#InOnTheGo: A Year in Review

Frieze New York, 2016.

What a trip.

In 2016, our editors traveled the globe to explore art fairs, acclaimed museum exhibitions and gallery shows, and lesser-known European antique shops. We witnessed some of the world’s most prominent antiques fairs reviving the industry to bring fresh, modern context for centuries-old fine and decorative art. Blockbuster exhibitions this year reflected on the careers of some of the greatest 20th-century artists including Frank Stella and Abstract Expressionist masters featured in the Fisher Collection (unveiled at the newly reopened SFMoMA).

Our summer adventures took us to the road less traveled in small, tucked-away European towns, proving that some of the most treasured objects still hail from off-the-beaten-path flea markets and antique shops. This is a look back at some of our editors’ favorite #InOnTheGo moments of 2016 – and one wild ride.

Frank Stella at the Whitney

We kicked off the year with “Frank Stella: A Retrospective” at New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art. We were seeing double with blue chip examples that demonstrated the arc of Stella’s long and diverse career. 2016 brought a renewed interest in 20th century masters with many major institutions offering surveys such as “Agnes Martin” at the Guggenheim Museum and the Robert Rauschenberg retrospective at Tate Modern. We expect to see more exciting solo museum surveys of post-war practitioners on the horizon.

Folk Art at the Winter Antiques Show

Frigid January temperatures brought one of New York’s hottest art fairs to the fore – the much-anticipated Winter Antiques Show, which focused on bringing fresh, modern context for centuries-old works in its 62nd year. A perfect example? 19th-century Folk art and Americana – like this wooden rooster weathervane (circa 1845) from the Gibbel-Kreider Farm in Lancaster County – which gained new life placed upon a persimmon-colored pedestal and boldly-patterned wallpaper at the Kelly Kinzle booth. This bold juxtaposition makes this unique object an instant conversation piece, and we expect to see more of this refreshed perspective on antiques in 2017.

“Free Money” at Frieze New York

Since its inaugural edition in 2012, Frieze Week in New York signals a flurry of art market activity. This year alone yielded approximately $1.2 billion exchanged at auction in just one week; down considerably from May 2015, yet still a remarkable sum. The eponymous art fair also lived up to expectations, transforming Randall’s Island Park this year with a massive, 25-foot-high outdoor installation titled, “Free Money,” by artist Alex da Corte. In addition, Frieze New York coincided with artist Damien Hirst’s return to Gagosian Gallery, underscored by a prominent display of examples from the artist’s major series: a spin and butterfly painting as well the artist’s signature sculptural works.

Yayoi Kusama at Victoria Miro

Later in May, we raced to see Victoria Miro’s ambitious compilation of mesmerizing recent works by artist Yayoi Kusama, which spanned the London gallery’s three locations and waterside garden. The show included many examples of Kusama’s meditative explorations – with both Pop art and Surrealist influence and a focus on repetition of pattern and form. Kusama’s market has been on the rise in recent years, with the hammer flying high at auction, and fan-favorite installations at both the Armory Show as well as Frieze New York. We look forward to seeing what’s next for the artist in 2017.

Galerie Jean-David Botella at Masterpiece London

#JeanDavidBotellaand#39;s gold Rhinoceros table steals the show. #MasterpieceFair #InOnTheGo #artfair

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London in June brings one of the most bustling times of year on social calendars, with Masterpiece London as one of the capstone events. We found that unique objects of all shapes and sizes were some of the most buzzed-about works on view, like this remarkable Lalanne Rhinoceros desk from Galerie Jean-David Botella taking pride of place at the fair. While the work of Lalanne always offers an innovative and whimsical accent, we expect to see collectors’ continued interest in objects that tell a unique story.

The Newly Reopened SFMoMA

Art imitates life at @sfmoma. #AlexanderCalder #calder #sculpture #mobile #style #sfmoma #sanfrancisco #InOnTheGo

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In the summer, our editors took in all ten floors of 20th and 21st century works at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, which reopened its doors this year after a three-year hiatus. The expanded museum is ripe with blue chip Abstract Expressionism, including an entire floor devoted to a curated selection from the Doris and Donald Fisher Collection. Part of a larger movement, 2016 brought a renewed interest in AbEx art. In addition to the Fisher Collection’s prominent coverage, the Denver Art Museum unveiled “Women of Abstract Expressionism,” an ambitious presentation of works by Helen Frankenthaler, Joan Mitchell, Lee Krasner, as well as some of the lesser-known players in the field, and “Abstract Expressionism” at London’s Royal Academy (on view through January 2, 2017) has garnered worldwide attention.

Antique Finds in Spain & England

While galleries and auctions provide ample opportunity for discovery of rare objects from around the world, some of our editors’ favorite finds continue to come from lesser-known flea markets and antique shops. One of the best we’ve seen this year hails from a trip to Jalón/Xaló in Valencia, Spain in August. We had a hard time fitting all our newly acquired treasures in our suitcases.

Similarly, a trip to the coastal town of Rye, East Sussex in October – where 14th-century architecture and cobbled streets are met with today’s modern tastes – brought unexpected finds and swoon-worthy shops on virtually every corner. Strand House was a particular favorite among our editors for its handsome vignettes rich with texture.

TEFAF’s New York Debut

TEFAF’s New York debut was undoubtedly one of the city’s most anticipated events this fall. Led by the creative genius of designer Tom Postma, attendees were met with a breathtakingly modern and fresh transformation of the historic Park Avenue Armory, with sheer, white drapery lining the halls, cascading fresh white florals literally raining from the ceilings, and rare access to the Armory’s second floor period rooms steeped with luscious architectural details. In a similar vein to the Winter Antiques Show, many exhibitors at TEFAF New York sought to provide refreshingly modern context for centuries-old art and objects – from clean, white orchids planted in 18th-century garden urns at Aronson; to vibrantly colored framing of Old Masters works at Otto Naumann Ltd.

Bentleys & Sabel at SalonQP

Collaboration is key. November’s SalonQP in London assembled some of the biggest watchmakers for a display of truly exceptional timepieces. What was most extraordinary this year were innovative collaborations, including a partnership between Bentleys, a restorer of vintage luggage, and Sabel, a saddlery. On site, Mia Sabel used traditional saddlery techniques in producing bespoke leather watch straps. We look forward to seeing innovative collaborations between brands that offer bespoke goods in 2017.

Follow our editors with #InOnTheGo on Instagram and Twitter to see where we journey next in 2017.