Can New York Have Too Many Art Fairs?

But as costs for galleries increase, will all dealers be able to focus on long-term prospects over covering their costs? In particular, the war in Ukraine is leading to increased financial outlay for international fair attendance, and economic forecasts more generally are looking troublesome. New York gallerist Sean Kelly explained that he expected this to have little effect on his gallery’s sales of him. “It’s been my experience over the last four decades that one can have economic adjustments…but truthfully, the art market tends to be a little bit of a haven,” he said.

Kelly’s 10th Avenue and West 36th Street gallery is right around the corner from the Hudson Yards, now a key hub for the art fairs in the city, as Frieze New York takes place at The Shed again this month, and The Armory Show returns to the nearby Javits Center this fall. And yet, he said, the cost and energy of fairs are still worthwhile because of the sheer number of visitors: “It would take you decades to get [that many] people through the gallery,” he said.

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