I'm looking for...

That is

A Dallas Art Fair Experience
by Brad Ford Smith 8 Apr 2011

Guest blogger Brad Ford Smith writes that the Dallas Art Fair’s mish-mash of galleries is part of its charm.


Guest blogger Brad Ford Smith is a Dallas artist and art conservator.

Bliss Bucket

Edward Ruscha at William Shearburn Gallery

Before I start rambling on about the Dallas Art Fair I have to ask – Are you a person who likes things orderly? Is your closet color coordinated? Are your BVDs ironed and folded neatly in the top right hand drawer? Or – Do you love Half Price Books because of the uneven aisle, the claustrophobic spaces, the bad lighting, the improperly categorized books and the fact that you NEVER leave with the book you went in looking for?

Well, if the latter, than you will love the Dallas Art Fair. If the former, take a chill pill and go to the DAF anyway, because this higgly-piggly, rat maze of 73 national and international galleries is really the best show in town.

Admittedly you won’t find much in the way of cutting edge, grant canceling, conceptual art. These galleries have traveled hundreds and sometimes thousands of miles to sell art, not to get all up in your face. What you will find are solid, professional galleries exhibiting emerging, mid-career, established, and second market blue chip artists. Lots of paintings, printmaking, works on paper, photography and sculpture. DAF may be a little heavy on the blue chip side, but what’s not to like about seeing old friends like:

Alberto Giacometti at  Michael Borghi Fine Art

or Stuart Davis at Babcock Galleries.

Or get reacquainted with Megan Greene at the Carrie Secrist Gallery.

Make new discovery like Stephen Mueller at Lennon Weinberg Inc.

Or just plain lust after the George Nakashima at Collage 20th Century Classics.

Some of my “thrifty” friends have been saying $20 a ticket is just too much. But, as I have said for the last three years, where else in North Texas are you going to see an expanse of artwork of this caliber?  Oh, and my dear thrifty friends, this year your DAF ticket stub will get you into the Nasher Sculpture Center on Saturday or Sunday for free. That is a $10 value.

Sorry about the on-the-fly photos, but this is a busy art weekend. I’m off to the Suite Art Fair next, where I expect the focus will be more on the young, the edgy and the endowment impaired.  Maybe I’ll take one of those free shuttle buses running to and from DAF and Suite.

  • It’s wonderful to see the other Dallas Art Fair posts by Jerome, Stephen and Gail.