In order to save money, we stayed in Elizabeth, New Jersey, expecting the drive into the city in the morning to be a breeze - except that when I asked at the hotel about parking in New York, at least four people shook their heads vigorously at me and encouraged us in fairly strong terms to take mass transit. So it was that we spent among us $90 on a train ride that would take us into the city, and by that time realized that we might as well have stayed in town and spent slightly more money on a more convenient hotel. Lesson learned for next time I guess.
The E|AB art fair took place at The Tunnel, appropriately named as it is a stone's throw from the Lincoln Tunnel in Manhattan and kinda looks like a tunnel inside. It was an easy walk from Penn Station, and we arrived just at 11:00 to find a crowd waiting outside. A cab arrived and Paul Stolper got out and bustled into the building. Soon after the building doors were opened.
I found the building interior to be very cool. Exposed brick walls, arches and ceiling made it seem like an old factory (perhaps that's what it is?); silver painted girders and sleek hardwood floors lent the space a more modern look. All the gallery tables were set up along a corridor which ran the length of the building.
We browsed the art and publications for a while and took a few pictures. I was interested to see that there was a network at play there, many people seemed to know one another as they moved from table to table. In some cases I felt too shy to ask any questions because I had a feeling the people behind the table didn't want to talk to anyone who wasn't a potential contact or sale; in other cases I felt completely at ease getting up close to the prints and expressing my interest.
Eventually we made it to the Paul Stolper table and spent some time looking through his "Editions" book and Kevin Cummins photographs. For the first time I had a true sense of the import of the artists Stolper represents and was really impressed with his explanation of one of Peter Blake's prints. Although I had met him before I didn't really speak with Stolper in New York, firstly because he seemed 'all business' (whereas in Edinburgh he had been very casual and friendly) and secondly because he probably would have thought I was a complete dork if I said, "Hey, I drove all the way from Virginia to see Magne's prints, where the $^#% are they?" ;-)
Alas, Magne's prints were not on the walls, they were in a plastic sleeve folio case along with works from other artists. There were 12 Monologues prints, about 12" square. To be honest, the prints I saw didn't really do much for me, but from the pictures I've seen online the prints available were hardly representative.
All in all the fair was a great experience, I might even go to an exhibit in Pennsylvania if I can convince my husband to go. We said goodbye to The Tunnel and Penn Station and headed back to our hotel, drove straight to DC and got there in plenty of time for scoundreldays to meet allnitechemist for the Morrissey concert - and even managed to get Lynn and I tickets for $20 each at the door! There's nothing better than a successful road trip with your cool girlfriends!