TEFAF New York Spring 2017

2017 5/4(Thu) - 5/8(Mon)

VIP Preview: May 3rd (wed)
Stand: 47
Venue: Park Avenue Armory
643 Park Avenue at 67th Street
New York, NY 10065


Straight off the heels of a tremendously successful showing at TEFAF Maastricht in March, Team Yufuku enthusiastically embarked for new vistas in New York City, where the inaugural edition of TEFAF NY Spring, a fair dedicated to modern and contemporary art, was held at the venerable Park Avenue Armory from May 4th to May 8th, with a VIP preview held on the 3rd.

Could the TEFAF brand make a successful crossover to NYC, esp. at a time when new international art fairs seem to proliferate on a daily basis, and esp. when considering that a part of TEFAF’s Maastricht charm and allure was its catering to “Art Across the Ages,” from cutting-edge contemporary to the beauty of Antiquity? By severing TEFAF’s introduction to the US market into bicameral fairs – one in Fall (Antiques and Old Masters) and in Spring (Modern and Contemporary), TEFAF audaciously embraced a serious risk of endangering what made Maastricht so endearing in the first place: of having the very best art in a single venue.

Yet alas, the importance of having a fair in the Armory trumped the apparent risk with its incomparable advantages. And did TEFAF New York Spring succeed in convincing the market that it could thrive in a crowded art scene that is NYC? Without question, the answer is an unequivocal yes.

Yufuku Gallery stand
As the only Japanese exhibitors at the new fair, Yufuku Gallery proudly represented Japan, showcasing the latest works by leading artists such as Sueharu Fukami, Niyoko Ikuta, Satoru Ozaki and Ken Mihara, among others. Towering new sculptures in hand-hammered, polished stainless steel measuring 2 meters tall and 2 meters wide by Satoru Ozaki both sold to new clients, while one of Sueharu Fukami’s best vertical sculptures from his recent oeuvre also sold to an important philanthropist and board member of the Metropolitan Museum’s contemporary section. Like the majority of our international fairs, two works by Ken Mihara and three Niyoko Ikuta sculptures all sold out during the preview, while stunning new pieces by the younger generation of Yufuku artists, in particular Masaaki Yonemoto, Kanjiro Moriyama, Osamu Yokoyama and Hidenori Tsumori also sold out during the 6-day show. Yufuku also had the pleasure of showcasing a beautiful large sculpture by Eiko Kishi on the international stage for the first time in nearly 14 years, which sold to an important NY-based collector who had never seen her work before.
Left: "Time of Resolution" by Sueharu Fukami (2016), Right: "voyage" by Satoru Ozaki (2017)
Stand swamped with visitors throughout the fair
Kumiko explaining the work by Ken Mihara to a client
Maho explaining the techniques of the Hidenori Tsumori work to clients
The sculpture “voyage” by Satoru Ozaki was among the most popular of exhibiting works (Ren talking to clients)
Wahei telling the story behind the sculpture “Now and Here” by Ozaki to the admirers of the work
The artist Niyoko Ikuta visited New York to attend the inaugural edition of TEFAF New York Spring
The painter Takafumi Asakura also visited the Armory in New York (from left: Maho, Kumiko, Mr. Asakura, Wahei, Ren and Elias)

In total, Yufuku surpassed (in fact, doubled) its sales record for international fair debuts achieved at TEFAF Maastricht in 2013, and we were pleased to meet a trove of new collectors and museums unaccustomed to contemporary Japanese aesthetics. The addition of TEFAF NY to our yearly schedule is a welcome one, and helps provide a greater momentum in having our art and aesthetics reach a wider and more prominent international audience.

Mr. Asakura sealing his two panel screen
The sculptor Satoru Ozaki and Team Yufuku on VIP night

Says Yufuku owner Wahei Aoyama, “TEFAF NY was everything we had expected it to be and more, with incredible clientele and museums walking the halls and enjoying the caliber of art on display. We are proud to be here, and truly look forward to improving our collection and presentation for the next edition of TEFAF NY in May 2018. Thank you very much for your support!”


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