2007 May The New York Tribal & Textile Arts Show

Written by Michael Auliso and republished here with his permission.

This year the number of dealer surged from 68 last year to 84.  The additional vendors were mostly comprised of Asian and Textile dealers.  Some of the newly exhibiting Tribal Dealers included The Aboriginal Art Loft (Sydney), Craig De Lora (New Jersey), B.C. Dentan (San Francisco), Farrow Fine Art Gallery (San Rafael, CA), James Stephenson (Brooklyn NY), Tribalhunter (London), Owen Hargreaves & Jasmine Dahl (London).

This was the final uptown show at the 7th Regiment Armory at 67 and Park Ave.  The Armory officially changed to private ownership and the rents have tripled!  Next years show will be held Downtown at the Gramercy Park Armory at Lexington Avenue at 26th St.

The Saturday Morning opening was jammed with American and European collectors who were still in town from the Sotheby’s auctions.  The crowd tapered off by late afternoon.  In spite of another very positive review by Holland Carter in the New York Times, the overall attendance felt thin.  Most dealers I spoke to were hoping for more “fireworks” due to two concurrent Sotheby’s Tribal Sales and the additional collectors in attendance.

Jo De Buck, Brussels (Standing: Yann Ferrandin with Eugenia)

Mark Johnson, Marina De Rey CA

This Large Vietnamese Jarai crouching figure was the most POWERFUL Sculpture in the Show.  Mark sold it in the first hour!

Tribalmania’s “slightly crowed” booth

Myself with a pleased Marsha Stanoff shortly after a very successful auction

Famous New Guinea Field Collector: Bruce Seaman and his Wife (A special thanks goes to Dave DeRoche for the proper introduction to this lovely couple)

Galerie J. Visser

Galerie J. Visser with a group of Northwest Amazonian Kobeua Bark Cloth Body Costumes.  Joris Visser et al said this was their best New York show to date.  They had strong Congo material (not shown) which sold during the opening.

Galerie J. Visser (Outside Wall)

Galerie Flak, Paris.  Note the unusually large Mbole figure

A word about “Vetting” this time.  The vetting of objects takes place under the most hectic of circumstances when dealer’s booths are filled with boxes, packing material and most objects are still on the floor.  In addition, the overhead lighting is not fully installed at that point so the vetting committees have a daunting task of trying to assess the authenticity of objects in poor or dim light.  This time the African committee was clearly overwhelmed in terms of time constraints and with the volume of booths having African material requiring examination.

Having new experts in several categories, there were surprises for some dealers, when they saw what had been vetted out.  A sizable purge obviously doesn’t go unnoticed.  While everyone generally agrees that it is important to maintain the quality and integrity of the Art being displayed under any circumstances, we all need to be as discriminating as possible when choosing pieces to display.  Not only will it save the vetting committee time, but will eliminate the pain of losing pieces for the dealers.  

Unfortunately, the remainder of this review has been