ArtHamptons, Bridgehampton, N.Y, July 10, 2008. Photo by: Tana Lee Alves

\Rick Friedman, founder of ArtHamptons, and Cindy Lou Wakefield (left) at ArtHamptons, Bridgehampton, N.Y, July 10, 2008.
Photo by: Tana Lee Alves



The first annual ArtHamptons in Bridgehampton, N.Y., scored big sales from quality buyers the weekend of July 10 -13, 2008, proving that the Hamptons market is more than a cultural back-water in the shadow of New York City. For a first year fair, 5,000 collectors and visitors turned out and wrote out a stunning $20 million for paintings, sculpture, drawings, photographs and editioned works, including $4.5 million for Picasso's Homme au Chapeau, sold by the Bridgehampton Mark Borghi Fine Art gallery.  

The fair included 55 galleries from North America and London, with more than 1,000 artists represented and works priced accordingly $50,000 to $200,000 on average. The selection committee accepted only half the galleries that applied to exhibit. Artists achieving top sales were the heavy hitters such as de Kooning, Warhol, Wyeth, Fairfield Porter, Albers, Motherwell, Francis, Longo, Christo, Hockney, Chamberlain, Gorky, Katz, Rivers and Bearden. ArtHamptons generated a steady steam of appreciative art collectors and enthusiasts and many attended twice to absorb the spectrum of quality artworks.

In conceiving the fair, ArtHamptons founder Rick Friedman said, “If you put your compass down here and trace a five-mile radius, you?d be impressed with the serious collectors that live within it.” His logic proved right.

Veteran gallerist June Kelly of the New York June Kelly Gallery, summed up the strength of the fair, ArtHamptons brought together dealers who show artwork of the highest quality and it attracted an audience that appreciates the best that the art world can provide.

It is an inspired idea to hold an event of this caliber in the Hamptons. We met and sold to new clients and we all loved experiencing this beautiful part of the country, commented Jonathan Novak of the eponymous gallery,
 in Santa Monica, CA.

Top sales included Flywheelsonata, 2007, by John Chamberlain, sold by Mark Borghi Fine Art for $1 million; and three works by Andrew Wyeth, that sold for $900,000, $850,000 and $325,000 by Peter Marcelle Contemporary, Southampton.  

Thomas Paul of the Los Angeles Thomas Paul Gallery commented that the quality of the visitors and the sheer body count was impressive and one of the best fairs he has done.

ArtHamptons showed art produced by the great masters of the 19th century to the latest generation of stars. In addition to American art, post-Impressionist European, Latin American
and Asian contemporary art, was shown.

Said Rick Friedman, We are a small show that buys
 like a big show.

The fair was erected on the grounds of the Bridgehampton Historical Society and two acres behind in four fully-enclosed, temperate-controlled modular buildings.
Plans are underway for ArtHamptons in 2009
for the same July weekend.



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