Photo Coverage: Thousands Attend Art Southampton VIP Preview

Massive downpours and one of the worst East End traffic tie-ups in recent memory proved no match for the most eagerly anticipated event of the season, the second edition of Art Southampton, presented by Art Miami.

The invitation-only preview reception of the premier contemporary and modern art fair in the Hamptons, benefitting Southampton Hospital, drew over 4,200 international collectors and art enthusiasts over the course of Thursday evening. Doubling in size this year to more than 90 exhibitors, Art Southampton dramatically increased its First Look audience while continuing to offer the highest quality of 20th- and 21st-century masters, as well as important emerging artists.

From the outset, it was abundantly clear to both dealers and attendees that the high level and dramatic range of international contemporary art that Art Southampton offers - and in an extraordinarily elegant setting that allows each gallery's work its own spotlight - was the major draw as word of mouth spread quickly among the Hamptons cognoscenti. Local media were quick to add their praise for the outstanding works on display.

Upon arriving at the massive 100,000-square-foot pavilion, guests passed through the sculpture garden designed by LaGuardia Design with the assistance of Marder's Nursery. Artists featured include Albert Paleypresented by Gerald Peters Gallery; Alexandre Arrechea from Magnan Metz Gallery; and Dietrich Klinge of Galerie Terminus.

Visitors also glimpsed cutting-edge automotive artistry from Maserati North America, which showcased their latest high-caliber automobiles, the Ghibli sports sedan and the all-new full-sized Quattroporte. Guests enjoyed Perrier-Jouët champagne and hors d'oeuvres from the Southampton Social Clubwhile admiring the stunning display of precious jewels exhibited by sponsorGraff Diamonds.

Among the many international collectors were Jean Shafiroff; Dr. Bruce Horten; Ron Ristow; Cynthia and Matthew Mark; Sandra and Stanford Warshawsky, Rolf Heitmeyer, former Ambassador Earle I. Mack and wifeCarol; Karl Emil Willers, newly appointed head of the Nassau Country Museum of Art; and Theodore and Ruth Baum, who are hosting a group of young collectors and museum patrons at their nearby estate on a day trip from New York City co-organized by Hyperallergic on Saturday, July 27. Nan Swid, a veteran fair-goer with her husband Stephen Swid, remarked that the assemblage of works was "an amazing selection, the highest quality of art at any of the fairs."

Also among the glittering crowd were famed model and Richard Avedon museChina Machado, playwright Joe Pintauro, Cole Rumbough, Kate Edmonds, artist Paton Miller, Sara Herbert Galloway and Barry Klarberg, Laura and John Wynne, Gregory D'Elia, Zita Davisson, Alexandra Fairweather, Andrea Gurvitz, Jeanette Hecktoen, Cherie Kaufman and Bill Sclight, Dr. Matt Kaufman, Gary Lawrance, Howard Rosen, Brenda Simmons, Max Teicher, Ann Thomas, Howard Teich, Mayor Mark Epley, Steve Bernstein, President of Southampton Hospital Foundation; Robert Chaloner, President and CEO of Southampton Hospital; and Henri Barguirdjian, President and CEO of Graff Diamonds.

Lucky attendees got their first look at - and dibs on - ­extraordinary artworks from some of the most prestigious galleries in more than a dozen countries from the Americas, Asia and Europe. Early reports indicated that galleries got a jump-start on sales. A Botero sculpture at Consultores de Arte S.A. sold to a loyal attendee of Art Miami's multiple fairs for around $400,000. Westwood Gallery parted with several sculptures and a collage by Winston Churchill's granddaughter Edwina Sandys. Hollis Taggert sold Theodoros Stamos' Infinity Fixed # 2 oil on canvas for $75,000. Pace Prints found a home for a John Alexander print, and Sundaram Tagore Gallery sold a work by Mya Ando for $14,000.

"Opening night proved that a quality fair turns out a quality audience," saidNick Korniloff, director of Art Miami's expanding roster of fairs. "It is clear that Art Southampton has filled a void for the most sophisticated tastemakers and culturally savvy audience in New York."

Also of great interest were a showcase of artwork by students and faculty ofThe Ross School in the Hamptons, sales of which will benefit the Chamberlain-Fairweather scholarship fund, and a special reception at the

Westwood Gallery booth to honor philanthropist and collector Henry Buhl,founder of ACE (Association of Community Employment Programs for the Homeless).

Highlights of the evening also included painter and performance artist Kevin Berlin staging an eye-catching Alien Invasion and JonOne beginning work on an 8-by-12-foot mural presented by Fabien Castanier Gallery. Legendary photographer Jerry Schatzberg revisited his iconic black-and-white photos of The Rolling Stones in drag, Catherine Deneuve and Bob Dylan at the booth of Nikola Rukaj Gallery from Toronto, where he autographed copies of his booksFashion 1950s and Paris 1962.

Pop art attracted crowds and collectors to many dealers' booths. Galerie Terminus reported serious interest in one of the priciest works for sale, Roy Lichtenstein's $19 million Woman with Peanuts. Taglialatella Galleries sold a bold Keith Haring work. Gallery Valentine, Art Southampton's official host gallery in East Hampton, filled its booth with large portraits byAndy Warhol, including his Mao Series, while EdelmanArts fielded inquiries about a $10 million Warhol flower painting executed in rare fluorescent paint. "There is incredible turnout and very high-quality work by all exhibiting galleries," said Asher Edelman. "We are very pleased to be a part of this exceptional fair."

Warhol's longtime love of the Hamptons was recalled fondly by his friends and business associates at a lunchtime discussion in the VIP lounge Friday, July 26 at the launch party for the new cultural quarterly Fairweather. FormerInterview editor Bob Colacello enjoyed reuniting with Lana Jokel and Vincent Fremont, who made films and television shows with and about Warhol. "We all know each other so well, it was like sitting around our own living room," said Colacello, whose book Holy Terror: Andy Warhol Close Up is being reissued next spring by Knopf as a Vintage Paperback and e-book.

"If you walk around this fair, there's so much homage to pop artists. Their influence is everywhere," said Christina Strassfield, chief curator at Guild Hall in East Hampton, who moderated the panel. "The layout is really beautiful. It's airy and the openness is really conducive to looking at art."

The New York Academy of Art partnered exclusively with Art Southampton on a special exhibition of works to benefit The Academy's scholarship fund. The selection of works by the school's illustrious alumni was curated by Academy senior critic and narrative painter, Eric Fischl, whose works in a range of media also filled the neighboring booth of Hoxton Modern & Contemporary. The longtime Hamptons resident will sign copies of his new memoir Bad Boy: My Life On and Off the Canvas, at a cocktail Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m., when Fischl and New York Academy of Art President David Kratzwill lead a tour of the group exhibition.

The fair continues through July 29, open noon to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and closing at 5 p.m. on Monday.

More On: Sandra Warshawsky, Pamela Cohen, Nick Korniloff, Nancy Stone, Jerry Schatzberg,

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by Barry Kostrinsky