IFPDA celebrates return of in-person fair with record attendance and strong sales
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IFPDA celebrates return of in-person fair with record attendance and strong sales
2022 IFPDA Print Fair installation. Photo by Rich Lee Photography.

NEW YORK, NY.- With overall attendance up 45% since its last in-person fair in 2019, the IFPDA Print Fair’s triumphant return to the Javits Center was a resounding success, attracting nearly 16,000 visitors over its four-day run. The Fair generated significant sales across exhibitors, including at Hauser & Wirth, Lelong Editions, David Zwirner/Utopia Editions, Gemini G.E.L. at Joni Moisant Weyl, Marlborough Graphics New York, Highpoint Editions, Peter Blum Edition, Universal Limited Art Editions, Susan Teller Gallery, Wildwood Press LLC, C.G. Boerner, Josh Pazda Hiram Butler, Catherine Burns Fine Art, Dolan/Maxwell, Hill-Stone Inc, Galerie Maximillian, Tandem Press, Childs Gallery, Durham Press, Inc, Gilden's Art Gallery, Harlan & Weaver, Polígrafa Obra Gráfica, Burnet Editions, Mixografia®, and Scholten Japanese Art.

Unusually strong institutional sales demonstrated the strength of the post-pandemic print market. Representatives from over 50 museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, National Gallery of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Cleveland Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Smithsonian Institutions, were on site. Additional print enthusiasts in attendance included artists Julie Mehretu, Kiki Smith, Jane Hammond, Jacob Hashimoto, Chakaia Booker, and Agnieszka Pilat alongside Spot®, a mobile robot by Boston Dynamics.

David Tunick, President of the IFPDA, said, "We were truly elated to host what was really the first time the print world was able to come together after a long, three-year hiatus. There is no substitute for seeing art in person. The mass of museum curators and serious collectors along with all manner of print enthusiasts—artists, young people, professionals, and just plain art lovers—made for an extremely happy four-day event. It felt like a celebration of life as much as the must-go-to art fair that it is, one of the very last must-go-to fairs globally."

Added Jenny Gibbs, Executive Director of the IFPDA, “The word I kept hearing around the fair was ‘fresh’. There was a real freshness, both in works in the booths and in the crowds that came. We saw many old friends but also many new faces. It was fun to see the flurry of last minute sales just as we were about to close!”

The 76 exhibitors featured the best of the print world, including 24 exhibitors new to the venue and 19 international exhibitors. This year the IFPDA also introduced a new tabletop section and invited select non-member exhibitors from the publishing world. “I’ve been coming to the IFPDA Print Fair for decades, but it’s the first time Wingate Studio is participating. We were really lucky to be among this year’s first set of invitational exhibitors,” commented Peter Pettengill, Director of Wingate Studio.

Added Elleree Erdos, Director of Prints & Editions at David Zwirner, another new exhibitor, "David Zwirner was pleased to participate in the IFPDA Fine Art Print Fair for the first time. The gallery saw strong sales and interest throughout the weekend, with a lot of excitement for the new work from Katherine Bernhardt, Raymond Pettibon, and Neo Rauch. The fair was full of energy and enthusiasm, and provided a wonderful setting to meet new collectors and reconnect with familiar faces."

Among the institutional acquisitions, the IFPDA’s 2022 Richard Hamilton Acquisition Prize, a $10,000 fund from Champion & Partners, contributed to the purchase of four prints by the Ulster Museum, part of the National Museums NI. Curator of Art Anna Liesching selected a lithograph by Nicole Eisenman from Jungle Press Editions, a woodcut and screenprint by Elizabeth Catlett from Dolan/Maxwell, a two color etching by Analia Saban from Gemini G.E.L., and a lithograph by Riva Helfond from Susan Teller Gallery.

“To build on the strong representation of American work in our painting collection, I sought works that would develop this area in print, with a particular priority on continuing to grow our representation of women artists and artists with a socially engaged practice,” said Liesching. “These works by Elizabeth Cattlett, Riva Helfond, Analia Sabin, and Nicole Eisenman—all artists I had been targeting for a long time—will help us tell the full story of women’s impact on printmaking in the early and mid-twentieth century, continue to prioritize socially engaged content, demonstrate historical influence in contemporary art, and explore the technical process of printmaking.” Upon delivery, all four works will be put on display at the Ulster Museum in the ongoing exhibition A Unique Silence.

“Ultimately, the Richard Hamilton Acquisition Prize provided an exceptional opportunity to develop relationships with U.S.-based galleries and acquire works by artists based here that aren’t as readily available in the UK and Ireland,” continued Liesching.

A common theme throughout the Fair was the power and potential of printmaking. Speaking on works by Delita Martin, Julie Mehrehtu, and other standouts at Highpoint Editions, Sara Tonko, Gallery Director, said, “We love working with artists who are not originally printmakers. Coming from a different medium, these artists help us truly expand what printmaking can be.”

Added Martin, who attended the IFPDA Print Fair for the first time and whose work could be found not only at Highpoint Editions but also Galerie Myrtis, “My grandmother was a quilter and taught me this one stitch you see in all my work. I felt she was stitching together my history. As my work is very narrative, stitching feels complimentary to that.” On the other side of the Fair, Solo Impression gave regular demonstrations of using digital embroidery in prints.

Three special projects complimented the exhibitor’s booths. Greeting visitors as they walked into the fair, Eye Candy, a site-specific commission by Derrick Adams, took inspiration from a vintage male underwear advertisement to present a hypnotic and colorful presentation of the Black male figure. Tronies, a special exhibition curated by Susan Tallman, explored more than four centuries of portraits experimenting in character and style, from Rembrandt and Jan Lievens to recent prints by Kerry James Marshall. LaToya Hobb’s Sistership, commissioned by the IFPDA, presented for the first time a monumental relief carving, Genette’s Daughters, exploring the print matrix as an art object, alongside her Black Women of Print Founding Member Portrait Series to commemorate the collective and promote the visibility of Black women printmakers.

Commented Anders Berstrom, Director of Hauser & Wirth Editions, “It was great to be back in-person after holding the fair virtually for two years. It was exciting to see so many friends and colleagues in-person again. The fair felt very alive and busy—from museum curators to long-term collectors—and we could really appreciate how visitors look at and engage deeply with the prints and all the in-person programming that IFPDA offered this year.”

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