[email protected]

Savannah Camastro

[email protected]

OBJECT & THING, a new fee-free art fair rolling into Bushwick this spring, was founded by former Frieze Art Fair creative director Abby Bangser, and will open on May 3 at cultural space 99 Scott.

OBJECT & THING will stray away from the format of a traditional art fair. Held within 99 Scott’s 5,000-square-foot great room, objects and works will be displayed in a custom exhibition design by Rafael de Cardenas rather than in booths.

Another cunning factor that makes OBJECT & THING stand out is that there are no participation fees for galleries; instead they will pay for representation through a commission deducted from works sold. Works will also be sold at a lower price range of $500 to $50,000, where standard art fair prices can go into the millions.

Bushwick exhibits a fresh and dynamic art scene where multiple mediums and perspectives come together in dialogue. That being said, OBJECT & THING aims to expound upon this, highlighting the unique artistic community that flourishes here. Bushwick Daily spoke to Abby Bangser about her inspirations for OBJECT & THING, the design process, and how the fair will interact with the neighborhood.

What were the inspirations for Object & thing art fair?

I have always been fascinated with the area between art and design and the question of how the definition for each is formed. Despite the many contexts available for presenting art and design in both nonprofit and commercial platforms, I find that rarely are the two disciplines exhibited together. In speaking with curators, collectors, art advisors, and interior designers, I also found a desire for more opportunities to acquire both conceptual and functional objects. I think it is a special time in the art world to experiment with new models and contribute and share a fresh experience with the community.

How did participating galleries get chosen? Did you choose them or did they make proposals to you?

I have been in dialogue with invited galleries as well as those who have been contacting us in order to discuss the right works for the exhibition. I have also received tremendous advice from the OBJECT & THING advisory committee which includes: Glenn Adamson (curator and writer), Rafael de Cárdenas (founder Architecture at Large and co-founder Double Macchiato), Martino Gamper (designer), Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn (founder Salon 94 and Salon 94 Design), Armand Limnander (writer and Executive Editor W Magazine), and Mariah Nielson (curator, director J.B. Blunk Estate, and co-founder Permanent Collection).

Can you elaborate a little more on the free flow layout? Inspiration, concepts, how it will affect the sales.

The exhibition is within 99 Scott’s 5,000-square-foot great room. Rather than booth walls utilized in a traditional art or design fair format, we are working with custom designed islands that will house the objects. All of the objects will be exhibited together in artistic groupings that Rafael and I will be arranging, along with insight from the advisory committee.

What was it like working with de Cardenas? How did his creative direction affect the concepts of the design of the fair?

Rafael’s role as Artistic Director has been integral in the development of the inaugural edition of OBJECT & THING and has been a key advisor as the concept has evolved. Rafael not only contributed to the design of the installation, but he also has an integral role in the curation of the objects in the exhibition.

Why 99 Scott? Does the location have anything to do with the theme of the fair?

I was struck by the light-filled industrial space as well as found the scale to be exactly right for the the size of Object & Thing and what we plan to exhibit. I also find the programs at 99 Scott to be very interesting and saw OBJECT & THING to be part of the community they are fostering along with organizations such as RAW Wine, Creative Time, and Understory. It feels like a space where new ideas are realized.

OBJECT & THING will occur at the same time as Frieze Art Fair, and will likely bring in a lot of international traffic to the Bushwick area. As a cultural hub, 99 Scott focuses on creating a space where local art, design, fashion, and food can come together. Molly Mclver, one of the space’s founders, hopes that, “OBJECT & THING adds to and shines a light on the conversations that artists, galleries and makers from in and around Bushwick have already brought to the broader art and design world.”

OBJECT & THING will be in Bushwick from May 3 through May 5, 2019. Find them on Instagram or on their website.

Cover photo courtesy 99 Scott.

Follow Bushwick Daily on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter!