In celebration of the inaugural Houston Fine Art Fair, the Chaney family opened its Memorial-area home to visiting dealers and art buyers Friday night for a rare look at one of the city’s most amazing contemporary art collections.
Even after driving past the large pop sculptures in the front yard, CultureMap was still unprepared for the amount of captivating art throughout the Chaney home. To the left hung an image of a woman’s face by artist Matthew Cusick, constructed from pieces of world maps. A full-sized paper rowboat by Libby Black rested in front of the fireplace. A bold piece by Japanese pop artist Chiho Aoshima hung above two life-sized plastic toys from Isreali artist Yoram Wolberger’s Cowboys and Indians series.
In the living room, hostesses Jereann Chaney and daughter Holland chatted with Houston Fine Art Fair director Fran Kaufman and associate producer Illana Vardy. Brook Mason, the U.S. correspondent for U.K.’s prestigious Art Newspaper, mingled with gallery owners like Oscar Cruz from São Paulo and Margarite Almeida, co-owner of New York’s Westwood Gallery.
In an alcove featuring sculptural work by international artists Zhang Huan and Bhari Kher, Joy Glidden, founding director of New York’s DUMBO Arts Center and executive producer of the new PBS contemporary art series, Art Index TV, discussed the intricacies of the art world with Christa Schübbe.
“As a gallerist, I don’t make the artists famous,” said Schübbe, whose Schuebbe Projects gallery represents rising art star Christian Schoeler. “They simply do that on their own.”
Off the upstairs landing, which housed a massive stuffed cat by Superflat artist Aya Takano, Houston Fine Art Fair president Rick Friedman joined financial executive Ricky Ray Behrend in the game room for a round of table shuffleboard
Around the corner, architect Erick Ragni of Houston’s Strasser Ragni gallery posed with a figurine of E.T. at a small bar filled with Hollywood memorabilia. Nearby hung a work by sculptor Joseph Havel, who heads the Glassell School of Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
With her trademark lilac hair, French artist Isabelle Collin Dunfresne (better known as Ultra Violet), a former Salvador Dalí muse and Warhol superstar, was spotted downstairs with Carolyn Farb and Deborah Colton of Colton & Farb gallery.
Farb said the fair has been a great success thus far, echoing Kaufman’s excitement about the day’s events, along with artist Daniel Lipski and gallerist Constantine Grimaldis.
“Friday is typically the slowest day of a three-day fair,” Kaufman said, “but we had over 2,000 attendees.”
Also at the party, Mary Heathcott from ArtPace San Antonio, Barbara Davis of Barbara Davis Gallery, Paula Cruz, artist Michael DesRosiers, Sharon and Tom DeWitt, Kelli Mayfield, Arturo Palacious of Art Palace, art appraiser Melanie Modica, Kyle Young, and Rachel Rabinowitz of the C. Grimaldis Gallery.