Bridgehampton, NY: beautiful seaside homes, effortlessly elegant French cuisine (Pierre’s, we’re looking at you), charming sidewalk shops. Nestled away in this quaint summer town lay Market Art + Design, a haven for galleries, collectors, and art admirers to congregate away from the brutal New York City heat. It was here, among the likes of Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery of New York and Villa del Arte of Barcelona and Amsterdam, that we set up shop for the week of July 7-10, showcasing work from Géothermie by Stéphane Margolis, our current gallery exhibition.
It was clear from the beginning that an eclectic group of exhibitors had gathered in this space, with contemporary oils, pop art prints, and hyperrealistic ceramics. Our booth stood out with its painted black walls, inviting attendees to interact with Margolis’ petrified sculptures and eye-catching prints in a more intimate way. The crowd was enthusiastic, not only mesmerized by the exhibit, but also eager to share their own personal St. Louis stories - everyone's been here! The audience wanted to know about Barrett Barrera Projects’ represented artist from France and were impressed that, outside of projects+gallery, the fair is where Margolis was making his United States debut. People were captivated by the process of petrification and the artist’s theory of taking man-made objects and handing them back for Nature to beautify. “Nature as artist,” Margolis would assert. We should have recorded the comments of passersby - "beautiful", "genius," and "funny” - because there is no way to duplicate the affection the audience had for Géothermie.
Fortunately, the weekend was not all work and no play, and the relaxed fair hours allowed us plenty of time to enjoy our peaceful surroundings. We stayed at the cozy Bridgehampton Inn & Restaurant, a three-minute walk from the fair grounds. The Inn was also host to fellow exhibitors Elins Eagles-Smith Gallery from San Francisco, featuring monochromatic (almost!) drawings of New York City streets by Susan Grossman, and both Isabella M. Venezia and L’Antiquaire, collaborators from Venice, Italy and Westport, Connecticut. In the evenings, we toured the local restaurants, taking advantage of the local seafood selection and exquisite Hampton hospitality.
The standout moment of the fair? When Rashid Johnson spent time in our booth, talking with Barrett Barrera Projects President, Susan Barrett, about Margolis, artistic process, and our gallery. Johnson knows St. Louis well and spoke of friends that run in mutual circles. Barrett asked him if it was time to come back to do another project. He responded with an alluring, "It just might be..."