Is The Dallas Art Fair Becoming a Local Art World Catalyst?

In the article about The Power Station from the March edition of D Magazine, owner Alden Pinnell speaks about how he has specifically decided to program the space around other events on the local art calendar, most notably Two x Two For Aids and Art, hosted each fall at The Rachofsky House, and the Dallas Art Fair. Both events are occasions for members of the jet setting art world to touch down in Dallas, and both offer local arts promoters an opportunity to get in front of a broadening audience.

In conjunction with this year’s Dallas Art Fair, the Power Station will host an anticipated installation by wunderkind artist Jacob Kassay, placing the artist who has made headlines for his skyrocketing art world stock, in a setting that almost demands dabbling in the un-commodifiable. Also, the Dallas Biennale (which you can read more about here) will kick-off Art Fair weekend. It is the second time the Dallas Contemporary has organized an art fair-connected project, and Peter Doroschenko, director of the Design District-based “anti-museum,” says they will continue to stage projects coinciding with the art fair each year. The Biennale will rope in a number of local art spaces into the project, including the Goss-Michael Foundation and the Oliver Francis Gallery.

Late last week, we got wind of another exhibition that plans to take advantage of Art Fair weekend, “Fountainhead,” the brainchild of a new art collective The Art Foundation (Full disclosure: If the names of the members of The Art Foundation sound familiar, that’s because Ryder Richards, Joshua Goode, and Lucia Simek are all FrontRow contributors. Andrew Douglas Underwood rounds out the group). “Fountainhead” promises to bring together work by a broad range of artists hailing from around the world in response to Marcel Duchamp’s seminal readymade sculpture, Fountain (you know, the urinal). The Art Foundation has invited artists to alter images of Duchamp’s piece, which will be collected in an outsized book; works by a number of other artists will also be on display (for a full list of participating artists, go here). It’s all about “the prankster quality of Duchamp’s decimation of the existing art structures of his time,” says the release, which makes the exhibition a welcomed wry fit with the various Art Fair festivities.

The Art Fair spin-offs aren’t reserved to the world of art. The Dallas International Film Festival is also collaborating with the Dallas Art Fair for the first time this year. The groups are sharing drink-sipping audiences by hosting a combined Dallas Art Fair and Dallas International Film Festival VIP Patron Party. Right now, the extent of the DIFF and Art Fair partnership is cross-promotional, and DIFF is “endorsing” a screening of the documentary MAKE, about four self-taught artists, at the Art Fair. But it would be easy to create programmatic crossovers in the coming years. Perhaps they could steal a page from CineMarfa.

With all the events surrounding the Dallas Art Fair, it is easy to forget, well, the Dallas Art Fair. This year’s edition will bring more than 70 galleries to town. For a full list of exhibitors and events at the fair, go here.

Images at top: Work by Stephanie Madewell (left) and Cassandra Emswiler for Fountainhead.




  • It really is a show about objects,…kind of a lost and found…where you go over and over and over again…to the same spot and realizer….X marks the spot….