VIP Art Fair The Second Coming

VIP Art Fair

Exclusively-online VIP Art Fair returns to our screens, selling art the 21st century way

VIP Art Fair, the world’s only exclusively-online art fair, is set to hit our computer screens once again for 2012. Scheduled for 3-8 February, VIP 2.0. is a slightly scaled down version of its inaugural event, offering international art buyers the chance to purchase works from the comfort of their very own living rooms. VIP, which stands for ‘Viewing In Private’, aims to ‘translate the experience of a traditional bricks-and-mortar fair to an online environment’, and this year boasts 115 galleries including some of the art world’s big boys – from Gagosian, Zwirner, and Pace, to  Max Hetzler, and Hauser & Wirth.

Founded by James and Jane Cohan, of James Cohan Gallery in New York, along with Silicon Valley entrepreneurs Jonas and Alessandra Almgren, VIP Art Fair represents the culmination of two artworld trends. Firstly, it is situated at the forefront of that frenzied race to unlock the full art-selling potential of the internet, with 2011 seeing the unveiling of numerous internet-based schemes. Notable competitors includes S[edition], the initiative of Harry Blain (founder of Haunch of Venison and Blain|Southern) and Robert Norton (former CEO of Saatchi Online) – a site selling affordable e-art, or digital artworks by leading contemporary artists, to be viewed on-screen, on laptops, mobile phones, iPads, TVs, that can even be sent as gifts via email!

Secondly, VIP Art Fai is part of the general effort to entice those potential art buyers currently intimidated by the scene surrounding the art market – hence ‘Viewing In Private’, with its organisers believing that their model is the key to ‘empowering the relationship between collector and dealer’. A similar effort was undertaken earlier this year by The Other Art Fair which removed the gallerist and dealer from the equation in order to lessen the fear-factor for the inexperienced.

Competition, then, is tough, and all eyes on VIP to see whether they can pull off their promise. The stakes are particularly high due to last year’s fair being plagued with complaints from dealers and collectors that they were unable to access the site in the hours after its opening. The organizers were then forced to disable the site’s instant messaging program in order to reduce the stress on the system, and to refund a portion of fees that galleries had paid to participate. It is perhaps as a result of this kafuffle that a number of last year’s galleries have declined to take part for a second time, with the likes of Gladstone, L&M Arts, Almine Rech, Andrea Rosen and Sean Kelly, watching from the sidelines. But, with the major galleries still on side, along fully upgraded software, VIP looks set to dominate the WWW ring.

Here is the full list of participating galleries:

Alexander and Bonin, Peter Blum Gallery, James Cohan Gallery, GALLERIA CONTINUA, Corkin Gallery, Alan Cristea Gallery, Galerie EIGEN + ART, Fraenkel Gallery, Stephen Friedman Gallery, Gagosian Gallery, Galerie Gmurzynska, Marian Goodman Gallery, Hauser & Wirth, Leila Heller Gallery, Galerie Max Hetzler, Xavier Hufkens, GALLERY HYUNDAI, Galerie Krinzinger, Yvon Lambert, Galerie Lelong, Luhring Augustine, Victoria Miro, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, The Pace Gallery, Pace Prints, Pace/MacGill Gallery, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, ShanghART, White Cube, David Zwirner, Luis Adelantado, Brooke Alexander Gallery, Galeria Raquel Arnaud, ARNDT, BERNIER/ELIADES, Galería Elba Benítez, John Berggruen Gallery, Marianne Boesky, Ben Brown Fine Arts, Leo Castelli Gallery, Chemould Prescott Road, Dirimart, Fortes Vilaça, Lombard Freid Projects, Goodman Gallery, Greenberg Van Doren Gallery, The Guild, Haines Gallery, i8, Paul Kasmin Gallery, Barbara Krakow Gallery, Lehmann Maupin Gallery, Galerie Urs Meile, Moeller Fine Art Ltd, Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Ota Fine Arts, Pékin Fine Arts, Galeria Nara Roesler, Tucci Russo, ANNA SCHWARTZ GALLERY, Galeria Filomena Soares, Galeria Luisa Strina, John Szoke Editions, Galerie Daniel Templon, Galerie Thomas Modern, Van de Weghe, A Gentil Carioca, BISCHOFF/WEISS, Casa Triângulo, Chambers Fine Art, Elizabeth Dee, Annet Gelink Gallery, IBID Projects, Galerie Michael Janssen, kaufmann repetto, Leo Koenig Inc., Johann König, Kate MacGarry, Galería OMR, ONE AND J. Gallery, PKM Gallery, Yancey Richardson Gallery, The Third Line, Winkleman Gallery, x-ist, ARTMIA Gallery, Brand New Gallery, Carbon 12, Lisa Cooley, Eleven Rivington James Fuentes LLC, Gonzalez y Gonzalez, LABOR, Limoncello, IGNACIO LIPRANDI ARTE CONTEMPORANEO, THE LOFT at Lower Parel, ltd los angeles, Gallery Maskara, Mendes Wood, Rawson Projects, UNTITLED, Rachel Uffner Gallery, Ruth Benzacar Galería De Arte, Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Dvir Gallery, Richard L. Feigen & Co., Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Christine Koenig Galerie, Mai 36 Galerie, Galerie Nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder, Postmasters, Galeria Joan Prats, Rossi & Rossi, STPI, Salon 94, Galerie Thomas Schulte, Galerie Tschudi, Galerie Bob van Orsouw, Galerie Thomas Zander, Barbican Art Gallery, EIKON, The Fruitmarket Gallery, Independent Curators International, Parkett, The Renaissance Society, Rhizome, Serpentine Gallery, Texte zur Kunst, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Whitechapel Gallery

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