May marks an eagerly awaited seasonal transformation in New York City. And with it comes the return of TEFAF New York Spring—the world’s leading fair for modern and contemporary art. Similarly, the art world is in the midst of its own palpable change: More collectors are embracing an eclecticism spanning the 7,000 years of art found at TEFAF’s three annual exhibitions in Maastricht and Manhattan. This shift has spurred an even deeper commitment from TEFAF, long synonymous with old masters, to up the ante on its foothold in the modern and contemporary art market.
This year, TEFAF New York Spring will welcome 12 new participants—some of the most influential names in the business. Art lovers, collectors, and curators are already abuzz, marking their calendars for May 2 to catch a first glimpse at Opening Night, which benefits The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering. President Jamee Gregory and chairs Fiona Druckenmiller, Indré Rockefeller, Lauren Santo Domingo, Travis Acquavella, and Caryn Zucker will play host to the hundreds that will fill the Park Avenue Armory, including TEFAF regulars like Anderson Cooper, Martha Stewart, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, Peter Marino, and the Lauder family. Adding to the glamour of the evening: fashion sponsor Prada.
The 2018-2019 TEFAF fair cycle has been a marathon of sorts for Fiona Druckenmiller: making her Maastricht debut with FD Gallery, preparing to exhibit in Manhattan in May, and chairing Opening Night for both Fall and Spring, which she graciously underwrites with her husband Stanley. She says it’s all simply too exciting to pass up: “I love that TEFAF now also has a reputation for being innovative by embracing newer galleries that live up to its very strict and high standards.”
While she’s most excited to showcase her Sabba collection from Alessandro Sabbatini (“He only makes 30 pieces a year—each is a unique and exquisite work of art. They are pure magic!” she says), she’s grateful for TEFAF New York’s continued work with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “The doctors and researchers are so noble. Through their brilliance and compassion they are helping humanity. What could be more inspiring?! I am privileged to help MSK in this small way.”
While fellow chair Indré Rockefeller has a serious penchant for global travel (it inspired the launch of her luggage and travel accessories brand Paravel), 20th century Modern American art captured her heart during her Art History studies at Princeton. Opening Night attendees are sure to spot Rockefeller lingering in the Peter Freeman booth, admiring Franz Kline’s Study for Corinthian II. “I’m drawn to bold use of color and strong graphic elements,” she says. “I also have a soft spot for studies. As a former professional ballet dancer, I know how much work goes on behind the scenes in any art form, so I always relish getting a sneak peak into the artistic process.” But when it came to what she plans to wear on Opening Night, Rockefeller played it rather coy and shared only one word: Prada.
Like Druckenmiller, Rockefeller’s calling to support The Society of MSK runs deep: “You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t been impacted by cancer directly or indirectly, and I’m no exception. MSK is a world-class institution at the cutting-edge of cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, and I’m proud to play a small part in supporting the institution via The Society of MSK.”