“I’ve been going to the Venice Biennale for at least a decade and always enjoy the stimulation of seeing the work of new and up-and-coming artists” … “In 2013 I started thinking, ‘what’s keeping us from doing this in Seattle?’”
-Paul Allen (co-founder of Microsoft)
Spent part of this past weekend with Yan Li and Seattle-based Chinese artist ZZ Wei at Seattle Art Fair.
Question, as Jen Graves observes in her piece in the Stranger on the subject from over 6 months ago, is whether or not this event is “of and for Seattle,” or, to put it her way, is this a “mother ship” landing for four days in late summer and then just evaporating like the prospect of real rain on the West coast? (to use a regional metaphor).
The answer remains to be seen, I suppose, particularly in terms of impact on the many local galleries and art outfits that were not actually involved in the event. Meantime, many art writers seem to take the position that even the fact that it happened here at all matters. One important note is that some major dealers (referred to as the “triumvirate” Gagosian, Pace, and David Zwirner) have selected Seattle over other notable cities who have had art fairs running now for the better part of a decade (Los Angeles, Dallas, for instance). Seattle has drawn attention as a worthy endeavor, which is a mark of accomplishment of sorts.